Potatoes have gotten a bad rap. But the truth is, they are actually a rich source of some essential nutrients. Now, I am not telling you french fries are healthy. But it isn’t the potato I am blaming. And let’s not forget about moderation here…
Nutrients in 1 medium (red) potato :
Vitamins & Minerals:
I find that people are often surprised that potatoes are a good source of several essential vitamins and minerals. Take a look at the nutrients supplied by just 1 medium red potato (2.25-3.25 inches in diameter)
- Vitamin B6- 0.362 mg (~28% of adult RDA)
- Vitamin C- 18.3 mg (~24% of adult RDA)
- Potassium- 969 mg (~20% of adult RDA)
- Magnesium- 47 mg (~15% of adult female RDA)
- Traces of calcium & iron
Now, let’s make sure we address the issue of carbohydrates. Because it is a genuine concern.
There is little question that those following a standard american diet (SAD) are obtaining excessive amounts of carbohydrates in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages, cereals, breads, energy bars, and other processed foods. Adding potatoes to the mix might not be the best bet for this group. But switching from refined & processed carbs to ones straight from the ground with naturally-occurring vitamins & minerals? That’s an easy decision- choose potatoes.
Now there are also people out there following low carbohydrate and extremely low carbohydrate diets who may be jeopardizing their health as well. I am looking at you extreme SIBO diet folks! Carbohydrates are important for energy, thyroid health, sex hormone production, metabolism, mood, and more.
At 34 grams of carbs per medium red potato, these delicious nuggets are considered a decent source of carbohydrates. Combining them with foods rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber, can help slow any blood sugar surges that may occur from consuming simple carbohydrates on their own.
SIBO & Potatoes
Potatoes can be an excellent source of carbohydrates for individuals following SIBO diets. They are low in FODMAPs and get absorbed higher in the small intestine. Since bacteria are typically overgrown in the lower part of the small intestine, this means that the carbohydrates in potatoes are less likely to get to the bacteria and feed them. The result- less symptoms!
However, this does not mean that they are always well-tolerated.
Here are some reasons why potatoes may not be tolerated by some individuals with SIBO:
- Concurrent yeast overgrowth
- Sensitivity to nightshades
- Overall reduced carbohydrate tolerance
- Excess resistant starch (if served as leftovers)
If you are struggling with symptoms of fatigue, hormonal imbalance, and thyroid disruption triggered by adopting a low carbohydrate diet & find yourself unable to tolerate more carbs- let’s talk! Schedule a free 10-minute consult to see if we are a good fit for working together.
- 8 medium gold or red potatoes, quartered
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (can sub avocado oil, ghee, or butter)
- 3 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary (about 2 long sprigs)
- Salt & pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenhiet.
- In a 9x13" baking dish, add potatoes, olive oil, and rosemary.
- Give the pan a shake or stir.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. Give another quick stir.
- Bake for 30-45 minutes (depending on potato size) or until easily pierce with a fork, giving pan a shake or stir about half way through cooking.
 United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database. Accessed Aug 11, 2016.