Potatoes USA analyzed the nutritional content of four potato varieties in the USDA Food Database to determine which one is the most nutritious.
These are the four types of varieties:
- White Potatoes
- Red Potatoes
- Russet Potatoes
- Sweet Potatoes
Nutrient-Dense Potatoes That Are The Healthiest
According to Potatoes USA the authority on potato nutrition, a potato must have a high level of nutrients per calorie to be nutritionally dense. Because calories are not the best way to determine the nutritional quality of food, but calories, we use per calorie.
Calories are what your body needs to fuel its energy needs. Calculating the nutrient density allows you to see how many nutrients are being brought along.
What Nutrients Are They Exactly?
We consider all the nutrients that are required for our survival… and then some. These are your essential micronutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Higher nutrient densities are correlated with more vitamins and minerals per calorie. This is however only a partial solution.
We must consider the diminishing returns of micronutrient intake. For example, 1000% of your riboflavin requirements are better than 10%, but getting 100% does not make you 10x healthier.
The Healthiest Potato
All these factors were taken into consideration and we ranked the four varieties in the USDA Food Database.
Despite having a similar nutrient structure, the best potato is the red one!
The following is the order of the rankings:
- Red Potato
- White Potato
- Russet Potato
- Sweet Potato
What Are The Healthiest Potatoes In The World?
As you can see the sweet potato is at the bottom of our list. Sweet potato had the lowest vitamin content and the highest sodium-to-potassium ratio.
A lower score is achieved when the sodium-to-potassium ratio is higher. This is because sodium has hypertensive qualities, while potassium (and even calcium) has hypotensive.
Hypertension can be caused by too much sodium if it isn’t balanced with hypotensive minerals such as calcium and potassium.
Protein In Potatoes
Potatoes are often thought of as a source of protein. Other foods can indeed contain higher levels of protein. Nevertheless, potatoes do possess some protein.
Russet potatoes are within the USDA Guideline’s daily recommended intake of protein (between 10-35% daily calories on a /calorie basis). Red potatoes are close.
The Best Potatoes To Lose Weight
The best way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories over time. However, there is one problem.
You can combat hunger by adding satiating nutrients to your meals. Protein is one. Fiber is another. Fiber keeps you fuller longer and makes it easier to eat fewer calories.
The most fiber-dense food has high amounts of fiber relative to calorie content. Fiber-rich foods are more likely to keep you full than the calories you eat. This is why the white potato is the best for weight loss. The red potato is not far behind.
Healthiest Potatoes Have More Phytochemicals
We are just beginning to study phytochemicals in greater detail about health. Certain flavonoids, such as lutein and lycopene have received the most research.
Although most of these studies don’t have any data or recommendations for dietary intake, they are beginning to be supported by research.
The highest concentration of any three phytochemicals was found in red potatoes. They have the highest amount of quercetin, which has been found to have anti-cancer properties and anti-inflammatory properties.
Red Potato Is The Healthiest Potato
Red potatoes are the healthiest of all the potato types, according to data from USDA Food Database.
However, their high sodium-to potassium ratio, high sugar-to fiber ratio, and lower vitamin and phytochemical profiles make them last on our list.
All potatoes, even sweet potatoes, are great additions to any healthy diet. They are versatile and delicious and well worth the effort.