Poor potatoes, they have a bad rap… When you think of potatoes, healthy isn’t always something that comes to mind. We can blame this on French fries and chips, which is the most common way potatoes are consumed. But most of the time you aren’t frying your Ama Rosa fingerlings, well at least we aren’t. It’s important to think about how you are preparing your potatoes, because that can have a big impact on the nutrition.
A serving of potatoes is only 110 calories, provides more potassium than a banana, and also has iron, vitamin B6, Vitamin C and lots of important fiber (don’t avoid the skin!). Potatoes also contain kukoamines, which is a compound that naturally lowers blood pressure levels. One of the main concerns with potatoes is the glucose index (GI), which is important to be aware of for anyone. Simply put, the glycemic index is a system that ranks foods and how they affect your blood sugar. Foods with a lower glycemic index will have less effect on blood sugar levels, preventing spikes.
When looking at the GI of potatoes, there are multiple factors that can lower it. Different varieties naturally have lower or higher GI’s. Our Huckleberry Gold is one variety that is known for its low glycemic index, a study was even done by Montana State University and Huckleberry Gold was found to have one of the lowest glucose index among the 110 types tested! Waxy potatoes such as reds and fingerlings naturally have a lower glucose index. Russets and whites are a little higher in comparison to the waxy-reds. How you cook and prepare the potatoes also changes the speed your body processes the sugars, so don’t give up on tubers completely!
Boiled and roasted potatoes have the lowest GI, at 59. While baking a potato raises it to 69. Mashed potatoes are the second highest at 78 and instant potatoes spikes GI to 82. We aren’t too concerned with instant since we have our own potatoes to eat! There are some ingredients that lower glucose index and since we can’t remember the last time we’ve really eaten our potatoes plain, this is an easy way to lower the glucose index. Adding fats, acids and eating potatoes with a protein lowers the GI, so don’t shy away from the butter and bacon on your next baked potato.