Potatoes are not only versatile but they can also be a cheap and easy way to feed the family if you are living on a budget. Not all potato based meals are unhealthy and not all have to involve the item being fried. Boiled and jacket potatoes are not as fattening as chips or roast potatoes and can be part of an appetizing meal. It may be tempting to decide not to cook at home but just to call into the local fast food establishment and while doing this occasionally for a treat it is not advisable to do this regularly.
What’s In a Potato?
Potatoes are a good source of proteins, vitamins A and B, potash, soda, and alkaline salts, but this does not mean that they are going to be good for everyone. If you are already overweight it may be best to keep them to a minimum as they can still cause you health problems although they will give added benefits such as relieve from intestinal toxemia, constipation or dropsy. As they are full of starch they can however make you feel drowsy and a little bit lethargic.
Ways to Cook Potatoes
Potatoes in all their different guises can be enjoyable as part of a diet but it is best to know what ways of cooking them will be more effective in helping you to lose weight and keep healthy. A baked or boiled potato does not have a great many calories but often the dressings that are put on them cause the calorie count to rise. Butter and coleslaw are normally added but by adding a fattening topping, you are counteracting the benefits of the potato. Low fat spreads can be added but these sometimes stop the meal being as tasty so looking for something that you will enjoy is also important. Adding toppings such as baked beans or a low fat curry will be just as tasty but nowhere near as bad for you.
When you eat chips, there are a number of things that can give you health issues. Firstly the oil that they are fried in and secondly the acrylamide. Tests carried out on animals in labs have produced results that show that this can cause cancer. The level is not known, but it has been realized that pre boiling the potatoes can cut down this risk, as can cooking them in the microwave. This will be a big scare for most people but sadly not enough to make them stop frying their food.
Before you start the potato diet it is important to make sure that you have all the information you need. It is no good planning a meal around chips and wondering why you are not losing weight.
What About Green Potatoes?
A green potato is when a potato gets sunburnt due to part of it sticking out from under the soil. The chlorophyll that is produced as a result of the extra light is harmless but there is an increase in the amount of solanine which may leave the diner feeling pain comparable to the pain of arthritis. It has to be said that the green potato would have to be eaten in large amounts and it would take around 4.5lbs of potato before there is a risk of poisoning. It would take days of eating just green potatoes to make someone ill and it will be comforting to know that it has been 50 years since anyone has dies of potato poisoning in the United States.
The Effects of the All Potato Diet
There are surprisingly some good effects to the all potato diet. When a student tried this he had some unusual results. He lost over 20lbs and saw a food result in as much as hi blood sugar level dropped. The most impressive result however may have been that his cholesterol dropped by 30%. This is not a bad thing in the short term, but if it was continued for a long period of time the body would soon run short on the various nutrients that it needs and you would become ill. Another important part of this diet is not to peel the potato. The skin has 75% of all the minerals that they provide for you.
When you embark on most diets it is taken as read that at some stage you will become hungry, and if you are not careful you will end up breaking the diet as you cannot deal with it anymore. This is the area that the potato diet differs as you will always feel full if you follow the diet properly. It is for this reason that the potato diet is a good idea, but maybe not just limiting yourself to them.
Healthy Potato Ideas
There are some potato dishes that are healthier than others and as long as there is a balanced diet eating potatoes in the following ways should not lead to any health problems. A variation on cauliflower cheese is potato cheese. Rather than a cheese sauce that may be unhealthy, this is just boiled potatoes with a small amount of cheese sprinkled on it. Mashed potato with a small amount of cream and herbs can be acceptable as long as the cream is low fat. Soups can also be filling and by just slicing a potato and adding a few slices to the soup it has become enough for a meal rather than a snack. Again leaving the skin on gives the most benefits and as long as they are cleaned properly the taste will be good.
Once you have decided that you are going to follow this diet it is worthwhile finding out what is in store for you. It has already been mentioned that you will feel full, but there is also the fact that you can get bored. They may be cooked in different ways but you still know it is a potato. One of the best ways to combat this is to list the good things and then stick it out in the knowledge of what you can achieve.
• Digestion – They will help your digestion as they pass easily through the system and are also a very good source of roughage.
• Skin care – The vitamin B and C will work on your skin. If you do get to the stage when you cannot eat anymore, just mash them up and make a face pack.
• Again the vitamin C – This will help prevent scurvy and boost your immune system to prevent colds.
• Calcium and magnesium – This will help fight rheumatism but care must be taken not to put on too much weight as this will be counterproductive as excess weight will aggravate it.
• The brain – The glucose helps to keep the blood sugar level up and the brain does not get tired. There is also plenty of iron in potatoes that will help the hemoglobin carry blood to the brain and keep it functioning properly.
• Carotenoids – Their presence helps prevent heart disease but again needs to be checked against diabetes that can be caused by the high sugar content.
All in all eating potatoes is good for as long as you are sensible. Quantities should not be too high and there should be no side effects. As with all diets it will be best to speak a doctor beforehand and also during if you feel that there is something wrong.