Baked Potatoes: Healthy Or Not?

Potatoes are infamous as a fatty food, especially in its fried form. But what about the bakes ones? Let's hear it from nutritionist Swati Bathwal

Jigyasa Nagpal
Healthy DietReviewed by: Swati Bathwal, Dietitian and Diabetes EducatorPublished at: May 09, 2021Written by: Jigyasa Nagpal
Updated at: May 09, 2021
Baked Potatoes: Healthy Or Not?

A very versatile vegetable, providing high satiety is potato. It is also one of the highest cultivated and used vegetable as a staple to serve the dietary and nutrient demands of humans. Yet, this root vegetable has been claimed to have been related to diseases like obesity and further interrelated to heart health too. When cooked and fried forms of potato were said to be giving more calories, the baked potatoes then came into picture for their preparation using air frying only. So, how beneficial are potatoes when baked? Let us find out

Why To Choose Baked Potatoes? 

Baking uses dry heat that may involve conventional gas or electric oven, a convection oven, a microwave oven, on a barbecue grill, or in an open fire. This method does not use any oil or cooking medium that may increase the calorie content of the food. And hence health-wise preferred form of cooking is always baking. In fact, now widely potatoes are preferably heated in oven to avoid rise in calories through oil.

As it is, potato finds many uses in cooking and can suit almost all tastes. With baking considered an even healthy option, a number of dishes can be prepared. Baked potatoes are comforting snacks, suits well with chicken dishes or with meat. 

General conditions for Baking Potatoes in an oven: 400 degree Fahrenheit for 45 to 60 minutes

health-benefits-of-baked-potato

Also Read: Skin Benefits Of Applying Potato And How To Use It

The Inexpensive Use For Satiety And More

In general, the potatoes are said to be all starch containing vegetable, hence blamed to be all carbohydrate providing source. But looking at just this will make all root vegetables unhealthy. Potatoes are always cheaper in prize and have more than just starch for nutrient benefits:

  • Potato is a vegetable with decent amount of protein; which has good quality amino acids. 
  • It has almost negligible fat; so good news for those who are advised against a fat diet or want absolutely free from cholesterol food;
  • The mineral content in potato is also up to the mark, having greater potassium content than a banana; A good balance of Sodium and potassium is required for maintaining metabolism, for which potassium from potato could fulfil the need;
  • The fibre content of the potato is also a good amount- well for gut health; 
  • The skin of the potato is also a healthy option as it contains minerals and Calcium. Hence, if consuming, it is better to wash the skin well and utilize overall nutrients.
  • And, there are so many dishes that can be easily prepared by such a cheaper source with decent nutritional values too.
  • Potatoes have been consumed as a staple food in many places around the world; a lot of communities still rely on it for meeting many nutritional needs.
  • Its easy availability and affordability also makes it more useful.

With an increase in demand of low carbohydrate diet, people have resorted to baking the potatoes instead of frying them.

Why No To Potatoes?

In general potatoes are said to have high glycemic index, that is, it increases the blood sugar level quite fast. Hence, potatoes are not advisable to diabetic patients. The quantity can be taken care of, but best avoided in case of diabetes.

Potatoes when baked or even when boiled can be consumed without much hesitation, but in case of frying, the fat content which is almost nil in potato will be imparted through the oil. 

Not just the fat, the acrylamide case is not less known to everyone where in longer cooking/ frying starch at higher temperature and for longer time produces acrylamide, which is a carcinogen. Generally the French fries and potato chips undergo high temperature long time treatment, where chances of acrylamide formation are more.

So, knowing the requirements of your body, how it suits and how it affects, check how much is good for you and in which form. Baking is a better option but of course, the diabetics have to be more careful and consult properly before considering the amount. 

Expert Opinion: When To Avoid Potatoes 

Listed below are some instances when potaoes should be avoided or reduced in diet, as told by Public Health Expert Swati Bathwal

  • In general potatoes are said to have a high glycemic index, that is, it increases the blood sugar level quite fast. Hence, potatoes are not advisable to diabetic patients. The quantity can be taken care of, but best avoided in case of diabetes.
  • Potatoes when baked or even when boiled can be consumed without much hesitation, but in case of frying, the fat content which is almost nil in potato will be imparted through the oil. 
  • Not just the fat, the acrylamide case is not less known to everyone where in longer cooking/ frying starch at higher temperature and for longer time produces acrylamide, which is a carcinogen. Generally the French fries and potato chips undergo high temperature long time treatment, where chances of acrylamide formation are more.
  • So, knowing the requirements of your body, how it suits and how it affects, check how much is good for you and in which form. Baking is a better option but of course, the diabetics have to be more careful and consult properly before considering the amount. 

health-benefits-of-baked-potato-onlymyhealth

Also Read: Know Your Plate: Is Honey Enough To Make Honey Chilli Potato A Healthy Snack?

On a concluding note, Public Health Expert Swati Bathwal says, "Potatoes are alkaline in nature. Its chemical composition changes once it is fried. A boiled potato is a low GI which means that it is ok to be consumed in moderation by type 2 Diabetes patient. But when we fry a potato, it is High in GI and can cause sugar spikes. To make it simple for taste buds people can make a chaat from a boiled potato with herbs and spices without any addition of any added fat. A boiled potato is alkaline and a fried potato is acidic. A glass of raw potato juice relieves eczema and scarring if applied atopically, heart health and knee health. A size of a tennis ball is the size of potato to be consumed in a day (whether you have diabetes or not- doesn't matter) and you can bake a sweet potato instead of a white potato for additional health benefits":. 

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