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Potato consumption is often associated with weight gain. However, the potato is a food capable of provide many health benefits and to play an essential role in the fight against malnutrition around the world. The way they are cooked potatoes can significantly influence their nutritional value and health effects.

Baked Potatoes: nutritional values

In terms of macronutrients, potatoes are a high-quality food high carbohydrate content, relatively low protein intake (although high quality) and practically fat-free. The carbohydrates in potatoes are mainly two types of starches: amilopectinawhich the body can digest easily, and amilosio, a non-digestible starch (known as resistant starch). This resistant starch provides many of the health benefits of potatoes. Potatoes also contain a fair amount of fibremainly in the peel.

Potatoes have a high-quality protein content, thanks to amino acidi, the building blocks of proteins. Potatoes have particularly high levels of the essential amino acids lysine, methionine, threonine and tryptophan. Regarding their vitamin and mineral content, they represent a good source of iron e zincwhich the body needs to transport oxygen and support the immune response.

Cooking methods can greatly affect the macronutrient content of potatoes, especially their fat content. For example, a 100-gram serving of French fries contains 14 grams of fat. By comparison, the same serving of baked or boiled potatoes has only 0.1 grams of fat. Additionally, the way potatoes are prepared can result in the loss of micronutrients. For example, potatoes contain a significant amount of vitamin C. However, baked or microwaved potatoes have about twice as much as boiled or fried potatoes.

Nutritional values ​​per 175 g (one medium-sized baked potato)

  • Calorie: 161
  • Carbohydrates: 37 grams
  • Fiber: 3.8 grams
  • Proteins: 4.3 grams
  • Grassi: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 25% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Potassium: 26% del DV
  • Vitamin C: 27% of the DV
  • Folate: 12% del DV
  • Magnesium: 12% del DV

Health benefits

Potatoes are a particularly satiating food, which helps control appetite, promoting weight loss, contrary to common opinion. Several studies have shown that potatoes promote a greater feeling of fullness than other foods with the same carbohydrate content. This may be due to a molecule, protease inhibitor II (PI2), which can reduce appetite and thus limit food intake.

More specifically, PI2 blocks an enzyme that breaks down a hormone called cholecystokinin (CCK), which reduces hunger and increases feelings of satiety. In turn, CCK levels in the blood increase, leading to reduced food intake. Elevated levels of CCK also reduce the rate at which the stomach empties its contents, further promoting feelings of fullness.

Potatoes are a rich source of resistant starch and potassium. For this reason, they have a similar effect to dietary fibre: they lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity. Additionally, resistant starch helps reduce a food's glycemic index (GI). Foods classified as high glycemic index foods raise blood sugar levels, while low glycemic index foods promote a steady, controlled rise in blood sugar.

Calde the fredde? While freshly cooked potatoes are a high glycemic index food, refrigerated cooked potatoes have a low glycemic index. This is due to a process known as starch retrogradation, which causes starches to become harder to digest when cold. In addition to temperature, cooking methods also affect the resistant starch content of potatoes. Research shows that baked potatoes have a higher resistant starch content than boiled ones. For example, one study determined that 90 minutes after a meal, participants' blood sugar levels were lower if they consumed baked potatoes compared to mashed potatoes, French fries, and white bread.

So, Consuming baked potatoes can help control blood sugar levels.

Baked potatoes: contraindications

Although potatoes are a nutritious food with many health benefits, they also have potential drawbacks. Baking potatoes – or cooking them at high temperatures – can lead to acrylamide productiona chemical that forms when you cook starchy foods at high temperatures, which can have a toxic effect on the organism. To reduce the formation of acrylamide in baked potatoes, you need to cook them for less time at lower temperatures. Alternatively, boil or steam the potatoes. These cooking methods do not tend to produce acrylamide.

Can sprouted potatoes be eaten?

The right condiments

Baked potatoes can be a good nutritious side dish or one rich in fat or calories, depending on the seasonings. Butter, sour cream, fatty cheeses and bacon are some of the most common condiments that flavor and enrich baked potatoes. While many of these foods have their own nutritional benefits, they tend to significantly increase the fat content of potatoes. Opt for low-fat alternatives, such as Greek yogurtlow-fat cheese and chopped vegetables.

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