To set the record straight and to end any family dinner time disputes, yes, a potato is technically (botanically) a vegetable- but doesn’t count towards your 5-a-Day as is nutritionally a starchy carbohydrate. Here’s everything you need to know about spuds, from what they are, to why they’re vital to maintaining a healthy, balanced diet.
What is a potato?
It may seem like a silly question, but there is in fact a lot of confusion around what potatoes actually are and what benefits they have. In all fairness, they do contain a number of different nutrients, so we’ll let you off if you’re a little muddled, but hopefully we can help.
Check out some frequently asked questions below on all things spuds!
Are potatoes a carb?
Now we’ve established that a potato is in fact botanically vegetable, we can confirm that they also belong to the carbohydrate group, one of the three main macronutrients in our diet.
More specifically, potatoes are a starchy carb, which provide the slow and steady release of energy (the type of carbohydrate athletes load up on the night before a big race or match). Starchy foods also include pasta, rice and bread and cereal.
Are potatoes good for you?
Although this may come as a surprise, potatoes are very good for you, in moderation of course (like most things). We’re not talking about eating triple-cooked chips or a family sized bag of your favourite crisps (although we have nothing against them) every day. But when it comes to health benefits, a baked potato with the skin on certainly has high nutritional value.
Nutritional value of a potato
As previously mentioned, potatoes are packed with a variety of nutrients, which is why they are a staple food to include in our diets. They are rich in fibre and potassium, and also provide a source of vitamin B1. Like all carbohydrates they also provides us with an important source of energy.
Are potatoes one of your five a day?
We’re sorry to say that despite technically being a vegetable and having high nutritional value, potatoes do not count as one of your five a day. This is because they mainly contribute to the starch in our diet – however, this doesn’t make them any less important to eat! Learn about which vegetables do count towards your 5-a-Day and how much veg we should be eating per day in our handy article.
In a nutshell, there is no doubt that a potato is botanically a vegetable. Although not your usual leafy green, it’s still packed with vital nutrients that are necessities for a balanced diet. Check out some of our potato based recipes for some meal inspiration or our potato waffles range for an extra treat!