Are potatoes rich in fiber? Is it a healthy food? What’s the best way to cook them? What about sweet potatoes?
Fiber needs per day
We need about 30 grams of dietary fiber per day.
Unfortunately, most people consume less than half. About 95% of the Americans don’t consume the recommended fiber amount.
As dietary fiber is very important for our health, try to consume as much as you can.
If you consume at least 14 grams of fiber per 1000 kcal, you’ll benefit the most.
Adequate amounts of fiber have linked to decreased weight gain. So better eat food rich in fiber, in order to lose weight.
Luckily, all plants contain fiber. Eating legumes, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits will help you consume all the fiber you need.
Eating a high fiber diet is easy.
Dietary fiber content of potatoes
According to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of potatoes contain about 1.7-4 grams of fiber. That’s 14% DV (Daily Value).
So, potatoes can help us meet our daily fiber needs.
The fiber content depends mainly on the variety, and the cooking method.
Furthermore, potatoes are a very satiating food. They keep us full for a longer time. Even pasta or rice don’t have the same effect. So, according to scientists, potatoes may help us maintain a healthy weight (1, 2).
Keep in mind that this effect is greater for boiled and mashed potatoes. On the other hand, French fries aren’t so satiating…
Fiber in French fries
French fries are actually a good source of fiber. They may contain more than 2 grams of fiber per 100 gr.
Frying tends to increase the resistant starch content of potatoes (1). Resistant starches can’t be digested.
Moreover, they have powerful health benefits, such as helping to low blood sugar levels, and improved insulin sensitivity.
Additionally, resistant starches keep us full for a longer time.
Hence, homemade French fries may be a healthy and tasteful meal.
Above all, the healthiest choice is cooking French fries with an air fryer, in order to avoid the excess oil.
Fiber in mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes have less fiber content. They have about 1.3 grams of fiber per 100 gr.
That’s because mashed potatoes have absorbed moisture, so they weight more. That’s all.
When we buy potatoes, they have little moisture. The excess moisture has been removed, in order to keep fresh for longer. For this reason, the moisture content has gone from 30% to less than 8%.
While cooking the moisture content is highly increased.
Amount of fiber in whole baked potatoes
Another great way to cook potatoes is by baking them. This way, we avoid the extra calories of vegetable oil.
Fiber in baked potato without skin
As a rule of thumb, the skin of vegetables and fruits has the most nutrients. Potatoes are no exception.
The fiber content of baked potatoes without the skin is 1.5 grams per 100 gr.
Fiber in baked potato with skin
Contrary, baked potatoes with the skin has a slightly greater fiber content. They have 2.2 grams of fiber per 100 gr.
How much fiber in potato chips?
Surprisingly, potato chips are high in dietary fiber. They may contain up to 4.8 grams of fiber per 100 gr.
Furthermore, many commercial packages claim to have 1 gram of fiber per 1 oz.
So, are they a healthy option? Probably not. Potato chips are packed with calories, containing only a few nutrients.
Why should prefer homemade chips?
Moreover, commercial potato chips tend to be high in salt and saturated fats.
The first cause for dying early is consuming excess salt, second only to not eating enough fruits (3).
Hence, the American Heart Association (AHA) limits sodium intake to 2,300 mg per day. Although less is even better. For sure, sodium is important for good health. It seems 1,500 mg of sodium per day is enough though.
Additionally, better avoid excess consumption of saturated fats.
According to the American Heart Association, we shouldn’t consume more than 5% of calories from saturated fat. That’s only 120 kcal or 13 grams per 2,000 diet (4).
High amounts of saturated fats can increase LDL cholesterol, the risk of heart disease, and stroke.
Remember…Better prefer homemade potato chips…
How much fiber in sweet potato
Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber, as well. 100 gr of raw sweet potatoes contain 3.1 grams of fiber.
Furthermore, the fiber content depends on the cooking method. No matter what, 100 gr of sweet potatoes are high in fiber:
- fried (6 gr),
- chips (8.8),
- boiled without skin (2.5 gr),
- boiled in skin (3.3 gr),
- baked without skin (1.5 gr),
- baked in skin (3.3 gr).
- University of Surrey-Department of Nutritional Sciences: Starchy Carbohydrates in a Healthy Diet: The Role of the Humble Potato
- University of Otago-Department of Human Nutrition: Subjective Satiety Following Meals Incorporating Rice, Pasta and Potato
- PMC: A comparative risk assessment of burden of disease and injury attributable to 67 risk factors and risk factor clusters in 21 regions, 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2010.
- American Heart Association: Saturated Fat