Here's What Happens When You Eat Potatoes Every Day

Potatoes are just about everybody's favorite vegetable. No wonder, when they're so darn versatile! You can have them for breakfast or as a snack, side, or even a main dish, and potatoes have also been known to sneak into desserts including candies, cakes, and cookies.

Still, potatoes have never been elevated to the pantheon of superfoods, and we're often made to feel as if this starch-heavy veggie is something we should skip, or at least only ingest in very limited quantities. So are potatoes really as unhealthy as we've been made to fear in these carb-fearing times? No, not at all. Amy Shapiro MS, RD, CDN, founder of Real Nutrition, tells Mashed that "there are no pitfalls to potatoes unless you consume too much or processed/fried versions." She says that amongst the numerous benefits of these splendid spuds is the fact that they contain antioxidants, fiber, and potassium; are naturally gluten-free, and help you feel full and satisfied after eating them. They are a great source of energy and can even help balance blood sugar.

Guidelines for eating potatoes

Shapiro tells us that potatoes, which she calls "a delicious complex carbohydrate source," are unfairly maligned. She says, "They get a bad rap because they are often associated with french fries and mashed potatoes or potato salad," all foods that add unhealthy amounts of fat (oil, butter, mayo, etc.) due to their preparation methods. She advises baking or roasting potatoes, and says we shouldn't be peeling them since "eating the skin is important as most of the fiber and the nutrients are there."

Shapiro says that it is perfectly okay to eat potatoes every day and recommends a fist-sized potato or 1 cup of cooked potatoes, telling us "that is a good serving no matter how often you eat it" and adding the reminder that "as long as you are not eating this serving of potatoes along with other unhealthy foods then they can be a balanced part of any diet." If you're looking for a healthy way to enjoy potatoes when dining out, Shapiro suggests ordering a baked potato instead of fries (go easy on the toppings, though). If cooking potatoes at home, try roasting them with olive oil and herbs. If you're in need of a little inspiration, you can try the Pioneer Woman's popular "crashed potatoes" recipe or else Emily Blunt's roast potato recipe that "crashed" Ina Garten's website (it's back online now). That way, you can enjoy what Shapiro says is a "healthy, fiber and mineral-rich, satisfying carbohydrate" without sacrificing any flavor.