...there's both eatin' and drinkin' in it

Tag: nutrition

Spud Sunday: In Defence Of The Spud

It has come to my attention that there has been a bit of potato-bashing going on.

The latest wave of anti-spuddism arises from a study carried out by Harvard researchers into the dietary habits of around 120,000 health professionals from around the U.S. over a period of 12+ years and published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The aspect of the research which has gained most attention is the finger of blame that is pointed towards potato products when it comes to potential for weight gain. On the basis of increased daily servings, the study finds that people who were in the habit of eating French fries gained, on average, 3.35 lb after four years, while those with a predilection for potato chips (or crisps, in Irish-speak) averaged a 1.69 lb increase. If your extra helpings came in the form of boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes, the increase was a more modest 0.57 lb over the four year period.

Cue articles, such as this one, which tell you the frightening amounts of calories, fats and carbs in your average spud meal and warn that “potatoes are calorie dense, very calorie dense“. Clearly, the article implies, when it comes to spuds and my waistline, I should be afraid, very afraid. The premise and the conclusion are simplistic, to say the least. While potatoes are certainly calorie dense if you douse them in fat, a plain boiled potato (as I have mentioned on these pages before) actually has less calories than the equivalent weight of plain boiled rice, pasta or bread. Nutritionally, too, it has plenty to shout about.

New potato

These, my friends, are not the problem

Other quotes such as this found here are also, I think, unhelpful.

The problem, said study co-author Dr. Walter Willett, chairman of the nutrition department at the Harvard School of Public Health, is that “we don’t eat potatoes raw, so it’s easier [for the body] to transform the starch to glucose.”

Continue reading

Spud Sunday: What’s In A Spud?

I’ve been called many things in my time, though “Guardian … of the Spud” was a new one.

That title was kindly bestowed by Aoife McElwain (she of I Can Has Cook) in her brand new Foodie News column in the Irish Independent weekend magazine. Needless to remark, it is a moniker that I will wear with pride (and perhaps even, as suggested by some, with an accompanying superhero-style cape).

foodie to follow

From yesterday's Irish Independent Foodie News

So, as Guardian (not to mention Promoter) o’ the Spud, it seemed as good a time as any for a no-holds-barred, down ‘n’ dirty nutritional profile of what is, after all, the world’s most widely cultivated vegetable. So brace yourselves, folks, you’re about to find out that there’s a whole lot more to this tuber than starch. Let the facts begin.

Continue reading

© 2024 The Daily Spud

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑