22 June 2005

Potatoes Don't Count?

The documentary Super Size Me finally got shown in the UK a month or so ago. It touched on the meals available at school, but skimmed over the shocking implications when one student defended her food choices. Alongside chocolate and a fizzy drink, she had potato chips or fries as the main part of her meal (I forget which - possibly both) and defended the choice by saying they counted towards her daily intake of five fruits and vegetables.

Wrong!

A potato can provide you with lots of healthy minerals and surprisingly a lot of vitamin C, but only if it's baked in it's jacket and you eat the whole thing.

Potato products, even dishes where the potato was peeled before cooking, reduce the spud to not much more than a high dose of carbs. Big potatoes (the ones that make the best fries and chips) have a higher glycaemic index (more carbs per gramme) than small, new potatoes, but thats about it.

Until I saw that programme I had never heard of anyone who thought of the humble spud as anything more than carbs; a tasty filler like bread or pastry; stodge, really. We Brits eat them all the time and are the third largest consumers in Europe, beaten only by the Irish and the Portugese, but as far as eating 'five portions of fruit and veg a day, for your heart', we don't count the spud into our calculations.

Or do we? Do you?

7 comments:

Ally said...

I thought that technically, you could count it? Although I tend not to, for all your stated reasons.

I was chatting to a friend last night re my abortive attempts at weight-loss and she mentioned the glycaemic index and how Sweet Potatoes were much better than 'ordinary' potatoes.

Also, someone else said that they thought that research had proved you should eat 7 portions a day, but the govt. decided that would scare people, so put it down to five.

Milt Bogs said...

"her daily intake of five fruits and vegetables" - sounds like this lady has an insatiable appetite.

Badaunt said...

I count potatoes! I eat them a lot, but only with the skin on. I am particularly fond of what they do for, er, regular habits. They have a BRILLIANT effect on my bowels.

I've never had a weight problem. I also eat loads of leafy greens, though, and don't snack.

I'm not at all fond of uncooked leafy veges, though. My favourite summer salad, Japanese style, is cooked. (Actually it's my favourite winter salad, too.) You blanch a huge bunch of spinach (or komatsuna, or kikuna) with the roots on, then drain and plunge them into cold water (to keep the green colour). Then pick them up by the roots, wring them out like a dishrag, and chop off the roots. Chop them into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle with ground sesame and (optional) katsuo (dried fish flakes) and sprinkle lightly with soy sauce.

It's a good way to get a lot of leafy greens into you in one mouthful. One huge bunch of spinach goes down to a few mouthfuls. Plus it keeps in the fridge for a few days, and is there if you're worried that you haven't had your greens today.

Cheryl said...

Bog off, Bogs!
Mind your own meat and two veg!
Or are you the sort that likes a fruit?

Oh look what you've done, I was going to abstain from lavatorial innuendo today - you'll get me a reputation like Les Dawson's.

Tut, tut, tut.

Cheryl said...

Ooh BadAunt we crossed in the post(ing).

Love spinach - will deffo try that. Thanks!

bulb said...

Five fruits and vegetables? Per day?

You mean Im supposed to eat plants with my meat?

dom said...

Of course I count spuds, especially at this time of year, Jersey new potatoes with loads of butter!Yummy!