If you heard that schools were limiting their potato offerings, you’d probably be in support. After all, when you think of potatoes in a school lunch you probably imagine French fries and tater tots, yes? In fact, when children are given a choice, 75% of the time they choose the starchy vegetable – i.e. French fried potatoes over any other vegetable. New proposed federal standards would like to trim the number of times per week that potatoes can be offered on a school menu to just two, but this may not be such a smart idea.
The USDA has proposed increasing the amount of fruit, leafy vegetables and whole grains served to school children every day while limiting corn, lima beans, peas and potatoes, but not sweet potatoes.
Not so fast, says Colorado Senator Mark Udall. Not only would reducing the servings of potatoes negatively affect potato farmers, but potatoes are actually a very nutritious vegetable. One medium-size potato, skin on, contains 110 calories per serving, with more potassium (620 grams) than a banana, and almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent). In addition, a potato is high in fiber, and potatoes don’t contain fat, sodium or cholesterol. It’s only when potatoes are fried, coated in butter or served with sour cream that they become a nutritional nightmare.
With farmer’s markets across the country in full swing, you might be wondering how in the world you’re going to navigate the overflowing stands of fruits, vegetables and fresh herbs.
With more leafy greens than you can count and basil plants that seem to be bursting at the seams, how does a produce novice manage to take home fruits and veggies that will make it to your table and into your meals and snacks?
This week, we’re taking you through some of the herbs – popular and obscure – that you might encounter at your farmer’s market. Because fresh herbs sold at outdoor or indoor local markets are typically fresh and free of preservatives, you’ll need to use them pretty quickly.
Memorial Day is one holiday almost everyone looks forward to. What’s not to love? The last Monday of every May, we honor our fallen U.S. soldiers and their families on a weekend when the weather starts to heat up in most parts on the country. Barbecues, camping trips and outdoor parties are how most people celebrate Memorial Day, the sunshine, and show their patriotism.
Memorial Day is tons of fun, but barbecues are notorious for being full of calorie and fat packed foods, so plan ahead. If you are taking advantage of the long weekend and going camping, indulging in 3 days worth of this indulgent food can really do some damage. If you are hosting, you have full control of the menu, but if you are a guest, bring your own “safe” dish that you know is healthy, and you already know the calories and fat per serving.
Whether you’re planning to usher in summer at the beach or with a backyard cookout, there are a lot of tempting, warmer-weather treats that might appeal to you no matter how much you want to stick to a healthy diet. Fend off cravings by making slimmer versions of your favorite meals and treats.
By Rebecca Scritchfield, RD a nutrition expert based in Washington, D.C. www.rebeccascritchfield.com.
March is National Nutrition Month and we are eating our way through the rainbow-ROYGBIV style. Today’s color is Yellow! What makes these foods the color of the sun? The bright yellow color shows you these yellow foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals. The bright yellow color in fruits and vegetables comes from flavonoids, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, which helps prevent against aging, cancer and build overall health!
Make sure to color your plate with these yellow foods!
Mary Hartley, RD, MPH, is the director of nutrition for Calorie Count, providing domain expertise on issues related to nutrition, weight loss and health. She creates original content for weekly blogs and newsletters, for the Calorie Count library, and for her popular daily Question-and-Answer section, Ask Mary. Ms. Hartley also furnishes direction for the site features and for product development.
White food has gotten a bum rap because white sugar and white flour may be harmful in excess. But it’s unwise to discriminate against “white” when it’s the color of some mighty healthy foods. Milk, cottage cheese, cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, onions, tofu, potatoes, white beans, and white whole wheat flour are all over-the-top nutritious. But unlike other foods with nutrient properties based on color, white foods actually have nothing nutritionally in common.
Guest bloggers, The Nutrition Twins® Tammy Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT and Lyssie Lakatos, RD, CDN, CFT are the authors of The Secret To Skinny: How Salt Makes You Fat and The 4-Week Plan to Drop a Size & Get Healthier with Simple Low-Sodium Swaps (HCI, Fall 2009) and Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever. You can visit the Nutrition Twins website for more information on this dynamic duo.
For years we’ve been witnessing our clients who include one medium sized (5.3- ounce) skin-on, baked potato in their regular meal plan feel more satisfied and meet their weight loss goals while doing so. As registered dietitians, we aren’t surprised that potatoes can be helpful in weight loss. After all, besides witnessing the weight loss results in our clients (who are thrilled to be told they can eat potatoes and lose weight!) there is a lot to love about spuds:
If you’re an Atkins or a South Beach dieter, you might worry that eating starchy spuds will cause you to pile on excess poundage. However, Chris Voigt, the head of the Washington State Potato Commission, could probably tell you otherwise.
It’s part of Voigt’s job to promote potatoes as a healthy, accessible and affordable vegetable. From October 1 to December 1, he decided to “walk the walk” and eat nothing but potatoes — about 20 potatoes per day- prepared in a variety of ways.
Over the course of the two month diet, Voigt lost 21 pounds and dropped his cholesterol level by 67 points to a healthier level. Registered dietitian Cynthia Sass appeared on the TODAY Show with Voigt to weigh in on the diet.
You know you can mash them with cream and butter. You’ve heard of au gratin – butter and cheese. But did you know that there are plenty of ways to prepare everyone’s favorite starchy vegetable without added fat and calories?
Despite their reputation as diet delinquents, potatoes can actually be a healthy side dish, especially in the winter when people tend to crave comfort and carbohydrates. Instead of letting them derail your healthy eating plans, learn how to prepare them so that they can be part of your healthy, balanced diet. (more…)
You might be a great cook but if you serve the same Thanksgiving fare year after year, your guests are bound to start going home hungry.
Whether you’re preparing a meal from start to finish in your own kitchen or toting a side dish and dessert to a nearby gathering, it’s easy to refresh your favorite classic dishes without piling on fat and calories.
It’s tempting to snack on rich cheeses and sodium-packed crackers while you’re waiting for the turkey to finish cooking. This year, skip the mindless snacking by presenting your guests with a cheese ball flavored with herbs and spices so tasty you’ll never know that you’re eating reduced-fat cheese. (more…)
UPDATE [10/29/10]: For health reasons, Voigt has added more fried potato dishes to his diet and expanding his toppings, including potato chips. “You have to remember that there is absolutely no fat in a potato, no fat in any of the seasonings or herbs I’m eating,” he wrote in his blog. “But there are 2 fatty acids that are essential to bodily functions and are needed by your body. The healthy oils from the fries and chips are supplying me those fatty acids.” It seems that now half way through his 20-potatoes-a-day diet, Voigt is loosing some of this enthusiasm.
The executive director of the Washington State Potato Commission, Chris Voigt, is taking an unusual approach to promoting his product. He’s eating an all-potato diet of about 20 spuds per day. Voigt has followed the diet for three weeks, and plans to continue for a total of 60 days.
“I feel fine. I really don’t notice any difference,” said Voigt, “My blood sugar is hanging right in there, and my blood pressure is stable.” He’s also lost about 12 pounds. “I really wasn’t planning on that,” he said.
Voigt is eating about 2,200 calories per day. With the skins, potatoes provide the daily recommended quantity of many key nutrients, including vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, iron and niacin. They also contain protein. He has allowed himself a little oil, herbs and other spices to cook and flavor his potatoes.