Are Potatoes Healthy? | You Versus Food


– It looks like my best
spuds just got to town. Yeah. (jazzy music) Hi, I’m Tracy Lockwood Beckerman, a registered dietitian in New York City. And, it is my job to help you figure out what to eat, and why. Let’s talk potatoes. We mash ’em, boil ’em,
stick ’em in a stew, but are they good for us? I’m rooting for you potato,
but don’t mash my heart. I’ll be covering the full
spectrum of taters today. So, that means sweet potatoes, which are basically
ubiquitous in healthy recipes. As well as regular, good ol’ potatoes. (whistling) One hot potato. Let’s figure out whether
spuds are your buds. Or, just plain duds. On today’s episode of You Versus Food. Who’s ready to starch this party? Ho hey. There are over 4,000 varieties
of potatoes worldwide. Here are our main culprits. Sweet potatoes, they’re
technically known as tubers. And, are tuber versatile in cooking. No surge pricing for this tuber. For the record, yams are sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes are not yams. Sweet potatoes have more vitamin A coming from beta-carotene. A lower glycemic index,
meaning carbohydrates are released more slowly into the blood. And, fewer calories than yams. But, yams have more
potassium and more fiber. Perhaps more importantly,
and most noticeably, sweet potatoes are sweeter than yams. I yam confident you now
know the difference. That was yam-tastic. White potatoes are a root
crop, not technically a tuber. And, they’re ideal for frying and mashing. They also hold their shape
very well when being baked. Russet potatoes are high in
starch and low in moisture, and they’re similar to a white potato, but they’re a lot rounder
and have a lot of eyes, aka the growing points,
that may be watching you. (spooky music) Potato
eyes are watching you. (jazzy music) In case you missed it,
everyone is obsessed with sweet potatoes,
not just on IG, but IRL. Because of their vibrant orange color, which is where beta-carotene lives. Beta-who? Beta-carotene is a
carotinoid, that’s a precursor to vitamin A, a powerful
anti-oxidant that basically helps everything stay less
inflamed in your body. This is beta-carotene, but it’s
not a carrot, it’s a potato. Sweet potatoes also
offer you some vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and
other anti-oxidants. Pretty sweet indeed. So, adding sweet potato to
your meal on IG, and IRL, will increase your
anti-oxidants, and your likes. (tapping) Another low-key potential
benefit of sweet potatoes is blood sugar regulation. They’re a low to medium
glycemic index food, great for those who wanna keep
their sugar levels stable AF. To keep the stable blood
sugar party going longer, try eating sweet potatoes
with some healthy fats, like nuts, avocado, or a little ghee. Ghee-licious. Here’s a surprising tater nutrition bonus, sweet potatoes contain iron. When you eat iron from a non-animal source you should eat some vitamin
C too during that meal to better absorb that stubborn iron. And, guess what? (popping) Sweet potatoes
have both iron and vitamin C. Talk about a sweet
bonus worth rooting for. Iron and vitamin C, what? Truly nature’s magic. White and russet potatoes
have many essential nutrients, like vitamin B6, vitamin
C, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus,
niacin, folate, woof. Potatoes may get a bad rep health-wise if you’re thinking of the fried variety. And, white potatoes have less
fiber than a sweet potato. Sorry white potato, but
the sweets have you beat. But, the white potatoes
are still higher in fiber than many other starches, like rice, and some kinds of pastas. Anyone out there a starch trek fan? Potatoes are naturally gluten free. They’re cheap, they’re very filling, and are highly versatile for cooking. They’ve got lots of potassium, which can help lower blood pressure because it acts as a vasodilator, aka helps your blood vessels
expand, exhale, and breathe. Oh, potato yoga. (dinging) Just remember, eating
potatoes in french fry form means you’ve lost a lot
of those awesome nutrients in the depths of that boiling oil, and added some iffy
fats and sodium to boot. Tip number one, eat the potato skin. The skin is where the
fiber and lots of that nutritional goodness of the potato live. Don’t fear the skin,
just give it a good scrub and you’ll be good to go. Tip number two, sweet
potatoes and regular potatoes are carbo-licious foods, so be mindful and keep those carbs balanced
with proteins and fats. Sweet potatoes, they’re a
very sweet health trend. And, offer many nutrients that
are beneficial to the bod, as well as super low
negative side-effects. I just love it when real foods are trendy. (cheering) White and russet potatoes, also a very positive
health trend in my book. They pack in the nutrients too. Just make sure you’re baking them, and not dredging them in
oils, salt, and sugar. Or, they’re just as
useless as a couch potato. Way to go potato. Woo woo. See ya next time for another
episode of You Versus Food. Hey home fry, you looking delicious. You better subscribe to Well
and Good’s YouTube channel. Smash that subscribe
button like it’s a potato. Do it. Haters gonna hate,
potaters are gonna potate.


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