• Stephanie Dorfman, MS, RD

Unravelling Thoughts on Potatoes - Should I Eat This?

Updated: Apr 21

Why are potatoes always the runner up to sweet potatoes when choosing a "healthy" option? Have you ever chosen sweet potatoes as a side over regular potatoes in the name of "health?" Don't get me wrong, I LOVEEEEEE sweet potatoes - but lets give the regular potatoes some love today and unravel this food rule.

Before we get into it - remember the answer is always* yes! You should eat this food!

*Always being defined as: ALL FOODS (yes every single food item) can and should be enjoyed UNLESS you are allergic, intolerant, or truly do not like the food*⁠


Picture This...

It’s your weekly grocery shopping trip at your local supermarket, and you make your way to the produce aisle. You stop at the potato section and without hesitation, you grab a bag of sweet potatoes because they are “healthier” and “better” for you. As you leave the supermarket, you eye the red potatoes, the brown potatoes, the purple potatoes (yes those exist), one last time wishing you could just eat a potato that is white on the inside instead. You remind yourself that you chose the sweet potatoes because all other potatoes are “too carby and unhealthy.” Does any of this sound familiar??


Why do people think like this?

Since low-carb diets are nearly impossible to sustain in the long run, diet culture created a new rule...“not all carbs are bad.” This means that you can eat some carbohydrates like berries and quinoa, but foods like potatoes are deemed “bad” for you. Makes a lot of sense right...….SURE DOESN'T!


Not only does this make no sense, since all carbohydrates provide us with nutrients that provide our bodies with energy, and none are better than the other, but it also promotes restrictive and unhealthy thoughts about delicious foods! You HAVE PERMISSION to choose freely and happily what carbs you want to eat because they taste good and they will make you feel good!


Potatoes 101

Potatoes are starchy tubers that help complete the perfect dinner plate. Depending on which potato you eat, you consume a variety of different vitamins and minerals. But besides their nutrient density, you should also eat them because they are very tasty!


You can choose from Russet, sweet, red, white, and Yukon potatoes. It’s a carb lover’s dream!


Many people say no to most potatoes except for sweet potatoes because they were told by diet culture they are healthier and better for them but is that really the case?

Let’s compare sweet and white potatoes; according to a comparison chart from Healthline, white potatoes and sweet potatoes are very similar in their caloric, protein, carbohydrate, fiber, calcium, and magnesium content. They only differ because sweet potatoes have more vitamin C and vitamin A, but white potatoes provide us with more potassium. They both have different nutritional benefits!


As you can see from a nutrition standpoint, there’s nothing “better” about sweet potatoes compared to other potatoes. Both are nutritious and provide us with plenty of benefits! But regardless of the nutrient content, you should choose a potato to eat that makes YOU feel good, satisfied, and is what you want to eat at that moment.


Should I Eat This?

Yes, of course! Eat the potatoes! Sweet, Idaho, red, purple, mashed, fried, however you prefer! If you want to eat potatoes rather than sweet potatoes, GO FOR IT! All potatoes deserve a chance to be put on our plate if that is what we want to eat!


You can cut any potato into cubes or wedges and pop them in the oven to roast with your favorite spices, bake or fry them into fries, and even cook them in the microwave for a few minutes for a quick dinner! Potatoes are the perfect side dish to end off your meal with satisfaction!


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