Potatoes Nutrition, Calories, Proteins, Carbs and more

Potatoes Nutrition, Calories, Proteins, Carbs and more

Before we delve in to potatoes’ nutrition , let us know that the potato is a root vegetable, which is a starchy tuber of the plant Solanum tuberosum- a scientific name for it. Like the tomato and tobacco, this plant belongs to the nightshade family (a family of flowering plants).

potato-nutrition

Originated in the region of present-day southern Peru, potatoes were brought to Europe in the sixteenth century, and now it is grown around the world in numerous varieties and has become a staple crop in several countries, including India. Here almost every other dish contains potatoes like aloo gobhi, aloo matar ki subzi, dum aloo and so on. 

One can have them raw, boiled, baked or fried and it is served as both full dish and a snack.

In this article, we have compiled all about potatoes along with their nutritional benefits and harms. Take a look:

Potatoes Nutrition Facts

Vitamins and Minerals

Potatoes are also a good source of potassium, magnesium, sodium, folate vitamin C and B6. 

Apart from this, potatoes also have a good amount of antioxidants that are responsible for several health benefits. These antioxidants are mostly concentrated in the skin of potatoes. 

Carbs

Potato is a starchy vegetable that mainly consists of healthy carbs, which is 66-90% of dry weight

No Fat

They are high in water and contain carbohydrates, protein and fibre- but almost zero fat. We have given a nutrition chart of potatoes at the bottom that contains all facts about this wonder vegetable. 

Sugar

It also contains small amounts of glucose, fructose and sucrose.

High on the glycemic index

Glycemic index, or GI, is counting from 0 to 100 assigned to food. A meal with a high glycemic index digests and absorbs fast in the good, causing a sudden increase in the blood sugar level two hours after consumption. So, potatoes are high on the glycemic index and hence not suitable for people with diabetes.

Foods with a high glycemic index, or GI, are quickly digested and absorbed, causing a rapid rise in blood sugar. A glycemic index is a number from 0 to 100 assigned to food, with pure glucose arbitrarily given the value of 100, which represents the relative rise in the blood glucose level two hours after consuming that food.

However, some potatoes also come under medium range. It also depends on the variety of potatoes and their cooking methods. Study says that cooling potatoes after cooking lowers their effect on blood glucose levels and reduces the GI by 25-26 percent.

Protein

Potatoes are not rich in proteins but have 1-5 percent of protein when fresh and 8-9 percent by dry weight. The main protein present in potatoes is called patatin. Some people may suffer allergic reactions due to this. But the quality of proteins available in potatoes is higher than that of soybeans and to other legumes. 

Fibres

Although potatoes are not particularly high-fibre food, they have some content of dietary fibres like cellulose, hemicellulose and pectin. The fibres are mostly available in its skin around 1-2 percent. The dry skin of potatoes contains around 50 percent fiber. Also, the resistant starch available in it improves gut health. The cooled potatoes contain more starch than the hot ones.

Health Benefits of Potatoes

Many studies have proved that potatoes with skin reduces hypertension, improves heart health, lowers blood pressure (1,2,3). And you know what this tasty vegetable can also help you reach your weight loss goal. Potatoes come under the category of filling foods and thus aids weight loss by allowing you to lower your calorie intake. 

They have an enzyme known as ‘catecholase’ which helps to brighten skin and remove dark spots. Applying potato juice around eyes reduces dark circles. They can gently exfoliate the skin, remove ageing marks and make the face glow. Potassium is good for the skin and heart.

When do you need to Limit your Potato Consumption?

In a few cases, you should stop or limit your potato intake:

Potato Allergy

When you have a potato allergy. Though it is rare many people feel allergic to the protein- patatin- present in potatoes, study says. 

Acrylamides

This is another toxic substance available in potatoes which increases when cooked at very high temperatures, such as roasting, deep frying or baking. Potato chips and French fries are foods that contain a higher amount of acrylamides. Animal studies show that the presence of acrylamides may damage the nerve, harm the brain and even increase the risk of cancer (1,2,3,4). So, for good health, it is wise not to have potato chips and French fries, which are usually associated with junk food as well.

Glycoalkaloids

Some reports suggest that both people and animals got Glycoalkaloid poisoning after eating potatoes. There are mainly two glycoalkaloids in potatoes are chaconine and solanine. But these potatoes toxicity reports are rare and the problem may go undiagnosed in many cases. The mild signs one may experience are stomach pain, diarrhoea, headache, vomiting or nausea. Serious symptoms include fast breathing and heart rate, low B.P, fever, cancer and death in some cases.

However, normally, potatoes contain very low amounts of glycoalkaloids. According to research, a person with 70 kg would have to eat 2 kg of potatoes with the skin in one day to get a fatal dose. glycoalkaloids are higher in the sprouts and the peel. Hence, eating these should be avoided. If you experience a burning sensation in your mouth while eating a potato it is a warning sign that you have consumed a toxic one.

 Potato Nutritional Data

Scientific name: Solanum tuberosum

Higher classification: Nightshade

Calories: 77

Amount Per 100 grams (Data Sourced from: USDA– The United States Department of Agriculture)

Nutrients Quantity% Daily Value* 
Protein2 g4%
Total Fat0 g0%
Sugar0.8 g 
Cholesterol0 mg0%
Calcium 1%
Magnesium 5%
Iron1.1 mg4%
Potassium421 mg12%
Sodium6 mg0%
Dietary Fibre2.2 g8%
Total Carbohydrate17 g5%
Vitamin C 32%
Vitamin  B-6 15%

*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Author: Ahaana Sahay