Can you eat potato raw?

In this article, I will answer the question: “Can you eat potato raw?” and I will explain the downsides of eating it raw and provide simple examples of how to cook it and consume it in a healthy manner.

Can you eat potato raw?

Yes, you can eat potato raw. However, just because you can eat it raw does not mean you should. Raw potatoes have a harsh flavor and a chalky, starchy texture that most people dislike. Although uncooked potatoes are not strictly harmful, they may cause digestive difficulties as they may contain more antinutrients and harmful compounds. 

What are the potential dangers related to raw potatoes?

Potatoes aren’t usually consumed raw. Here are some of the reasons for this:

Digestion Issues

If you consume raw potatoes, you might have a lot of intestinal issues.

Although eating one doesn’t seem to cause any problems, keep in mind that potatoes are high in carbs. Raw potatoes contain resistant starch, which our bodies and digestive systems aren’t able to break down. 

Potatoes’ starchy carbohydrates are practically indigestible unless they’re cooked, and they have no nutritious benefit. You may suffer uncomfortable cramps, bloating, and gas production since your body isn’t prepared to process raw potatoes.

Toxicity

Another reason to avoid eating raw potatoes is that they could be harmful.

Solanine, a natural toxin, is found in potatoes. Although all potatoes, raw or cooked, can contain solanine, solanine levels are higher in potatoes that have been exposed to sunshine and have already become green. 

Solanine levels in potatoes can be considerably reduced by baking, microwaving, or just heating them.

Solanine can induce diarrhea, nausea, headaches, and even death in excessive dosages (in extreme cases).

Pathogens and bacteria

Because no heat source is employed to eliminate pathogens, extra care must be taken to remove any outside pathogens (bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses) before ingestion. As potatoes have soil on their skin, if you choose to eat a potato raw, it must be well washed and ideally peeled to avoid ingesting bacteria from the dirt.

Nutrient Absorption Is Inhibited

Raw potatoes may also prevent your body from absorbing nutrients from other foods.

Antinutrients included in raw potatoes have been found to inhibit enzymes in the body. Antinutrients are predominantly found in potato peels, and they make it difficult to consume other foods.

Cooking potatoes reduces the antinutrient content of the vegetable substantially.

Are cooked potatoes healthy?

It’s probably not a good idea to eat raw potatoes on a frequent basis. However, eating cooked potatoes on a regular basis may not be the healthiest option. It depends on many parameters like the method of cooking and the quantity consumed.

Despite the fact that potatoes are technically vegetables, certain well-known health organizations do not include them in their healthy diet guidelines. The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, for example, explains that potatoes are high in carbohydrates that may have negative effects on blood sugar and insulin.

The carbs in potatoes are rapidly digested by the body, turning them to glucose, which fills the bloodstream. This causes a sudden rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, followed by a quick decline. This can make you feel hungry again quickly after your meal and cause you to overeat. Therefore, eating a lot of potatoes may lead to obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

What are the healthiest ways to cook potatoes?

Baked, Mashed, Roasted, Potato Salad, Au Gratin, Scalloped, and Grilled are just a few of the many ways potatoes can be prepared.

According to nutritionists, baking a potato is the greatest method for preparing it because it loses the smallest amount of nutrients.

Steaming is the next healthiest technique to prepare a potato, as it loses less nutrients than boiling. When you boil a peeled potato, the water-soluble nutrients seep out into the water, resulting in severe nutrient loss.

B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, and calcium are among the water-soluble components found in potatoes. When you boil a potato, up to 80% of the vitamin C in the vegetable can be lost. 

The same thing can happen if peeled potatoes are left to soak, which is a common strategy for preventing browning. However, you’ll still obtain some nutrients if you utilize the water from the potato boil as stock.

Healthy potato-based recipes

Here are some smart and easy ideas to enjoy potatoes while getting the most out of its nutrients:

Potato Chips Baked in the Oven

Use heart-healthy olive oil and seasonings to make a healthier version of potato chips. By slicing the potatoes on a mandoline slicer and baking or microwaving them, you can make crispy homemade chips.

French Fries Roasted in the Oven

All French fries don’t have to be deep-fried and smothered with salt. Simply chop russet potatoes into strips and toss them with a little olive oil and pepper on a baking pan.

Mashed potatoes (with Greek Yogurt)

Fill a big saucepan halfway with water and add the potatoes. Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Once the water has come to a boil, cook for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender.

Drain the potatoes and set them in a big bowl. Mash everything together thoroughly. Add Greek yogurt instead of heavy cream. Green onions, garlic powder, or another form of seasoning can be used to mask the yogurt’s sour flavor.

Healthy potato salad (mayo free)

If you’re on the fence regarding mayonnaise-free potato salads, this dish is a must-try. Tossed with a silky, fragrant, delectable olive oil dressing bursting with fresh herbs and a touch of mellow garlic, this dish combines tender, buttery red skin potatoes, crunchy celery, spicy red onions, and delicate scallions.

Potatoe soup

Make a hearty soup out of your standard baked potato during the cooler months. Add roasted red peppers and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese to give your soup extra flavor.

Roasted potatoes

Consider cooking roasted potatoes as a tasty side dish. They get lightly browned on the outside and stay tender on the inside when baked at a high temperature. Toss the potatoes in a high-unsaturated-fat oil, such as canola or olive oil, then season with herbs and spices of your choice.

Other FAQs about Potatoes that you may be interested in.

Can you eat potatoes with gout?

Why do I have to soak potatoes before frying? 

Why do I have to soak potatoes before frying?

Conclusion

In this article, I answered the question: “Can you eat potato raw?” and explained why this is not a good idea. Alternatively, I supplied information on the healthiest way to prepare potatoes, as well as simple and clever recipes for including them in a balanced diet. 

Feel free to contact me for any further request related to this subject.

References

[1] Can You Eat Raw Potatoes? Well It Depends… 

[2] The Risks of Eating Raw Potatoes | Livestrong.com 

[3] Potato nutrition facts & health benefits | Live Science 

[4] 8 Healthy Ways to Get Your Potato Fix 

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.