Health Reasons To Cook Potatoes

Sack of fresh potatoes

Three Health Reasons To Cook Potatoes

Following are three important health benefits to get you in the kitchen to cook potatoes. Following that is a great potato recipe for cheesy potato skins.
Fresh Potatoes

1. High Blood Pressure Control

Potatoes are high in potassium, and foods rich in potassium tend to keep high blood pressure under control. Another added benefit to eating potatoes is feeling fuller longer which can help keep weight under control.

2. Help Diabetes

Diabetics can benefit from eating potatoes for several reasons. The vitamin C in potatoes is known for helping regulate sugar levels in the blood. Potatoes also contain complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates must be broken down before being absorbed into the bloodstream.

3. Ease the Quease

Eating potatoes can calm a queasy stomach due to the vitamin B6 content in the potato’s skin. It is good for eliminating nausea.

Selecting Your Potatoes

To select the best type of potato for roasting or using in a gratin, look for a medium-starch, all-purpose potato with white or golden skin. White Rose or Yukon Gold are good examples. If you’re not sure if a potato is “all purpose,” an easy way to find out is to slice the raw potato with a knife. If the knife is coated with a creamy, white substance or the potato clings to the knife, it’s a starchy potato, best for baking. If not, it’s a waxy potato which will hold its shape after cooking for dishes like potato salads. If it’s somewhere in between, it can be considered all-purpose.

We’ll help you get cooking some potatoes, if you’re so inclined to try this tasty potato recipe.

Cheesy Potato Skins

Cook potatoes.
Cook potatoes.

2 tablespoons grated fat-free Parmesan cheese
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 baked potatoes (cook potatoes in microwave to speed things up)
2 egg whites, slightly beaten or egg substitute equivalent to one egg
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded, reduced fat part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Combine Parmesan cheese and seasonings. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half. Remove pulp, leaving 1/4-inch thick shells. Cut lengthwise into wedges. Place on baking sheet. Brush with egg whites. Sprinkle with cheese mixture. Bake 20 minutes. Sprinkle with shredded Mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is melted.

Serve cheesy potatoes with salsa if desired.

Recipe makes eight servings.

Nutrition information per serving: Calories:  90; Protein:  5g; Total Fat:  8g; Carbohydrate:  14g’ Cholesterol:  5mg; Sodium:  215mg; Fiber:  2g
Exchanges:  1 Starch/Bread, 1/2 Lean Meat

Potato Cooking Tips

  1. To bake potatoes more quickly, boil them for 10 to 15 minutes, and then poke them with a fork and bake.
  2. Instant potatoes are good to use to thicken stews and soups.
  3. To improve the crispness of french fried potatoes, soak the raw potatoes in cold water for about 30 minutes before cooking.
  4. Make sure to store your potatoes in a cool, dry place to minimize sprout growth.

See also: Cooking Tips

Author: Jeni

Certified by the Professional School of Fitness and Nutrition in March, 1995; honored for exemplary grades. Practicing fitness and nutrition for over 20 years. Featured in the Feb. 1994 issue of "Shape" magazine. Featured in Collage in the spring issue of 1995 Low fat recipe's published in Taste of Home, Quick Cooking, and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, among others. September, 2001: Featured in "Winning The War on Cholesterol" By Rodale Publishing

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