Good old 'taters


Scottish researchers are fighting back against the bunkum being spread about spuds in popular media. Professor Derek Stewart and Dr Mark Taylor of the James Hutton Institute in Dundee did a scientific review that revealed that potatoes are much more nutritious than originally thought. 

In fact, they’re so healthy that these researchers believe that it is possible to subsist solely on potatoes and stay pretty healthy thanks to the nutrients they contain. “There are not many crops you can say that about,” Dr. Stewart noted.

Their review "Potato – A basis for human nutrition and health benefits", outlined compelling evidence that potatoes bring a host of previously unrecognized health benefits to their consumers, such as curbing dementia and heart attack.

They also undertook epidemiology studies involving large populations, their consumption of potatoes and the prevalence of cardiovascular disease and other degenerative diseases. “And what came up there was that replacing meat in the diet with vegetables and potatoes is linked with a lower risk of heart attack,” Dr. Stewart said. “Other research has found a strong association with enhanced cognitive function (read less dementia) in the elderly if they’re eating potatoes.”

The Stewart-Taylor report challenged the general assumption that potatoes are inferior sources of nutrition when the tubers have just as many vitamins and nutrients as widely-acknowledged fruits and leafy vegetables.

They explained that potatoes are loaded with vitamins, macro minerals and micro minerals. Each tuber has plenty of vitamin C, vitamin B6 and vitamin B9. They are also rich in carotenoids, polyphenols and dietary fiber.

Why then has the spud managed to get such a bad name? 

It may be due to how we are eating them these days. Data shows that since WWII our consumption of whole potatos has declined appreciably, whilst processed potato consumption has skyrocketed. Yep, wev've shunned good old mashed potato peas and gravy, now its all french fries and chips and hash browns, or at best baked potato covered in mayo, cream and cheese! 

The negative health outcomes are not because of spuds, or their carbs (perfect fuel for your body's cells!), but what they are cooked in or what we may lather them in. 

So, eat your spuds with confidence and discernment!