Potatoes are often thought of as “fattening” and bad for health. What if we told you that potatoes are actually great for weight loss? Learn how potatoes can help you shed extra weight!
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Potatoes: Nutrition Facts
Potatoes are rich in starch and fibre, and have a moderate amount of carbohydrates. They are also a good source of micronutrients like potassium, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins. Potatoes are also rich in antioxidants like polyphenols, carotenoids, tocopherols, selenium, etc. Red and purple potatoes also have antioxidants called anthocyanidins.
The following is the nutritional profile for 100 g of raw white potatoes (with skin) according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
|Total Lipids (Fats)
What are the Benefits of Potatoes for Weight Loss?
Potatoes help with weight loss as they:
Boiled potatoes are considered more satiating than pasta, white bread, oatmeal, and fruits like apples, grapes, and oranges. This is because potatoes are rich in fibre and resistant starch, which make you feel full for a longer time. Potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre absorbs water in your gut and swells up, thus making you feel full. Insoluble fibre digests slowly or not at all, and thus releases little to no calories while promoting satiety.
Potatoes also contain high amounts of resistant starch, which behaves similar to soluble fibre. Resistant starch has fewer calories than normal starch and also keeps you feeling full, thus curbing overeating. Resistant starch in potatoes also promotes the growth of healthy gut bacteria.
Potatoes are rich in a compound called protease inhibitor II (PI2), which stimulates the release of cholecystokinin in your intestine. Cholecystokinin is a peptide that promotes the feeling of satiety and curbs hunger pangs. This causes you to eat less, thus reducing the number of calories you consume.
Are low in calories
Potato is good for weight loss as it is a low-calorie vegetable. Potatoes are often mistakenly thought of as “fattening” because of the methods used to cook them. Fried potatoes, though delicious, are extremely high in calories due to the extra oil and fat added. Instead of frying, try boiling, baking, or roasting potatoes to reduce your calorie intake.
What is the Best Time to Eat Potatoes for Weight Loss?
You can eat potatoes as a part of any of your major meals like breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Eating boiled or mashed potatoes for breakfast can help you stay full till lunchtime, thus cutting out the need for a mid-morning snack.
Similarly, eating potatoes for lunch can prevent overeating. Eating potatoes at dinner can help you stay satiated throughout the night, which can promote better sleep.
How to Eat Potatoes for Weight Loss?
- The health benefits of potatoes for weight loss are mainly contained in the skins or peels, which are edible. Keep the skin on your potatoes and clean them thoroughly, with a scrubber if necessary, to get rid of the dirt.
- You can boil some potatoes till they are cooked completely, mash them, and mix in some greek yoghurt (instead of butter or sour cream) with herbs and spices like oregano, garlic, rosemary, or thyme.
- You can bake a whole medium or large-sized potato in an oven or a microwave till it is completely cooked through. Cut into the potato and scrape the flesh using a fork, and add in some low-calorie cheese and seasoning of your choosing.
- Instead of frying potatoes (which requires a lot of oil), roast them in an oven by adding a drizzle of olive oil or mustard oil. Roasting requires considerably less amount of oil than frying.
- You can also add potatoes to sandwiches, salads, or soups, to make them more delicious and more satiating.
Avoid consuming fried potatoes, french fries, potato chips, and other processed potato snacks that require high amounts of fat for cooking or preparation and may also contain additives.
Is Boiled Potato Good for Weight Loss?
Yes, boiled potatoes are one of the best foods to add to your weight loss diet. They rank high on the satiety index as one of the most filling foods you can add to your diet. You can eat a boiled potato by itself, with some rice or roti, or add it to protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, paneer, soy chunks, etc. for a more nutritious and rounded meal.
How Many Potatoes Can You Eat in a Day to Lose Weight?
Though potatoes are a great option for weight loss, it is recommended to limit your consumption to one medium-sized potato (roughly 215 g) a day for the best weight loss results.
However, make sure to limit your consumption of potatoes to thrice a week, as some studies suggest that frequent consumption of potatoes can increase your chances of developing hypertension and Type 2 Diabetes.
What are the Risks of Overconsumption of Potatoes for Weight Loss?
Overconsumption of potatoes, just like any other food, can lead to weight gain. Eating too many potatoes can also increase your cravings for carbohydrates. Frequent overconsumption of potatoes may also increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. Upon overeating, the fibre in potatoes can also cause stomach issues like bloating, flatulence, pain, etc.
What are the Other Health Benefits of Potatoes?
- Potatoes (especially red and purple varieties) are rich in antioxidants, which can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals and oxidative stress.
- The resistant starch in potatoes can help stabilise your blood sugar levels by lowering insulin resistance in your cells.
- The resistant starch found in potatoes can also improve your gut health. The beneficial bacteria in your gut feed upon resistant starch and convert it into butyrate, which helps decrease inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract and reduces your risk of developing colorectal cancer.
- Potatoes have a moderately high amount of potassium, which can help lower your blood pressure when consumed in moderation.
What is the Potato Diet for Weight Loss?
The potato diet for weight loss is a diet fad that has been around since the 19th century. This diet dictates that you eat only plainly cooked or boiled potatoes for five days. The proponents of the potato diet claim that you can lose about one pound (roughly 0.45 kg) every day using this diet.
You will need to consume about two to five pounds of plainly cooked or boiled potatoes, without the addition of any sauce, ketchup, butter, oil, cheese, etc. You can add a minimal amount of salt if required. The potato diet also prohibits you from drinking any liquids other than water, green tea, or black coffee.
Any diet that recommends eating only one particular food and cutting out other major food groups from your diet is detrimental to your health and can have serious consequences like nutritional deficiencies, digestive problems, etc. The weight you lose through the potato diet may come back once you resume your normal eating habits. Losing weight gradually with good nutrition and regular exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight as well as reap the many health benefits of weight loss.
Don’t Have Time To Read?
- Potatoes are low in calories and are a good source of fibre, resistant starch, potassium, vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins.
- The low calorie content and high fibre and resistant starch content, along with the presence of compounds that promote fullness, make potatoes a good addition to your weight loss diet.
- You can eat potatoes as a part of your breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- The best way to consume potatoes for weight loss is by boiling them. Alternatively, you can also include baked, steamed, or roasted potatoes in your diet.
- Avoid fried potatoes and other processed foods like french fries, potato chips, etc. that require high amounts of oil and fat to prepare and may have additives.
- Limit your consumption of potatoes to 215 g (one medium-sized potato) a day.
- Overconsumption of potatoes can lead to weight gain, stomach upset, bloating, and flatulence, and also increase your risk of developing hypertension and diabetes.
- The antioxidants in potatoes can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, and the moderately high potassium content can help lower blood pressure levels.
- The resistant starch in potatoes can help lower insulin resistance in your cells, promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and reduce inflammation in your gut.
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Friendly Asked Questions
When eaten in excess, yes. Just like any other food, potatoes can lead to weight gain when overconsumed, as they are relatively high in carbohydrates. However, when eaten in moderation and in the correct form, potatoes can help you lose weight.
When consumed in moderation, no. Boiled potato is one of the most satiating foods you can add to your diet, as they promote fullness, and prevent hunger pangs and overeating. It is also one of the healthiest forms of potato, as it does not use any oil or fat for being cooked. Boiled potatoes can assist in weight loss. But when eaten in excessive amounts, they can cause weight gain.
Though potatoes are a satiating and nutritious vegetable, some studies suggest that eating them more than four times a week can lead to an increased risk of developing high blood pressure and Type 2 Diabetes. For overall health also, it is important to eat a variety of fresh and healthy food, and not eat the same kind of food every day.
You can eat up to one medium-sized potato (about 215 g) a day to lose weight. However, make sure to limit your intake to three times a week and to add foods rich in protein to your meals along with potatoes.