Why Should You Eat Potatoes?
A plain, white potato is a fat-free carb with an abundant amount of nutritional value. Breaking it down, a medium-sized white potato is approximately 110 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrates. It is recommended that 40% of your daily caloric needs come from carbohydrates (with 10-35% from protein and 20-35% from fat). Carbs have been getting a bad rap over the last few years with these low-carb diets. Carbs are so important, though. They are our bodies’ main and preferred source of energy, especially in the brain. They keep our bodies performing at our optimal levels. White potatoes are also not one of these empty carbs - they multitask! Here are the nutrients a medium-sized white potato can provide:·
- More potassium than even a banana
- 45% of your recommended daily Vitamin C needs
- 8% of your recommended daily Fiber needs
- 6% of your recommended daily Iron needs
- 28 mcg of Folate
- Vitamin A
- And lots of antioxidants! – Purple potatoes score as high as Brussels sprouts, kale or spinach on this scale
Many times the potato's health benefits become controversial with regards to the Glycemic Index or GI. This rating system assigns a number to foods, particularly carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and potatoes, based on their ability to increase blood glucose. The practicality of the GI is controversial because combinations of foods can alter the total GI of a meal. In the case of potatoes, for example, common toppings such as cheese, broccoli, butter, salsa or vinegar may lower the combined GI. After an extensive review, the American Diabetes Association concluded that, for people with diabetes, the total amount of carbohydrate in meals and snacks, rather than the type, determines the blood sugar (glycemic) response.
If still concerned, fingerling potatoes are recognized as a healthier carbohydrate because they have a lower glycemic index, which means they have less starch. Nutritionists often recommend them as a healthy alternative to traditional potatoes. These are also great for adding more fiber to your diet - since fingerlings are eaten with their skin still on.
For more information on the health benefits of potatoes, check out potatogoodness.com!
Why Should You Eat Onions?
For only 45 calories per serving, onions not only provide great flavor to any dish but contain chemicals that fight free radicals in the body that can lead to disease. They also contain organosulfur compounds that have shown to reduce symptoms associated with diabetes. Onions are free of fat and cholesterol, very low in sodium and high in Vitamin C. They are also a great source of fiber! To gain the maxim nutritional value, eat onions raw, lightly steamed or sauteed.
Onions also contain high amounts of a flavonoid called quercetin. This potent antioxidant has shown to protect against certain types of cancers as well as cataracts. Quercetin contains anti-allergy and antiviral properties. Others sources of this powerful antioxidant can be found in tea and apples, but onions have twice the amount!
For more information on the health benefits of onions, check out onions-usa.org.