In this lifetime, I don’t believe that we should stick to eating the same things. There’s a whole array of diets and food trends out there waiting to be discovered. Some say being Asian has doomed us to our preference for rice and noodles, but this shouldn’t be the case.
Numerous studies have shown that consuming white rice isn’t good for our health overall. It’s been identified to be the culprit behind the surge of diabetes in this part of the world. And it’s easy to know why: an individual serving of rice is equivalent to 10 teaspoons of sugar! Just imagine how many teaspoons that is if we had 3 servings of rice in one day, or even worse….unlirice!
For a while, I opted to eat brown rice. This was nutritionally better in terms of having higher fiber and some vitamins, but the sugar content in brown rice is still the same as white.
Then, further reading and my food coverages in this blog led me to discover the humble superfood that’s US potatoes.It wasn’t hard making it part of my daily diet since I LOVE potatoes!! (that’s all caps there). And it wasn’t hard substituting my rice staple for the humble tuber because it’s so versatile and can be incorporated in a lot of dishes. The good thing is that it makes you feel full longer.
I get a kick out of making my own baked potatoes at home now, especially with this delectable cheesy sauce. Omit the cheese if you want a healthier option, and retaining the skin is highly recommended.
This potato & chorizo soup is really yummy. My favorite US potatoes are such amazing tummy fillers and you can include them in a lot of heartwarming, comfort dishes like minestrone, skirt steak, grilled chicken or classic fish like salmon.
Of course, there’s also good ol’ potato salad, roesti with sausages and Spanish tortilla.
For purposes of comparison, a medium baked potato with skin on is about 160 calories while a cup of cooked white rice has 205 calories. Both have the same 4.3 grams of protein, but baked potato has the edge since it contains 3.8 grams of fiber, as opposed to rice which only has 0.6 grams.
Here are the other interesting, useful health facts I’ve unearthed about US potatoes in the course of my research which led me to make it a substantial part of my diet:
1. Potatoes with skin on have more potassium than a banana, spinach or broccoli. Potassium is an important mineral that helps maintain normal blood pressure. As such, increased consumption may lessen the risk of stroke and heart attack.
2. Potatoes are a potent antioxidant which will help you look young, feel young.Aside from having a variety of good phytonutrients (flavonoids, carotenoids etc.), the high 45% vitamin C content in US potatoes is said to prevent cellular damage and assist in collagen production, among a host of other benefits.
3. Potatoes are cholesterol-free and have zero saturated fat, believe it or not. This is attested no less by the the 2010 Dietary guidelines crafted no less by the US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in cholesterol and saturated fat may reduce its risk.
4. Potatoes are heart-friendly because of their high fiber content. Furthermore, it’s a rich source of Vitamin B6 which is an essential component of red blood cells and is required for the synthesis of hemoglobin. Adequate supply of Vitamin B6 also helps reduce levels of homocysteine, of which high levels have been implicated in heart disease and stroke.
5. No less than the very best athletes practice potato nutrition for their optimum performance and health. Potatoes are rich in Vitamin B6 which is important for the breakdown of glycogen deemed essential for sportsmen’s endurance. The sodium and potassium found in potatoes can also restore electrolyte balance which is crucial in preventing cramps and ensuring that the athletes’ body function at their peak.