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"What kind of potatoes are better for you?"
Thank you for reaching out to The Sage: Nutritious Solutions. As always, we are happy to help!
The short answer is: all varieties of potatoes are great!
Sweet potatoes tend to get the most popularity as the "healthiest potato" because they are rich in Vitamin A, a nutrient involved in cell health, immunity and vision and have more fiber than white potatoes. In fact, one sweet potato has over 350% of the daily value for vitamin A! (the 'Daily Value', or 'DV' on the nutrition label represents the estimated requirements of certain nutrients based on a 2000 calorie diet).
Sweet potatoes contain 15% DV for fiber and vitamin B6 as well (15% DV). They are also a good source of potassium (10% DV), a nutrient that is important in managing high blood pressure and a number of important body functions. And much of the U.S population is believed to not consume enough potassium, which is found largely in fruits and vegetables.
While sweet potatoes seem like the rockstar of the potatoes, don't count out white potatoes - they are actually a great source of many nutrients too! They are rich in potassium, a good source of vitamin B6, and are high in vitamin C. White potatoes refer to the inside (not outside) of the potato. There are insignificant differences between all white potatoes, regardless of skin color.
So the takeaway is to enjoy potatoes in a variety of ways, and reap their benefits best by preparing them in ways that don't add a ton of calories (if weight loss or weight maintenance is your goal). Some options include sauteeing chopped potatoes in 1 tablespoon or less of cooking fat and with other vegetables if you'd like, boil them to make mashed potatoes, or pop them in the oven for a delicious cubed roasted or whole baked potatoes. All forms of potatoes can be enjoyed as part of a balanced and nutritious diet. Just remember, that with any carbohydrate, they should be part of a meal that also includes protein and plenty of vegetables.
We hope this information helps!
Kamran Ahmad, MS, RDN, LDN