Did you know, nobody in India even knew of potatoes until the seventeenth century! That’s right, the Portuguese introduced us to this wonder veggie and the face of Indian cooking changed forever. In Bengal, the vegetable became so popular and novel that they started including it in biryani. The Mughal Khansamas also experimented with an array of delicacies using the tuber. However, potatoes have been under immense scrutiny in the world of health and nutrition off late. If you are on a weight loss diet, you may have heard your peers and some experts to cut down on potato. This is because potatoes are high in carbohydrates. Carbohydrates metabolise faster and leave your tummy empty again. However, the bad rep is kind of unfair; potatoes are also a treasure trove of health. They help fight inflammation, calm nerves and lower blood pressure. They are abundantly loaded with potassium, magnesium B vitamins, vitamin C and copper. Potatoes could also do wonders for your blood circulation. Guess what, if eaten in moderation, potatoes are not even that bad for your waistline.
If you love potatoes and want to include them in your weight loss diet, here are some tips that may come in handy:
1. Try to avoid deep-fried potatoes, French fries, potato wedges and packaged chips. Store-bought chips are replete with trans-fats, empty calories and cholesterol. Eating only a packet may add up to 170 calories to your daily calorie count. So practice moderation!
2. The way you cook your potatoes also plays a determining role in weight management. Deep-fried potatoes may topple your recommended calorie intake. It is advised you bake your potatoes, boil or steam them.
3. Potato peels are packed with a great amount of fibre. Fibre stays in your system for long. If you feel full for a longer spell, you would naturally binge less. You can have baby potatoes or red-skinned potatoes with their peels on; they are yummy and teeming with nutrition.
4. Potatoes are super versatile in nature. If you can use them for pakodas, you can also include them in healthy salads. Boil them, shred them and make an antioxidant-rich salad. Add other high protein and fibre foods to the salad and enjoy the wholesome mix.
5. According to the book ‘Healing Foods’ by DK Publishing House, In Korea, purple potatoes is eaten as a way to lose weight. Shakarkandi or sweet potatoes are also packed with good quality fibres; you can boil them and enjoy it with a sprinkle of chaat masala. So, pick your potato wisely.