Beleaguered potato deserves place back at the table

Part of the potato’s problem is simply its classification. When you call it a vegetable, you ask it to fight above its weight class.In the two decades I’ve been writing about food and health, one piece of diet advice has remained consistent: eat more whole plant foods. More vegetables and fruits, more legumes and grains, more tubers and roots. There has been, that I can recall, only one notable exception: the beleaguered potato. Eat more plants! Just not potatoes. Why? One word: starch. Starch is made up of molecules of glucose, a simple sugar, which our cells can use as fuel with very little processing from our bodies. It goes right to the bloodstream, and the blood sugar spike prompts the pancreas to release insulin, which enables our body to either use or store that sugar. When that’s done, we’re hungry again. The quicker it happens, the sooner we start casing the kitchen, looking for our next meal, and the fatter we get. That’s the theory, at any rate, but there’s no potato consensus in the nutrition community. More