In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Are potatoes healthier than grains?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of grains and potatoes.
Read on to know why potatoes are considered healthier than grains.
Are potatoes healthier than grains?
Yes, potatoes are healthier than grains. While both potatoes and grains are healthy additions to your diet, potatoes have a better nutritional profile than grains provided that you do not stuff them up with fat and calorie-rich toppings like butter and sour cream.
Potatoes are mostly collated with grains due to their carbohydrate levels. Potatoes also consist of fiber, resistant starch, and crucial micronutrients that people need more of in their diet. Therefore, potatoes can supply a better diet quality as compared to grains.
It has been found that eating one serving of non-fried potatoes instead of refined grains can support people in fulfilling more dietary recommendations.
Why are potatoes a healthier option?
Potatoes are a healthy option when cooked simply and included in a low glycemic index diet. This way, potatoes can be a valuable addition to controlling diabetes. Potatoes are also loaded with vitamins and minerals.
It has been found that when cooked without any add-ons, potatoes can make us feel more full for a long time than other carbohydrate sources such as grains, and hence may be beneficial for managing weight.
When potatoes are cooked and cooled, as in potato salad or potato leftovers, some of the carbohydrate contents are transformed into resistant starch.
Resistant starch is a fiber that allows maintaining a healthy gastrointestinal tract and blood glucose levels. It provides the benefits of both soluble and insoluble fiber and results in lesser flatulence as compared to other varieties of fiber.
The quantity of resistant starch in potatoes can be improved by cooking them a day before and storing them in the refrigerator for a night. You can reheat the potatoes prior to serving.
Just like soluble fiber, the resistant starch present in potatoes works as a prebiotic, food for good microbes in the large intestine that boosts gastrointestinal health. Just as insoluble fiber, it can put a stop to constipation and IBS.
To obtain the maximum benefits of potatoes, eat them with their peel and select colorful varieties, for instance, purple potatoes. The more colorful the potatoes, the more antioxidants they contain. They manage to keep more of their nutrients when steamed or microwaved.
Furthermore, the peel of the potato can retain approximately 12x more increased antioxidants as compared to the meat. Therefore, next time you eat potatoes, eat them without removing their peels.
Whereas grains consist of dietary fiber and complex carbohydrates that are not fully digested by our system.
Though grains are also rich in multiple nutrients that include several B vitamins (B1, B2, B3, and B9), and minerals (potassium, magnesium, and iron), the presence of dietary fiber in grains as opposed to resistant starch in potatoes, make them a less healthy option.
What is the amount of phytic acid in grains and potatoes?
Grains are among the rich sources of phytic acid, but they possess variable quantities based on the soil and cultivating conditions.
Wheat bran, rice bran, cereal germ and wild rice are richest in the phytic acid content, ranging from 1-9 g in 100 g of raw grains.
Since every grain has a distinct weight, 100 g varies from 2/3 cups of raw wild rice to almost 2 cups of raw wheat bran.
Potatoes have almost the exact phytic acid concentration as white rice and oats, providing up to 1 g per 100 g of raw potatoes. However, sweet potatoes do not possess any phytic acid.
To conclude, potatoes have more vitamins and minerals in comparison to grains, but when you use add-ons like butter, sour cream and salt, the digits of kilojoules and grams in a baked potato rises greatly.
To keep them healthy, restrict the use of these add-ons and go for low-calorie, more healthy condiments, such as garlic or olive oil. Consider nutrient reservation as well.
Grains have a more extended shelf life as compared to potatoes and they hold their nutrients for a more extended time after harvesting, so select freshly-picked potatoes whenever doable to maximize their nutritional value.
Anyhow, whichever food you select, be sure to pick the “healthiest” one even if it seems insignificant, like choosing brown or partially boiled rice over white rice or white potatoes over russet potatoes, and you will be better off.
Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.
In this brief guide, we have provided an answer to the question, “Are potatoes healthier than grains?” with an in-depth analysis of the nutritional composition of potatoes and grains. We also have elaborated on why potatoes are more healthy than grains.