Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

An Affordable Food – The Potato?

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Rosemary potatoes (in olive oil)

Image via Wikipedia

There is a lot of debate over whether it is possible to eat a healthier diet without spending a lot of money.  One problem nutrient in the American diet is the lack of potassium, mainly found in unprocessed fruits and vegetables.  Recent research at the American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) presented data that found that the lowly potato is one of the best sources of nutrition in the produce department.  And even better, it is a great source of potassium.  See the related article below or click blog .

In the study, potatoes were the lowest cost source of dietary potassium, which is challenge due to its dietary guideline of 4600 mg/per day. But the cost of potassium-rich white potatoes was half that of most other vegetables.  One large potato provides about 33% of your Daily Value of vitamin C and 17% of the Daily Value for potassium at a very low cost.

A problem may arise with increased consumption of potatoes is that most Americans eat them fried or pile a lot of calories onto them due to the bland nature of the potato. So we add sour cream, butter, and cheese, and bacon for added taste and flavor.  Think cheese fries.

A fairly low calorie way to eat potatoes is to roast them. Adding a small amount of olive oil amounts to only about 27 calories. One large plain potato has only 145 calories.

I throw 1-1/2 pounds of small red or white potatoes (cut in half) in a large Ziploc bag and add about 1/8 cup extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh chopped rosemary or any fresh herb of your choosing and crushed garlic. Let them marinate for a while and then bake them in a single layer on a baking pan for about 1 hour at 400 degrees until browned and tender.  This makes about 3-4 servings.  Last time I checked, red organic potatoes were about 75 cents a pound.  What a deal.

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