The Healthy Red River Valley Red Potato Nutritional Information
Let's face it; many people think potatoes aren't nutritious.  Back in 2004 at the height of the low-carb diet craze, 35% of Americans thought potatoes were fattening.  Today that number has dropped to 18%.  American consumers are getting smarter, and for good reason.  Here are the hard facts.  A medium size potato has only 110 calories with no fat or cholesterol.  And potatoes are a great source of fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C.  But there's more!  Like protein, Vitamin B, calcium, thiamin, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, riboflavin,zinc, and iron. So next time you have a potato, enjoy it, and know you are eating one of nature's healthiest foods! 

You Need Carbs!
Carbohydrates are your body’s best source of fuel. They are so important that your body will actually break down muscle and vital organs to make carbohydrates if they are not in your diet.
  • Carbohydrates do not cause heart disease.
  • Carbohydrates do not cause blood sugar to spike or insulin surges.
  • Carbohydrates do not cause weight gain.
The bottom line on carbs and weight loss...
  • Calories count. Eating fewer calories whether it’s carbs, protein, or fat, leads to weight loss.
  • Extreme diets that cut out all sorts of carbs only provide temporary weight loss.
  • While losing weight is good for your health,HOW you lose weight is just as important.
  • Food and beverages that are highly processed or have added sugar usually have lots of nutritionally empty calories.
  • Many carbs, including vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk products, provide essential nutrients that are vital to good health.
  • Carbs play a fundamental role in living life to the fullest. They contribute to enjoying food, enhancing life, and providing eating satisfaction.
  • Finding out how to pick carbs in a way that’s right for you may make the difference between long-term weight-loss success and just following another fad.
Potassium
Potatoes eaten with skin are an excellent source of potassium, which is great for cardiovascular health. In fact, potatoes qualify for a health claim approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which states: Diets containing foods that are a good source of potassium and that are low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke. Just one potato offers 21% of the Daily Value for potassium. Potassium also helps retain calcium, which is important to build strong bones.

Fiber
One medium potato (5.3 ounces) with skin contains 3 grams, or 12 percent of the recommended daily intake for fiber. Preliminary studies show that fiber is beneficial for a healthy digestive system and may help reduce the risk of some cancers and possibly heart disease. According to researcher at Pennsylvania State University, consuming adequate fiber and water helps increase satiety between meals.

Vitamin C
For vitamin C, don’t just think oranges - think potatoes! Potatoes are one of the leading sources of vitamin C in the American diet. One medium potato contains 45% of your recommended daily intake! This vitamin is a potent antioxidant that helps stabilize free radicals, which may prevent cellular damage. Vitamin C also produces the collagen that helps hold bone tissue together.

Glycemic Index (GI)
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a system that assigns a number to foods, particularly carbohydrates such as bread, pasta and potatoes, based on their ability to increase blood glucose. The higher the GI, the more the food’s ability to raise blood glucose levels. Several studies have examined the effects of the GI on appetite, but to date there have been no well-controlled, long-term human studies to examine the effects of GI on body weight regulation. In addition, there is no conclusive evidence that eating high GI foods will lead to obesity.

The practicality of the GI of individual foods in diet planning is controversial because combinations of foods can alter the total GI of a meal. In the case of potatoes, for example, common toppings such as cheese, broccoli, butter, vinegar, or salsa may lower the combined GI.

Some of the foods that score high on the GI such as potatoes, also score high on the satiety index (SI). The higher the SI of a food, the more satisfied a person is between meals. More research is needed before health and nutrition professionals will recommend using the GI as a tool to help plan meals and snacks.

As always, it is recommended that you talk with your doctor or registered dietitian before starting any new diet or meal plan.

Check out these helpful links for more valuable nutrition information:
Potatoes...Goodness™ Unearthed
USPB Potato Nutrition Handbook (59 page pdf document)
University of Minnesota
North Dakota State University