Home  >  Carol LeBeau  >  Carol's Health Journal | 04. March 2010

The Incredible Potato

04. March 2010

Pity the poor potato! During the “low-carb” craze, the lowly spud got some pretty bad press. But “las papas” are making a comeback and I, for one, am thrilled!

Unfortunately, not everyone’s on board. After ordering a baked potato with my grilled salmon at a local eatery the other night, my girlfriend told the waiter she wanted double veggies on the side. Smugly, she announced, “I don’t do carbs.”

What?! This is the vegetable that conquered the world, the peasant’s staff of life, the gourmet’s delight. One writer called it “nutritious, delicious, lauded and maligned – the paradoxical potato… the amazing spud.”

I admit. I’m a little biased. As a competitive swimmer and recreational runner over the years, a big baked potato the night before an event has been my secret weapon.

I did a little research and now I know why. Nutritionists rate the quality of potato protein higher than that of the soybean. A single spud can supply half the daily vitamin C requirement of an adult. And for all you weight watchers out there, chew on this. It takes seven pounds of potatoes - about 23 - to total 2500 calories. That’s the approximate adult daily requirement, so eating a spud without rich toppings is no more fattening than eating a pear. And the potato itself is 99.9 % fat free.

So, if you’ve been avoiding “Mr. Potato” (and don’t have any insulin production problems associated with diabetes!) enjoy one of nature’s “good carbs.”

You can make a meal out of it with a few fun toppings. If you’re out and about, check out the “Stuffed Spuds” at Stretch’s Café in Coronado. You can start with “The Basic” with butter, sour cream and chives, then move to the “Veggie Spud” (my fave!) with mixed veggies and jack cheese. For big appetites, go for the “Chili Spud,” covered in turkey chili, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and onions. It’s a gut-buster!

Come on. Let’s give the potato a little respect. 

Contact Carol by emailing her at Carol@palomarhealth.org.