Joco Diversions

Don’t turn your back on the lowly spud

Updated: 2013-04-09T21:22:35Z

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA

The Kansas City Star

Potatoes are one of those aha! vegetables.

Asked to name a fruit or vegetable high in potassium, most people instinctively choose the banana. But a baked potato has 610 milligrams per serving vs. 422 milligrams for a medium banana.

The government recently upped the recommended daily intake of potassium for adults from 3,500 to 4,700 milligrams, because a diet low in potassium and high in sodium is a major contributor to high blood pressure and stroke.

Another aha! moment? A potato the size of a computer mouse also supplies 45 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.

Although potato sales plummeted during the Atkins diet craze, the tubers are loaded with positive attributes: They’re low in calories, high in minerals, and a good source of complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, iron, niacin and vitamin B6.

Economical and easy to prepare, the only downside is it’s tempting to serve them with fatty and caloric toppings.

To make these add-ons count toward your nutritional goals, choose wisely. The Star’s Ham and Vegetable Stuffed Potatoes are loaded with vegetables, including spinach, broccoli, mushrooms and onions, and a bit of lean protein.

Of course, one question remains: Do you have to eat the skin to get the health benefits? It’s your call, but the skin is rich in fiber and iron, as well as caffeic and ferulic acids, both phytochemicals that may help destroy harmful carcinogens in the body.

Deal Saver Subscribe today!

Comments

The Kansas City Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Kansas City Star uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here