The potato has been much maligned in recent years, fried and battered into chips, shaved into crisps, usurped by noodles and rice, its reputation as a beneficial food in the diet is under assault from all sides. A poll might even suggest that most people believe the potato is fattening. Well it is not, unless it is fried.
A 200 gram or eight oz serving of potato, boiled, steamed, baked whatever = 160 calories or so, or 1/20th of a daily intake. Mashed with butter, milk, virgin olive oil hardly doubles that. The equations change dramatically with cooking. The same amount of crisps would be 500 calories. And if the oil is not hot enough, then the potato does not seal properly and will saturate yet more fat.
In practice the potato is a reliable alkaline standby, that old student baked potato, a cliche but none the worse for it. Potato is just 0.8% fat. It has as much vitamin c as a glass of tomato juice and as much iron as an egg, according to Lindsey Bareham’s encyclopaedic recipe book In Praise of the Potato. It is also a significant source of the metabolsing vitamin b6 and potassium.
It compares suprisingly perhaps better than rice, or white rice at least which loses much of its virtues in milling and nutritionally speaking is really just a makeweight filler.