When it comes to dieting for weight loss, people tend to turn to fruits and vegetables as the secret key to keep those extra pounds off.
But as you know, some fruits and vegetables are more beneficial than others, and many of them tend to get a bad rap that they don't really deserve. One of those vegetables is potatoes.
Many people tend to stay away from potatoes when they're trying to lose weight, as they think these starchy vegetables are too dense for effective weight loss, but this is mostly a misconception.
A 2014 study published in the Journal of American College of Nutrition, looked at two groups of people and observed their respective weight loss patterns.
Both the groups followed a low calorie-diet; while one group went on consuming potatoes, the other group banished them from their diets.
The researchers found that the consumption of potatoes did not have any effect on weight loss in the group.
1. Fiber-heavy Nutritional Content
Potatoes' main selling point for dieters is their fiber-heavy nutritional content. One medium-sized potato contains about 4.7 grams of fiber, which is very filling.
A diet rich in fiber tends to lead to less over-eating, as those foods tend to sit heavier in your stomach and make you feel more satisfied.
2. Can be a Low-calorie Dinner Option
Depending on their preparation, potatoes can be a low-calorie dinner option, as the average potato contains only 110 calories.
Most of the calories from potato dishes come from added sugars, salts, butter and cheese that are included for flavour.
3. A Significant Source of Potassium
It is also worth noting that potatoes are a significant source of potassium, even more so than bananas.
A medium-size potato provides about 926 milligrams of potassium, over twice the amount found in an equal-size banana.
1. High in Glycemic Index (GI)
The reason potatoes have such a bad reputation is because of their high glycemic index (GI).
The glycemic index is a medical scale that measures how fast and how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood glucose.
But there have been studies recently published that show it is possible to eat high-GI foods in moderation while still losing weight.
Potatoes and weight loss
It might help you lose weight simply because it’s very low in calories.
According to USDA Food Composition Databases, 2–5 pounds (0.9–2.3 kgs) of potatoes each day amounts to only 530–1,300 calories — far less than the average adult’s daily intake.
Besides, potatoes contain the compound proteinase inhibitor 2 that can help suppress hunger by slowing digestion.
The key is to consume potatoes in moderation, and make sure to prepare them in healthy ways.
1. Use Low-fat Cooking Methods
You can use low-fat cooking methods such as baking or steaming to avoid the added calories from oil.
2. Avoid Dousing in High-fat Toppings
You should avoid dousing them in high-fat toppings like cheese, sour cream or butter.
3. Combine Potatoes With Other Vegetables
Combining potatoes with other vegetables, as well as intense spices like curry powder, cumin and cayenne, will give the final product a full taste that will be low-calorie yet still leave you feeling full and satisfied.
Though potatoes are nutritious, they don't contain all the nutrients you need for optimal health.
They can be effective for short-term weight loss, but definitely not a long-term solution.
You can read another post to learn about some low-carb recipes for weight loss.
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