The potato has always been at the receiving end of hatred in the dietary world. The first piece of non-factual advice that comes from your peers, relatives or family members when you are trying to lose weight is "stop eating potatoes".
The potato is blamed for so many reasons with some even going to lengths to make ridiculous claims like "you are what you eat". "If you eat potatoes, you will become round like one."
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Is this potato bashing even justified? Personally, I do not think so.
Here's why the potato bashing is unjustified and why should you hop on the #savethepotato train with me:1. Potatoes Are Low In Calories
Potatoes are actually one of the low-calorie food options you could add to your diet. In terms of calories per 100 grams, potatoes are only 77 calories.
And funnily enough, it has more potassium than a banana. Though not a fair comparison and not even that much of a difference, as bananas per 100 grams have 90 kcals.2. It Is You Who Makes Potato A High-Calorie Food
Like I told, the potato isn't a high-calorie food itself. But this can changes drastically when the preparation method comes into the picture.
Now think about the ways that you consume potatoes, it is in some form of deep-fried food items like french fries, potato wedges, cheesy fries and so on.
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Let's again compare the calories of all these variants:
Potatoes - 75 kcals per 100 grams
French fries - 345 kcals per 100 grams
Potato wedges - 320 kcals per 100 grams
Cheesy fries - 380 kcals per 100 grams
So, it is not the potato to blame but you who deep fries them before eating.3. Potato Is Very Satiating
In a study done by Holt et. al. in 1995, they took 38 carbohydrate-rich foods like fruits, bakery products, snack foods, breakfast cereals etc. and fed it to the subjects.
The aim was to understand the effect of these foods on the satiety of the individual with white bread being the standard, thus 100 per cent.
At the end of the study, they found out that the potato had the highest satiety index of 323% and the lowest was that of a croissant with a satiety score of 47%.
This study was done comparing the foods in isolation which is not how we truly eat but this study makes a good enough claim that why the potato should be your go-to choice when dieting on lower calories.
© Getty Images4. It Beats Rice When It Comes To Dieting
Thanks to some good amount of awareness being spread in the fitness industry, people have stopped demonizing rice finally.
Now when we compare rice with potato, let's see who ends up winning.
Let's say you have a portion of 50 grams of rice in a meal. That comes to approx. 180 kcals with the primary constituent being carbohydrates.
For the same 180 kcals, you could consume 250 grams of potatoes and again, it is a source of carbohydrates.
Long story short, you will get more food to eat for the same amount of calories and be fuller and more satisfied.
Moral of the story: Stop bashing the potato!
Pratik Thakkar is the co-founder and director of GetSetGo Fitness, an online fitness company and the founder of Mars Nutrition, a nutrition supplement company. Both his companies are geared towards providing you with the right information and products without any false or fake claims. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Instagram.