Advertisement

Maybe spuds aren't so bad after all

March 03, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

andrear@herald-mail.com

The low-carb diets so in vogue these days portray spuds as duds, but the United States Potato Board argues for the healthfulness of potatoes.

One medium potato is an excellent source of potassium, rich in vitamin C and a good source of fiber for only 100 calories, with no fat and cholesterol, according to information from the Potato Board. And the body needs carbohydrates such as those found in potatoes for energy, said Lynn F. Little, family and consumer sciences educator for the Maryland Cooperative Extension in Washington County.

"We do need some carbohydrates," she said. "It's all part of a well-balanced diet."

Moderation is key to keeping topped baked potatoes from adding unwanted pounds to waistlines, said Little, who also writes a weekly column for The Herald-Mail. Weight watchers can avoid excess calories by steering clear of such high-fat toppings as butter and regular sour cream, she said.

Advertisement

An endless variety of both regular and light potato toppings can turn the versatile veggie into a main dish for any meal.

The Potato Board suggests baked potato toppings that range from low-fat cheeses to hearty meats. The Board suggests creating a Baked Potato Reuben by topping a spud with corned beef, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing and Swiss cheese. Or make an Athenian Baker by topping a potato with tomato, olives, red onion, oregano, feta cheese and plain yogurt, recommends the Potato Board at www.potatohelp.com on the Web.

Steamed broccoli and light sour cream are popular low-fat toppings, as are Mexican-style spuds adorned with salsa and black beans. Meat eaters might enjoy piling their potatoes high with chili or ham strips. Children also can whip up their own potatoes with toppings limited only by their imagination. Toppings for a kids' potato bar might include shredded cheese, cottage cheese, flaked tuna, bacon bits, plain yogurt, low-fat sour cream and raw vegetables.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|