All About Potatoes

Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and are widely available year-round across the country. In fact, potatoes are the most-eaten vegetable in the United States! 

The way potatoes are prepared is important. Fried potatoes, like french fries, often contain lots of unhealthy fats and salt. Boiled potatoes can lose some of their nutrients as they cook. When boiling potatoes, leave the skin on until they are fully cooked to help preserve the most nutrients possible. 

In addition to being easy to find, potatoes also contain several nutrients that our bodies need to keep working properly. 

  • Potatoes are a great source of potassium. They contain more potassium per serving than many other fruits and vegetables, including bananas! Potassium helps your nerves and muscles work properly and is important for a healthy heart. 
  • Potatoes are also full of fiber. Getting the right amount of fiber can help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and helps you feel full for longer.
  • Potatoes also contain vitamin C, which helps build our bones, teeth, cartilage, skin, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an important part of a healthy immune system.

There are many varieties of potatoes, and they all contain slightly different types and amounts of nutrients depending on their variety and where they were grown. Another difference between potato varieties is the type of cooking that works best for each! 

  • White potatoes are always a good choice if you aren’t sure what you plan to make yet. They taste good baked, boiled, and fried!
  • Russet potatoes are great for baking, but not for soups and stews as they will fall apart in the liquid. 
  • Red-skinned potatoes are great boiled, roasted, or lightly fried. 
  • Yellow potatoes are great for boiling because they hold their shape, which means they’ll do well in potato salads, soups, and stews. Yellow potatoes are also great mashed as they are softer and lighter than russet and white potatoes.
  • Blue or purple potatoes are best baked, so they don’t lose their cool colors!

Finally, sweet potatoes are plentiful in North Carolina and are a great source of Vitamin A. Try swapping regular potatoes for sweet potatoes in a recipe!

© 2024 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)

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