Do potatoes count as one of your five a day?

Mmmm hot chips, roasted potatoes, creamy mash. It’s potato! It’s a vegetable! Counting towards my five serves of veg a day - cue fist pumping, bicep flexing #1outof5 #winning #healthierme #gome.

I hate to be the fun police, but it might not be the best approach to getting your five serves of vegetables in a day… but it’s not the devil either.

Diddly-dee potatoes! We all know potatoes are a well-known staple in Ireland but Aussies love them too. The humble potato is definitely a vegetable, we cannot discount that… aaaand it most definitely can play a part in a healthy diet. What’s not been so great about potatoes over the years is the way we choose to cook and enjoy them; often drizzled in oil or butter, fried, roasted, mashed with cream. The balance of nutrient quality has become a little off.

Potatoes are rich in *cue drum roll*:

  1. Carbohydrates – nope, they’re not the devil either. Carbs power our brain as a preferred fuel, helping us thrive in our day to day activities.
  2. Some fibre - mostly when you eat the skin.
  3. Vitamins and minerals: some vitamin C (important for preventing illness by keeping our immune system strong), potassium (important in the actual beating of your heart, nerve function and kidney blood filtering), manganese (helps with our brain regulation and nerve function) and some b-group vitamins (helping with a bunch of processes to keep our body using our energy and nutrients well).
Potatoes picked fresh from the earth

Unfortunately, five serves of vegetables does not equal five cups of hot chips!

One serve of vegetables is equal to about half a cup of cooked veggies or about one cup of raw salad. For potatoes, given they have a bit of extra energy than the usual green leafy variety, go easy and aim for half a medium sized potato on your plate. This also goes for other starchy vegetables like sweet potato, taro or cassava.

Like always, aim for the most variety you can across the week and mix it up to keep things interesting, but also ensure you’re getting a great mix of nutrients into your body!

To enjoy your humble potato in the healthiest of ways, try not to add too much when cooking, for example; use spray oil for baking, avoid frying, use milk only for mash and season with herbs for flavour! Voila – delish. #potatoescanbehealthy #versatilepotatoes #healthierme #healthieryou #happydays

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