Food Composition and Taste

OmNomNom!

Potatoes

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Potatoes are a common food that many people eat on a regular basis. From French fries to potato chips or even potato salads, this delicious food is a popular dish worldwide. However, most of the times, the nutrition contribution of this delectable good is overlooked. Yes, potatoes can be very delicious, but what makes them more special is what they’re made of.

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Some people fear that the potato is full of empty starch calories which tend some people to avoid eating them. But don’t worry! Potatoes contain a generous amount of fiber, vitamin C, several B-group vitamins, and potassium, along with carbohydrates, the primary source of energy for the body. And when baked or boiled, they are virtually a fat-free food.

Below, you can take a look at the different nutrient values of a potato based on its preparation.

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Preparation methods are able to change the chemical and nutrient contents of a potato because of things like temperature and cooking time. For example, water-soluble vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium leech out from the potatoes when boiled in water. However, if you boil a potato with its skin on, it greatly reduces the loss of the nutrients.

In addition to the preparation styles, the chemical content and nutritional value of a potato can also change depending on how it is stored and how long it is stored. For example at temperatures around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, enzymes break potato starches down into simpler sugar molecules, which result in a sweeter tasting potato.

In the end, potatoes are a good food to eat because it provides lots of energy for the body with carbohydrates (chemicals made of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen).  In addition to this, it is a relatively quick source of energy as well. This is due to the fact that the complexity of the molecule determines the carbohydrate’s function.  Potato starch is slightly more complex than sugar (the smallest and simplest carbohydrate which provides quick energy) but still simple enough that it provides the same function.  Lastly, a good thing to keep in mind is that an advantage of obtaining carbohydrates from potatoes is that you will be getting a considerable amount of micronutrients as well. So the next time you eat a potato, don’t feel guilty, but enjoy every bit of it.

 

 

Author: Jennifer Lee

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