Monday, May 10, 2010

Myths about potatoes busted

Stop munching those potato fries, and start consuming them in boiled and baked form

Potato has always been tagged as the most 'fattening' food item on the plate and for years, there has been a misconception that potatoes make one fat. But studies have shown that it is not potato the villain, but the way we prepare it, which determines whether it is fattening or not.

Having carried out a revealing research, Suman Kumar Pandey, director of the Central Potato Research Institute (CPRI) in Shimla informs, "It is believed that potatoes are fattening, but in reality, potatoes contain less than 0.1% fat and are cholesterol free." He adds that potato absorbs considerable quantity of fat while frying. It is this added fat that could cause obesity if consumed in large quantities. Therefore, by itself, potato is not a fattening vegetable, however, preparing and serving potatoes with high-fat ingredients raises the caloric value of the dish.

Potato is a low energy food. It is not an outstanding source of energy, but is a very good source of high quality protein. "If potatoes are consumed in good quantity and on a regular basis, they could contribute considerably to our dietary fibre intake," says Pandey. Important minerals and trace elements such as phosphorus and iron are present in potato.

City-based clinical nutritionist and dietician, Aarati Pillai says, "Potatoes are a good source of starch. Boiled potatoes have enough starch and energy that is present in two chapattis." Instead of having fried potatoes in the diet, boiled and roasted potatoes should be included. "The intake of potatoes should be balanced with other vegetables," she says.

Pillai suggests that chopped potatoes if soaked in water for sometime and then baked in oven, sprinkled with salt and pepper can make a healthy mid-day snack. When on a fast, instead of frying potatoes, they can be boiled and sprinkled with masala and eaten with chutney. Potatoes can be added in a vegetable salad alongwith curd, honey, salt and pepper.

"Potatoes are also one of the best-tolerated foods in the world, which is good news for many people who suffer from food-related allergies," says Pandey.

So now while cooking, don't freak out at the mention of potato, but instead, prepare it in a healthier way.

1 comment:

Avinash said...

Havong read all that i still feel that TINA to WADA PAAV!