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Should you keep the skin on potatoes?

May 25, 1999

One of our co-workers posed the following question about spuds:

Should I keep the skins on potatoes before I cook them? I've heard that the skin has a lot of nutritional value.

[cont. from lifestyle]

If you want to eat potatoes with the skins intact, make sure to scrub them well, says Cindy Held of Hagerstown, a nutritionist licensed in Maryland and a registered dietitian. Mashed potatoes and potato salad can be made with unpeeled potatoes, though the texture may be more coarse, she says. You can bake a potato with the skin on and eat the whole thing.

The skin contains fiber, which keeps you regular, helps prevent some intestinal problems and may deter colon cancer, Held says. It also makes you feel more full without providing a lot of excess calories.

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A medium-sized potato contains one-third of the daily requirement for vitamin C plus some vitamin B, iron and potassium, according to information provided by National Potato Promotion Board. Potatoes also contain carbohydrates, which provide energy.

Potatoes cooked with the skin contain less calcium and more vitamin C than those cooked without, according to United States Department of Agriculture Nutrient Database for Standard Reference.

- Meg H. Partington, Staff Writer

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