Potatoes are one of the most popular food crops in the world, nourishing us for thousands of years.
Produced by more than a hundred countries around the world, potatoes are a relatively affordable source of fiber, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals.
|Carbohydrate (g)||Cooking Method (flesh and skin)|
Some might say potatoes have a bad reputation for being high in carbohydrates which might contribute to weight gain.
That’s because most of the potatoes we know of are fried into chips, tater tots, hash browns, and french fries!
Deep-fried potatoes attribute most of their caloric and carbohydrate content to the cooking oil.
Boiled or baked potatoes that have no added cooking fat are a healthy, nutritious snack loaded with vitamins and minerals.
In addition, the carbohydrates in potatoes including the skin are complex carbohydrates.
It is the complex carbs that provide fuel to our bodies and slowly release energy throughout the day.
Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source.
In their absence, our body will generate energy from protein and fat.
Our brain and red blood cells need carbohydrates.
The recommended daily intake of carbs is 225g to 325g.
In contrast, a boiled potato has 20g of carbs, less than 10% of the recommended amount.
While potatoes grow in a variety of different sizes, the carbohydrate content in potatoes varies depending on their weight or size.
In addition, the cooking method can also change the carbohydrate content in potatoes.
Potatoes can be boiled, steamed, fried, grilled, baked, or microwaved, with or without the skin.
It is recommended to leave the skin on; the skin contains most of the fiber, about half of the entire potato!
Potatoes are often cooked with heavy butter, cream, milk, fats, and oil.
For best nutrition, boiling or baking potatoes plain might be more suited to a low-carb, low-fat diet.
Are potato skins keto-friendly?
A fried skin of a medium potato contains 22g of carbohydrates, almost half the amount recommended on a typical keto diet.
The exact amount required to achieve ketosis tends to vary by individual.
With recommended carbohydrate intakes ranging from 10 to 60 grams per day, it depends on lifestyle, activity level, and general health. (Source)
Keto dieters who are more active might be able to eat more carbohydrates compared to people with sedentary lifestyles.
Potato skins can be keto-friendly if you carefully limit the amount of carbohydrate intake a day and stay within limits.
However, as a single skin from a medium-sized potato can give you almost the recommended carb intake for the day, it might be best to lay off potatoes if on a low or no-carb diet.
What is the nutritional value of potato skins?
In addition, according to the USDA food database, 100g of baked potato skins contain:
It is recommended to cook potatoes with the skin on to preserve the high nutrient content contained in skins.
Based on the USDA data, a whole potato with the skin on:
- Provides an excellent source (≥ 20% of the daily value) of vitamin C
- Provides a good source (≥ 10% of the daily value) of potassium
- Provides a good source (≥ 10% of the daily value) vitamin B6
- Low (≥ 140 mg/serving) in sodium and cholesterol
- Fat-free (≥ 0.5 g fat/serving)
Scrub the potatoes thoroughly with a vegetable sponge or brush to remove any dirt, sprouts or blemishes.
Potatoes are tubers that grow underground whose skins might contain contaminants from the soil from which they grow.
The concentration of potassium is highest in the skin and just beneath it.
Potatoes have the highest potassium content of some of the most consumed vegetables like:
|Food Source||Potassium (mg)|
|Potato (1,5.3 oz)||620|
|Broccoli (1 med stalk)||460|
|Banana (1 med)||450|
|Sweet potato (1 med)||440|
|Tomato (1 med)||340|
|Mushrooms (5 meds)||300|
|Orange (1 med)||250|
|Cantaloupe (1/4 med)||240|
|Grapefruit (1/2 med)||160|
Potato skins account for one-third of the overall weight of potatoes.
While a 5.3-ounce potato contains 110 calories, the skins alone contain 37 calories.
A large potato weighs 11.5 ounces and contains 238 calories, with the skin of this potato containing between 24 to 36 calories.
Potato skins are a natural source of flavonoids, a type of phytonutrient that exhibits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that protect the body from disease and infection.
One of the flavonoids found in potato skins is a compound called quercetin, which is known for its immune system stimulation and has been shown to have antiviral properties that can inhibit the release of histamine.
A 2016 study revealed that quercetin is effective for the treatment of bronchial asthma, allergic rhinitis, and anaphylactic reactions caused by peanuts.
The authors report that plant-extracted quercetin is a key ingredient in many potential antiallergic drugs.
Do potato skins have fiber?
The fiber present in a cooked potato depends on the cooking method.
Some common ways of cooking potatoes are:
|Potato Variety||Serving size||Fiber (g)|
|Russet (baked with skin)||1 small (138g)||3|
|Russet (microwaved without skin)||1 small (138 g)||3|
|Potatoes (boiled in the skin)||1 small (138 g)||2.5|
|Red potatoes (baked with skin)||1 small (138 g)||2.5|
|White potatoes (baked with skin)||1 small (138 g)||3.0|
|Potato skin (raw)||1 skin (38 g)||1|
Fiber is critical to the maintenance of a healthy digestive system, balancing the gut and preventing constipation.
It helps give the stool bulk, promotes healthy bowel movements, and feeds the healthy gut bacteria in your colon responsible for keeping infections away.
Fiber is cellulose that can be insoluble or soluble.
According to The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in October 2015, fiber can also help relieve diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, and other intestinal conditions.
Dietary fiber has also been found to have the potential to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
In addition, up to 60% of magnesium in the body is in the bones.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), eating potato skins can help maintain bone density and may help reduce the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women.
Potassium in potato skins also has a beneficial effect on the skeletal system by reducing calcium loss from bones, leading to an increase in bone mineral density.
In a study published in the Nutrition Journal in March 2015, phosphorus consumption may support increases in bone mineral content and bone density.
Calcium from potato skins is needed to support the structure and hardness of teeth and bones.
The copper, iron, and zinc in potato skins help the body synthesize collagen, which is needed to hold bones together.
How much fiber is in potatoes without skin?
The amount of dietary fiber in potatoes without the skin depends on the type of potato and the cooking method. (Source)
|Potato variety||Serving size||Fiber (g)|
|Russet (baked without skin)||1 small (138 g)||2|
|Russet (microwaved without skin)||1 small (138 g)||2|
|Potatoes (boiled without skin)||1 small (138 g)||2.5|
The recommended daily intake of fiber on an adult 2,000-calorie diet is 25 to 30 grams.
In contrast, the average fiber intake of an American is 15 grams.
One small size of potato (138 g) provides eight percent of the daily value.
Dietary fiber is one of the most important factors in weight management.
They improve satiety and suppress appetite.
The daily value for fiber also depends on age and gender.
- Women under 50 require 21-25 grams daily
- Men under 50 require 30-38 grams daily
- Children between 1 and 18 should consume 14 to 31 grams