Eat to live! Don't Live to Eat

Sugar in Potatoes – Did you know?

2015-03-18 10.34.17For a good part of the winter I haven’t eaten or made many potatoes aside from the potato used to top Shepherd’s Pie and even at that, I’ve used the healthier “mashed cauliflower” many times in place of potatoes. For the past two weeks I’ve used potatoes in a few dishes since I’ve been sort of craving them; I assume the craving is due to low B-vitamins and potassium or other vitamins & minerals that my body needs. Using different varieties recently brought curiosity as to which potato has less starch and sugars so I decided to look it up. What I found urges me to share it with you so here we are!

There are to many varieties of potatoes to list here but I’ll highlight the most common potatoes. You probably know that some potatoes are great for baking and some are not and others are great for boiling or roasting while the baking potato is not. Well, it turns out that:

  • Russet – medium-large – baking, mashing, roasting, frying – have a medium sugar content = medium carbohydrate
  • White – small-medium usually – mashing, boiling, roasting, frying, salad – low sugar content = low carbohydrate
  • Red/aka “new potatoes” – small-medium also – mashing, boiling, roasting, grilling, salad – medium sugar content = medium carbohydrate content
  • Yellow/as in Yukon Gold – roasting, mashing, grilling, frying, salad – medium sugar content = medium carbohydrate
  • Blue/purple – small – roasting, boiling, baking, grilling, salad – low sugar content = low carbohydrate
  • Fingerlings – tiny-small – roasting, baking, boiling, grilling, salad – low-medium sugar content = low-medium carbohydrate
  • Petite – small, colorful – boiling, salads, roasting – low sugar content = low carbohydrate

Other useful information:

When potatoes are stored in warmer temperatures, above 45°f, the starches begin to turn to sugar.

They are a decent source of fiber, especially sweet potatoes which also have a higher sugar content.

You can reduce the starch by soaking cut potatoes in cold water and changing the water a few times. This will only work with cut chunks of potatoes as there is more surface area. Discard the water and dry the potatoes before roasting, grilling or frying.

Potatoes, in their natural state, are naturally low in sodium; to keep the sodium low, eliminate or use very sparingly added table salt.

I hope this has helped you in some way. If you’re watching your sugar intake, choose the potatoes with the lower sugar content and if you’re going to boil, roast or grill them use the pre-soak method to help reduce the starches. When shopping just think, thin skin, thin sugar…maybe that will help?!

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