Seems like everyone we know is on a weight loss/eat healthier plan this New Year. In fact, almost every new year that’s the case. Maybe we should just go ahead and change the name of January to Dietary! Ha! But in all seriousness, another truth about this time of year is that while most people do well making big dietary changes for the first few weeks, now is about the time when all that willpower can peter out.
If you are making figure-changing or health-improving dietary changes, that’s great. And, we want you to know potatoes can help. Here’s why:
Potatoes Help You Feel Fuller Longer and Eat Less
A lettuce leaf might keep you chewing for a bit, but studies show that potatoes are one of the most filling foods available. In fact, they stave off hunger better than other common sides, like pasta, rice and bread. In part because they have 7% of the recommended daily value of fiber: 2 grams in every wholesome, satisfying spud. Dietary fiber has been shown to have numerous health benefits, including improving blood lipid levels, regulating blood glucose, and increasing satiety (makes you feel full longer), which may help with weight loss.
Also, potatoes have loads of vitamin B6, which plays an important role in both carbohydrate and protein metabolism, helping to turn food into energy you burn right away rather than storing for, well, um, later use.
So when you reach for a baked PotatOH at lunch instead of a salad—or even in addition to your salad—you may be less likely to reach for the chocolate covered pretzels at 3:00 p.m. But watch the toppings! Skip the bacon and cheddar and try low fat yogurt and veggie chili, or broccoli with a shaving of Parmesan for toppings. Add a little protein, like chicken breast. You can also mix it up by trying baked sweet potatoes.
Remember, It’s Calories That Count, Not Just Which Foods You’re Eating.
It might be hard to do in practice, but in principle maintaining a good, healthy weight is a simple matter: burn more calories than eat. Luckily, one medium-sized (5.3 oz) potato has just 110 calories. Also, potatoes are 100% fat-free and have zero cholesterol, making them a great meal that will fill you up, not out.