The potato is an excellent source of dietary energy and some micro-nutrients and its protein content is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers. Potato is essentially low in fat – BUT preparing and serving potatoes with high fat ingredients raises the caloric value of the dish.
Boiling potatoes in their skins prevents loss of nutrients. Potatoes are important in many diets, but need to be balanced with other vegetables and whole grain foods.
Potato is a versatile, carbohydrate-rich food highly popular worldwide and prepared and served in a variety of ways. Freshly harvested, it contains about 80 percent water and 20 percent dry matter. About 60 to 80 percent of the dry matter is starch.
On a dry weight basis, the protein content of potato is similar to that of cereals and is very high in comparison with other roots and tubers.
In addition potatoes are rich in several micro-nutrients, especially vitamin C – eaten with its skin, a single medium-sized potato of 150 g provides nearly half the daily adult requirement (100 mg). The potato is a moderate source of iron, and this high vitamin C content promotes iron absorption.
It is a good source of vitamins B1, B3 and B6 and minerals such as potassium, phosphorus and magnesium, and contains folate, pantothenic acid and riboflavin.
Potatoes also contain dietary antioxidants, which may play a part in preventing diseases related to ageing, and dietary fibre, which benefits health.
So now you can dig into your favourite mashed potatoes without guilt!