Nutritious and Delicious Potatoes - Do They Deserve a Place on Your Plate?

on Tuesday, 08 November 2022. Posted in Blog & News, Sustainability

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I recently had the sincere pleasure of visiting a potato farm about an hour north of where I live here in Seattle in the Pacific Northwest. I didn’t even realize it before my visit, but I’m living in a major potato heartland. The Skagit Valley is located right between Seattle and the Canadian border where the Skagit river flows into the Puget Sound (yes - there’s water all around us!). We have a very mild, marine climate with plenty of clouds, rain, sun, and rich soil that create the absolutely perfect growing conditions for your favorite potatoes.

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Spending time with the potato farmers and their families highlighted something that, as a registered dietitian nutritionist, I talk to my clients about all the time. The food on your plate comes from somewhere. It was planted, grew, was harvested, and transported and made its way to help nourish your boy. As a nutrition professional, I know that the more connected we are with our food system, the safer we will all be because we’ll be more aware of potential threats to it such as food shortages and sustainability issues.

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One thing that I myth bust a lot is that potatoes aren’t good for you. That they’re inflammatory or not safe for people with certain conditions like diabetes or blood sugar issues. When my clients develop a fear of food and start avoiding healthy options, they risk missing out on nutrition that’s important to their health. When we start avoiding certain foods out of fear, it can actually lead to nutrient deficiencies and disordered patterns of eating.

I authored a book called Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep and while I was writing it, I did a really deep dive into the evidence-based research on inflammation and human health. There are some myths out there about the “nightshade” family and inflammation. Nightshades are foods including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and potatoes. But the evidence doesn’t support that these work against you. In fact, it’s the opposite! The research on all of these foods indicate that they actually promote health, provide critical nutrients, and have the potential to lower inflammation. 

A few key nutritional benefits of potatoes

1. Calories: in one 5-oz potato, there’s only 110 calories which helps me bust the myth that potatoes are linked to weight gain or weight problems. They’re simply not, and they aren’t a calorie-dense food.

2. Fiber: you’ve probably heard to increase your fiber for heart health and a healthy digestive system. That’s true! Be sure to include the skin on your potatoes because a medium-sized potato has 2 grams of fiber. That’s 8% of the daily value! 


3. Vitamins: many people don’t realize that potatoes are rich in vitamins including vitamin C (more than an orange with almost 50% of the daily value) and vitamin B6. 


4. Minerals: potatoes are also packed with nutritious minerals including calcium, iron, and potassium. In fact, a medium potato has more potassium than a banana at 620mg. 


There was no fear of nightshades or potatoes on the farm tour I was on, thankfully! Our dinner at Skagit Landing featured potatoes as appetizers, snacks, and main dishes and they were absolutely delightful. 


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There’s so much that you can do from a culinary sense with potatoes, they’re nutritious and delicious. Consider boiling, steaming, roasting, baking, or even sauteeing your potatoes or serving them mashed or scalloped, in salads, soups, or other dishes. Getting creative with including nutritious foods like potatoes can help prevent food waste and include more nourishment in your diet. And they’re a vital part of our food system that we absolutely must protect and maintain so as to avoid any future food shortages or supply chain problems.

Ginger Hultin Bio

If you missed it

Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

Encouraging school foodservice operators to use more poatoes

As America’s Favorite Vegetable, potatoes can help provide students with the nutrients and energy they need to do their best during the school day. That’s why it’s important to remind school foodservice operators that potatoes are not only delicious, but also cost-effective and a nutritious addition to the school menu. In partnership with the School Nutrition Association (SNA), two webinars featured potatoes.  The first webinar, “Maximize Your Menus and Minimize Labor Constraints with Potatoes”, showcased potatoes through on-trend, student-friendly menu innovations and solutions to ease labor strains. The second webinar, “Fun Summer Feeding with Potatoes”, showcased how putting potatoes at the center of the plate can enhance summer feeding programs in fresh and fun ways. Both webinars included a live cooking demonstration with Potatoes USA Culinary Director Chef RJ Harvey, RD and Award-Winning Author Dayle Hayes, MS, RD. The demonstrations were pre-recorded in the Potatoes USA Spud Lab and were a big hit with the participants. Webinars Key Takeaways: Nutritional benefits of potatoes at an affordable price How potatoes can limit food waste Ways potatoes can take over as the center of the plate How serving potatoes to children over the summer can be fun Upon webinar completion, attendees were able to earn continuing education credits. All recipes and resources utilized in the webinar are available on the SNA website for future download. Following are some quotes from the operators who were very engaged in the webinar chat. “My favorite Webinar I’ve seen so far this year. VERY helpful and insightful. Well Done!”  “Love Dayle and RJ as a team. Can they please start a cooking youtube series? ‘Dayle and RJ: Potatoes for All!’” “Great webinar, gained new ideas for using potatoes. Thank you!” SNA is recognized as the authority on school nutrition and utilizes weekly webinars to educate their 50,000+ members. For more information on K-12 School Foodservice marketing activities, email

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