June 22, 2011 by Marj Hatzell
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of potatoes. For crying out loud, folks, if you don’t know this already you’re just looking at the pictures. Which is ok, because they are nice pictures. But sometimes I don’t post pictures so unless you’re just scanning looking for keywords (and the keyword is obviously not potato) you’re really missing out. Or you’re Amish or in a third world country and don’t have Internet access, in which case I don’t know why I’m scolding you for not knowing I love potatoes. Because it means you’re not reading this at all.
Where was I? Right. I love potatoes.
Here’s the thing. I know that if you eat too many of something, it isn’t great for you. In fact, eating a variety of foods is best, and making sure you have decent protein sources while you also are certain to eat tons of fruits and vegetables is quite important. Some folks are in support of grains while others shun them. And pretty much everyone agrees that junk food, sugar and HFCS is the devil (but HFCS is naturally derived! And acts the same way as sugar! And it’s fine in moderation!).
But potatoes. Oh potatoes, how I love thee.
Potatoes get a really bad rap (and they also have a very bad rep-utation). Every time I hear of someone watching what they eat or changing their eating lifestyle or trying to add better and healthier foods to their food reputation, the first thing to go is BREAD AND REFINED CARBS and the second thing to go is? Any guesses? Go on, you know the answer!
That’s right, my favorite thing in the world to eat.
Now, I get tons of reasons and excuses why people don’t eat potatoes. Calories, fat, sugars, carbs, etc, etc. And some of them make some sense. But I have never, EVER been a fan of any diet or eating plan where folks cut out entire food groups (not that the current governmental standards are the best way to eat). Starving yourself and only eating one thing? Cannot POSSIBLE be healthy for you.
Now, I don’t proclaim to have every answer in the book. I also have no idea which book I’m referring to, so don’t ask. But, blaming your problems on taters? SO NOT COOL TO ME. In fact, it hurts my feelings. Sniff, sniff. I’m willing to bet money that for some folks the rest of their diet and their exercise (OR LACK THEREOF) has more to do with their ill health than the almighty tater. I’m also willing to bet that what you drink (or don’t drink) affects your empty calorie intake, too. Most people I know? SHUN WATER. You know, that clear liquid stuff you need to survive? Yeah, most people I know hate drinking it. But they’ll drink stuff that can clean grease and filth from their tile floors. Can you imagine what it’s doing to their stomachs? Sorry if I sound preachy, but think about it. It’s okay to drink a 400 calorie drink, full of crap and acid and HFCS and carbonated yuck but taters are BAD FOR YOU?
But they blame taters.
Of course, the way you prepare taters also matters. Frying them? Eating chips or fast food? NOT SO HEALTHY. Adding vegetables or cheese or sour cream or some sort of protein? AMAZING MEAL.
Also? Potatoes can have some health benefits. Just check my new favorite website. Yes, Potatoes.com (eat your heart out, Quayle. I can spell it). Doesn’t get much better than that. Good source of fiber (with skin), Vitamin C and Potassium. And combined with other foods (like cheese or veggies or lean protein sources) it’s amazing to eat and can make a whole meal.
Now, do I eat potatoes exclusively? Of course not. Should you eat them every second of every day? No, but you shouldn’t do that with vegetables, either. Moderation and variety are the key to a healthy diet, no? You can still eat things you enjoy, just don’t eat FOUR PLATES FULL.
Now, leave my favorite TUBAH alone. And if you still ain’t keen on eating them? Your loss. And my gain, since there will be more for me to eat.
Taters. Nature’s greatest miracle. Next to bacon.