Cronometer for carbs and fiber.
University of Sydney website for GI and GL
Are Potatoes the Healthiest Carb?
There are many different aspect to health.
Let’s look at these individually…
It doesn’t get much less processed that digging a potato up from the ground and giving it a wash.
So they definitely win on that front!
From my table above potatoes contain significantly less carbs.
Glycemic Index + Glycemic Load
And they don’t take into consideration that if you eat the carbs, they all enter your blood stream at some point.
Essentially GI indicates how dramatically a particular food will spike your blood glucose levels.
Which leads to the whole insulin being released, blood sugar crashing roller coaster.
From a GI perspective, potatoes don’t look good.
The high number means they will spike blood sugar quickly.
However when we look at GL which takes regular serving sizes into consideration, potatoes are lower (so a better choice) than rice or pasta.
But not as low as whole wheat sourdough.
The other limitation of GI and GL is they look at food in isolation. Not in the context of a whole meal.
Eating fiber, fat or protein with your carbs has a massive impact on how quickly they are digested. And how quickly they spike blood sugar (ie. the GI).
Spuds with their skins on contribute almost as much fiber as whole wheat sourdough.
Potatoes contain decent amounts of Vitamin C!
Spuds are great from an easy to digest perspective being both naturally gluten-free and low FODMAP.
So Are Potatoes the Healthiest Carb?
For me, the healthiest option is to skip all these high carb foods.
However, if you are going to eat carbs, spuds are a great choice because they’re a whole unprocessed food.
The actual amounts of carbs are low compared with other options.
Plus as my Irishman is always telling me, there’s Vitamin C!
Do I eat potatoes?
Only a bite or two here and there.
I’ve never been a huge potato lover so it’s easy for me to say no to spuds.
I’d rather keep my blood sugar stable.
If I am eating carbs, I’d prefer the taste (and nutrition profile!) of broccoli or cauliflower.
But I’m happy to cook them for my boys.
What about you?
Are you a potato fan?
I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below :)
More on healthy eating
- 3 Easy Ways to Make Pasta Healthier
- 20 Best Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
- Are ‘Natural’ Sweeteners Healthy?
- Can Eating Healthier Change Your Genetics?
- Butter Love: 6 reasons the most delicious fat is actually healthy
- Can Healthy Eating Influence Cancer?
Happy St Patrick’s Day!
Hope you have some fun in the kitchen (with or without your spuds)