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Potatoes as vegetables (Don't get excited...)

Posted Oct 14 2008 10:20am 1 Comment

I'll take Starchy Vegetables for 300, Alex.

There seems to be some confusion as to what does and does not constitute "eating your vegetables".

Ketchup does not count. Neither do potatoes.

Answer: The most popular starchy vegetable. Question: What is the potato?

Are potatoes vegetables? Yes.

As for your vegetable intake, do potatoes count? No.

Potatoes are basically starch, with some fiber and a few vitamins in the skin.

So please don't be fooled by clever marketing that tells you that when you eat french fries that you are "getting your vegetables".

Non-starchy is key

Think non-starchy vegetables: broccoli, kale, rapini, bok choy, asparagus, bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, fennel etc.

Starchy vegetables such as sweet potato, corn, peas and carrots are nutritious, but again, do not count towards your vegetable intake. And since starchy vegetables are full of carbs, cut down on the grains at a meal when you are eating these (especially if you are trying to lose weight).


What to do if you don't like vegetables?

(a) Most often it is because the vegetables are not cooked in a way that you like. Vegetables can be prepared an infinite amount of ways, the trick is to try a few recipes and find one you like. And, no, eating your vegetables slathered in cheese (or, Heaven forbid, Cheese Whiz) is not the solution you need to be looking for. Check out for a link to a website with a huge variety of vegetable recipes.

(b) What can I tell you? Some things are an acquired taste -- you'll get used to them and even learn to like them. If you want to be strong and healthy, there's really not much other choice.

(c) Having a multi-vitamin, vegetable juice or even a green drink (while all very good things) is not a substitute despite what the commercials say. Sorry.


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In addition to very questionable nutritional value, potatoes are listed on the Environmental Working Group's list of foods that routinely have the highest pesticide residue:  
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