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Dear Sarah: Potato Moderation

Today’s question comes from Terry in Bluefield, Virginia. He asks:

“Are potatoes a good choice for an active person? As in eating on a regular basis?”



People like potatoes, don’t they?! From mashed potatoes to fries to hash browns to soup, the potato is versatile. But are they “healthy”?  Let me break it down for you.

First, it’s important to remember that not all potatoes are grown the same. With GMO potatoes available it is imperative to only buy organic potatoes.

Secondly, I wouldn’t advise daily consumption of potatoes as the ratio of carbs is high and the majority of people already have an unbalanced carb/fat/protein ratio. Instead, I would recommend having organic sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes (not to be confused with yams) are lower on the glycemic index. Additionally, having potatoes every day doesn’t give your body other essential nutrients. I’d rather see you eating a variety of organic nutrients such as hemp, chia, wheat grass, maca, spirulina, coconut, avocado...the list is endless! There are so many wonderful real foods to be enjoyed, expand your repertoire of foods. :)

Thirdly, how do you plan to eat potatoes? Are you going to buy organic potatoes and prepare them in your kitchen at home? Or are you planning to eat McDonald's French Fries or T.G.I. Loaded Potato Skins?  

Lastly, everyone has a different definition of “active”. For some, that means strenuous physical activity for 6 hours every day while others think that doing 30 minutes on the elliptical 3 times a week is active! Being active is great but it doesn’t need to be used as a reason for justifying eating.  

Make these healthy potato “fries”! Note: these “fries” can be interchanged with sweet potatoes. 

Bottom line: always buy organic potatoes (grow your own if you can), go with potato variety such as Yukon Gold (they make the best mashed potatoes!), fingerlings, purple, and of course sweet potatoes. Prepare your potato dishes at home with excellent quality organic ingredients. Have them as part of your meal, every now and then, but I wouldn’t recommend making them a daily habit as there are other essential nutrients your body needs!