Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Potatoes Are the Best Low-Cost High-Potassium Source

October 18th, 2011 | Posted in: Health & Nutrition

Looking for affordable, nutritious fresh food? Look to the potato.

New research from the University of Washington demonstrates that potatoes offer more nutritional “bang” for your buck.  According to the research, potatoes offer better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables.

Better yet —  white potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit. Why does that matter? Well, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines indicate that American diets are lacking in potassium (they recommend 4,700 mg a day) because of the amount of processed foods Americans consume. And potassium plays an important role in brain, kidney and heart function, cardiovascular health, maintaining blood sugar levels and healthy blood pressure. As an electrolyte, potassium helps regulate fluid levels in your body. It also helps to prevent muscle cramps, to build strong muscles and ensure that energy is efficiently used by your muscles.

The researchers examined data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003-4) and also discovered that individuals who consumed potatoes (baked, boiled and roasted) had higher intakes of vitamin C and consumed more total vegetables in a day compared to those who did not consume potatoes.

A medium-size skin-on potato contains 620 g of potassium, has only 110 calories per serving, is free of sodium, fat and cholesterol, and provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent).

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