Potatoes … You can roast them, mash them, fry them, bake them or even make a salad out of them. They can be a faithful side dish or even the main meal. You can cover them in sauce and toppings, add them to stews and soups, or even bake them on the coals of a braai! Ah, the humble potato – it’s not only incredibly versatile and easy to cook with but also packed with nutritional value. And yet you find people saying “no thanks” to potatoes and citing them as being unhealthy.
So, where did this bad reputation come from? Over the past few decades, there have been numerous fad diets bad-mouthing carbohydrates. The one that seemed to do the most damage, however, was the Atkins diet of the 1970s, which restricted the consumption of carbs entirely. Following this, potatoes (along with pasta and bread) were all filed under the “bad for you” dietary options – a classification people are still finding difficult to do away with, even in the 21st century.
Fortunately, the concept of dieting has evolved since the 70s, and highly restrictive ones (such as the Atkins) have been replaced with diet plans that encourage a more rounded, varied intake. The humble spud is highly nutritious, affordable and filling – making it an almost perfect food all on its own. It’s estimated that one medium-sized, skin-on potato contains high levels of vitamin C and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium, manganese, niacin and folate. They’re low in fat and cholesterol and, sure, they’re high in carbs but they also contain protein and fibre – all things we’re told to eat lots of as part of a balanced diet.
The bottom line is that potatoes are an excellent addition to your weekly meal plan. There are so many healthy ways to prepare them and, thanks to McCain, you can whip up something nutritious in no time! The easiest way to do this is by switching out classic chips for McCain Sweet Potato Fries the next time you have a homemade veggie burger. Make a potato salad with yoghurt and chopped fresh herbs as a substitute for mayonnaise, using McCain Diced Potatoes. And who can resist a serving of McCain Spicy Wedges alongside a “quick and easy” grilled fish or chicken? Making a nutritious choice doesn’t mean having to sacrifice on flavour or convenience, and with McCain’s delicious and ready-to-cook potato range, you won’t ever have to.