Thursday, January 15, 2009

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Starts NOW!

“The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge” is a little segment I created that is dedicated to providing a glimpse into the many differences there are not only between foods, but also WITHIN a same food category itself. Check out these comparisons of a particular food: varieties, forms, brands, methods of preparation, etc… all with health in mind. Not all foods are created equal, even those in the same family!

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Post # 1:


BAD – white potatoes: peeled/no skin and boiled, mashed, fried or scalloped.

Peeling a potato will decrease its fiber by 50%! Throw that peeled potato into a pot of boiling water and a lot of nutrients, like magnesium, potassium and iron, are lost as they are pulled out into the water. The only things gained are a lot of fat and calories when peeled potatoes are used to make mashed and scalloped potatoes as well as fries, because often oil, butter, milk and cheese are used in the preparation.

BETTER- Baked Potato with the skin

Keeping the skin on the potato will double the fiber- a medium baked potato can have up to 4-5 grams of fiber vs. 2 grams in a peeled. Baking it with the skin on also saves its nutrients, such as potassium and vitamin C, and ensures that no additional fat and calories are added. To bring in even more vitamins, minerals and fiber without increasing the calories too much, try adding veggies with the potato, such as topping with salsa or broccoli. Or try my recipe for skillet potatoes, which has plenty of vegetables and is a nice way to ramp up the nutrition in white potatoes.

BEST- Baked Sweet Potato with the skin

Not only does a baked sweet potato have the most fiber of all the potatoes, it also tops the charts in the nutrients sector because it is a fantastic source of the antioxidant Vitamin A, as well as a bunch of other vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, folate and magnesium. To make the most out of this nutritional heavyweight, bake it with the skin on to retain its nutrients without adding any fat. A baked sweet potato alone has been ranked one of the healthiest foods out there. Use leftover baked sweet potatoes in the skillet potatoes recipe to give them even more of a nutritional boost.


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