FOOD, FACTS and FADS

Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health


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The GMO Potato?

Again, there is the continuing debate over the safety of GMOs. The best approach is to be aware of the arguments and decide for yourself if you want to buy them. If you choose to avoid them, there is a link within the following article.

CLICK HERE.

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The Potato Diet?

skd288907sdcPotatoes have plenty of vitamin C and good amounts of fiber and potassium. However, followers of this fad diet will have some nutritional problems. One medium plain potato has only 170 calories mostly as carbohydrate, but lacks in protein and fats. It contains only 5 grams of protein. In terms of total protein, a follower of this diet would have to eat about 11 potatoes a day, since an adult male needs about 56 grams of protein a day. However, potatoes are not high quality proteins – they are considered incomplete proteins since they lack enough of the nine amino acids needed for protein synthesis.

The type of starch in potatoes is digested more rapidly, according to the Harvard School of Public Health. The rate of digestion combined with the quantity of starch in a potato result in a high glycemic index rating. A baked Russet  potato (150 grams) has an average score of 111. This score is higher than pure glucose, which means the baked potato creates a fast and large spike in blood sugar that can lead to insulin resistance, weight gain and diabetes.

Needless to say, the “Spud Fit” diet is not a good idea.

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More Education Needed?

GMF

While I think that genetically modified foods are here to stay, it appears that most people would like to make a choice as  to whether they want to consume them or not.  That could be accomplished if the food industry would not oppose labeling information.  It also appears that many people do not know much about what genetically engineered means. Perhaps more education about GMO would help.  This blog has published many posts on the topic and you can find them by SEARCH THIS SITE for Genetically modified foods.

CLICK HERE.

A new crop of potatoes are now being developed using this technology with a different twist – i.e., not inserting genes from another species, but repressing four genes of the potato itself.  Interesting, but the process is still up for a safety review by the FDA.

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A Healthy Potato?

Potatoes have recently been maligned since they get grouped into the avoidance category of “white foods” by  low carbohydrate adherents and others.  They also get grouped into the list of foods commonly known as “fattening”.  That may be true if you only eat them loaded with butter, sour cream, cheese or as French fries.  In their “naked” form, they actually provide us with a bunch of important nutrients as outlined in the following article.  They can be an important part of a healthy diet if consumed in moderation.  Moderation seems to be the key for a lot of foods, but Americans often find this concept difficult.

You can try these simple ways to prepare them in a healthier way.

  • Toss potatoes with the skin on and  cut in thin wedges in a small amount of olive oil and roast them on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for about 35 minutes. They come out crisp on the outside and soft on the inside.  The calorie savings result in less than half the calories of a small serving of McDonald’s French fries.
  • Try roasting potatoes with a bunch of different vegetables.  Try waxy fingerling or thin-skinned red potatoes with carrots, sweet potatoes and chunks of onions.  Roast them as above, tossing them around half way through the cooking time.  These types of potatoes do not need peeling, so the fiber is not thrown away.

CLICK HERE.