It’s one thing to be watching calories and another to live on a plant-based diet but when you combine them, you obviously create a smaller list of foods that you are comfortable eating. For years I struggled with the potato. I absolutely love potatoes (any way and every way) but with the whole anti-carb hype, anti-“white” hype, I limited them for quite a while, reserving them for days of indulgence.
I admit I dreamed about an optimal nutritional plan that would include the potato, but all the “experts” made me pessimistic about the reality. Then, a dental woe temporarily caused me to further limit the foods I could comfortably eat and I had to include baked potatoes. In fact, for a few days, I was eating them more than once a day. I was so happy. And because eating was challenging, the scale dropped, no doubt because my calorie intake was lower than usual.
This prompted me to reconsider the white spud and I have been eating them a few times a week, ever since. And the scale continued to reflect weight loss. What I found was that by continuing to keep my calories at about 1500 a day (I approximate all this) I can still get in all my nutrients, keep from being hungry, sustain the energy I need for my athletic day AND enjoy my potatoes, too!
We all know that sweet potatoes are a great food for everyone and they are still a smarter choice, but for me, nothing compares to the plain old baked potato. If I am feeling more indulgent, I will cut them up and toss them with some olive oil and kosher salt and grill them in a tin. That side dish is always a treat and goes a long way when feeding a family or company.
So while there is no consistent info on the potatoes nutritional value (because no 2 spuds are quite the same) it is enough to know that a medium sized one is somewhere around 160 calories, provides about 1/4 of your days needs for all important potassium, about half your days needs for Vitamin C, and about 1/3 of the vitamin B-6 you require a day. It is cholesterol free, fat free and eaten with the skin, gives you close to 5 grams of fiber, which is a lot for one food! Remember, fiber is not only necessary for a healthy digestive system, but also helps us to continue to feel full well after a meal is over. Though the potato is a high carb food, it provides about 5 grams of protein as well. We need to stop thinking of foods as just carbs, or just proteins and understand that foods are a combination of nutrients and we need them all!
Clearly is you are on a high protein low carb diet, a potato will give you way too many carbs. I am not a big fan of those diets, personally for a bazillion reasons, but that’s what works for me and I am a big fan of choice.
If you are a fan of the potato, don’t be afraid of it. Instead watch what you adorn it with! I use a bit of Earth Balance “butter” and lots of nutritional yeast which I love and gives me a lot of added nutrients. That said, I could just as easily enjoy one whole, like an apple. As my father-in-law always says, “You have never met a potato you don’t like.”
So I will simply sign this,
Mrs. Potato Head
Yes, I am sad about King James leaving our Miami Heat. I am not bitter. Like I said, I am a fan of choice and I wish him and his family well, though I will miss him as he has been my favorite!
Yes, I will be at the gym this morning for class. Next Saturday class is cancelled as I will excitedly be attending my soon to be daughter’s bridal shower. 3 weeks till the wedding!!! WOW