Mashed potato is that comfort food that almost everyone loves. Whether it’s a family dinner, a night out with your friends, or on a date, you can’t go wrong with mashed potatoes. However, many people believe that all white foods including potatoes are unhealthy. So, it’s natural to have questions like, ‘are mashed potatoes healthy? Are boiled potatoes healthy? Are baked potatoes good for health?’
Well, this article is going to answer all these questions regarding potatoes. By going through this article, you will come to know about how healthy potatoes are. What kind of vitamins and minerals will you get? You’ll also know how many calories they have and how to prepare them to make them the most healthy.
Table of Content
Are Mashed Potatoes Healthy?
Are mashed potatoes good for you? Are mashed potatoes good carbs? Are mashed sweet potatoes healthy? These are the questions that people mostly ask about eating potatoes. A look into the nutritive value and dietary components of mashed potatoes can give us an idea regarding that.
Mashed potatoes mainly contain carbohydrates and fats. They also contain a small amount of proteins. Aside from these, they contain some minerals like sodium, potassium, vitamins, etc.
The thing is that your cooking method decides how healthy or unhealthy your mashed potatoes are. The dairy ingredients complicate the dish especially if you eat too large servings. Butter and milk or cream not only add calories to mashed potatoes but also contribute saturated fats to this healthy vegetable.
The vitamins and minerals are good for your body. But, the high amounts of carbs and fats mean that you shouldn’t take too much. Now, let’s take a more in-depth look at the nutritive values of mashed potatoes.
Mashed Potatoes: Nutritional Value
Potatoes have important nutrients, such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, and various minerals. Mashed potato has less nutritional value than raw potato because it has been processed and reduced in volume. The overall nutritional values of mashed potatoes are as follows in the below image.
A serving of mashed potatoes provides about 3.7 grams of protein and 33 grams of carbs of which roughly 2 grams are from fiber.
Fiber is an indigestible part of plant food and it contributes to your digestive health by improving your bowel movements and helping prevent colon diseases. Dietary fiber also supports heart health and weight management while the vegetable part of mashed potatoes supports health.
Potatoes are also healthy because of their good mineral content. They contain vitamin A that supports eye health, boosts immunity, and plays a role in the functioning of your vital organs.
They also contain B vitamins that help your body to metabolize food into energy for other functions of the body. All B vitamins play a role in good neurological health. Potatoes also contain vitamin K which supports healthy bone and blood clotting.
A half-cup of mashed potatoes contains 3 to 4 grams of fat, about ¼ of which comes from saturated fat. Too much saturated fats in the diet contribute to weight gain and may put you at risk for heart disease.
Salt is another ingredient compromising the nutrition of your mashed potatoes. It contains the electrolyte mineral sodium. Sodium is present in most whole foods and is not harmful on its own. Too much in your diet can cause high blood pressure that is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
When you are ordering mashed potatoes in a restaurant, you are likely getting even more sodium and bad fats, so you must prefer homemade mashed potatoes. Also, be sure to eat them in moderation to enjoy the health benefits of potatoes.
Some of the positives of mashed potatoes are summarized below:
- Low Fat: Per serving of mashed potato contains very low saturated fat that is dangerous for human health and could cause obesity.
- Rich Antioxidants: Mashed potatoes contain vitamin C, that acts like an antioxidant. Antioxidants help prevent cell damage and ensure healthy digestion. Antioxidants can also prevent cancer!!
- Fiber: The fiber in mashed potatoes helps to maintain a good digestive system and circulation.
Mashed Potato Benefits
Potatoes are a nutrient-dense food that can offer many health benefits. They contain important nutrients, even when cooked—and this helps in various ways including preventing osteoporosis and heart disease while also reducing risk for infection!
Here we have discussed the 5 top benefits of mashed potatoes.
Limit Blood Pressure
Failing to maintain a healthy intake of sodium may lead you on the path towards high blood pressure, but increasing potassium could be just as important. It encourages vasodilation or widening your blood vessels!
According to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, less than 2 percent, of American adults meet the daily 4,700-milligram recommendation. However, potatoes are filled with three essential minerals: Potassium, Calcium, and Magnesium – which help keep us fit-from both inside out.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
The potato is a great source of fiber. Potatoes not only contain potassium, vitamin C and B6 but they also lack cholesterol which means it can help lower your heart disease risk!
B6 also helps with the conversion of homocysteine into methionine, which is crucial for producing new protein. Too much can cause damage to your blood vessels and increase heart attack risk or stroke incidence as well.
Reduce Cancer Risk
Potatoes are an excellent source of folate, which protects against the formation of cancer cells. Potatoes also contain fiber and antioxidant properties that can help prevent free radical damage to your body tissues caused by environmental factors like stress or pollution!
Purple potatoes are a nutrient-dense food that can reduce levels of interleukin 6 or IL6, an inflammatory protein linked with cancer cell growth in the colon.
Healthy Brain Functioning and Good Nervous System
The B6 vitamins in potatoes help keep your brain healthy and functioning at its best. These essential nutrients are necessary for the production of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which can be found throughout our body’s systems but also aid with cognitive functions like memory retention!
Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates and may help maintain glucose levels in the blood, which is necessary for proper brain functioning.
The four major nutrients in potatoes—iron, phosphorus, calcium, and magnesium —help the body to build strong bones. Phosphorus is essential for bone mineralization while both zinc and vitamin C contribute towards collagen production which helps strengthen your skin!
Are Instant Mashed Potatoes Healthy for You?
Most people ask, are packaged mashed potatoes healthy? Well, many people think that packaged mashed potatoes or instant mashed potatoes have the same amount of nutrients as fresh potatoes have, but that is not completely true.
Instant mashed potatoes do not contain fiber so they are not satiating, that’s why you tend to eat them more and take an extra amount of calories that lead to weight gain. Moreover, since they are packaged food, they contain a lot of preservatives and artificial flavors. These preservatives are added to increase the shelf life of mashed potatoes and are not good for health.
Moreover, they are processed food and most of the nutritional value is lost in processing so they are not nutrient-dense. So, homemade mashed potatoes are healthier as compared to instant or packaged mashed potatoes.
Too much mashed potatoes?
Mashed potatoes have many benefits as you’ve just read. But, it’s not all sunshine and rainbow. You have to consider the bad sides too when asking the question, are mashed potatoes healthy? Too much mashed potatoes are not good for your health. If you take these regularly in large amounts, then the risks will be far greater than the benefits. Below are some of the risks:
Increased blood pressure
1 serving of mashed potatoes contains 21% of the total daily amount of sodium. This is a huge amount. Sodium is an important mineral/electrolyte for your body. However, too much sodium is one of the worst things that you can take.
Excessive sodium is the most important risk factor for developing hypertension. In fact, some scientists think that essential hypertension, which is the major type of hypertension, occurs due to excessive sodium.
Potatoes are calorie-dense food. They contain carbs in the form of starch. The butter and cream that is also used contain fat and carbohydrates too. And so too much mashed potatoes can increase your daily calorie intake which can make you gain weight.
You risk getting high blood sugar
As you’ve read, potatoes contain starch. And although starch isn’t as bad as simple sugars, it still causes a blood glucose spike. And too much of this carbohydrate can overwork the cells of your pancreas which secret insulin. So, it increases the risk of high blood sugar.
Now, let’s take a look at some common questions that people wonder about regarding mashed potatoes:
Baked Potatoes vs Mashed Potatoes Calories
The preparation method affects the calorie content of potatoes very much. Boiling involves more nutrient loss than baking. A small baked potato contains 128 calories, 29 grams of carbs, 3-gram fiber, 13.2-gram vitamin C, and 738 mg of potassium.
While 100 grams of mashed potatoes have 113 calories, 15-gram carbs, 2.3-gram fiber, 9.7-gram vitamin C, and 233 mg of potassium. And if we talk about calories in mashed potatoes with butter, they are 208 calories per serving. Hence, it is proved that preparation method and ingredients play a big role in the healthiness and Calorie content of potatoes.
Are Mashed Potatoes Healthy for Weight Loss?
Are mashed potatoes fattening? Are mashed potatoes good for weight loss? Are mashed potatoes healthy for bodybuilding? These are the questions that most people ask, especially those who are more conscious about their health and body weight. The process of weight loss depends on your overall calorie intake.
Potatoes are very healthy and they have a lot of health benefits if you healthily prepare them. And by healthy we do not mean French fries. Potatoes should be mashed, boiled, or baked to get the benefits from them.
Moreover, homemade potatoes are good for weight loss if you eat them in a moderate amount. For instance, a cup of homemade mashed potatoes contains 108 calories that are just 6 percent of a 2000 calories daily diet.
So there are good chances that you can lose weight by eating potatoes, but just keep in mind your calorie intake and also the amount of fat and sodium you are adding to your mashed potatoes.
Are Mashed Potatoes Healthy for Diabetics?
Potatoes are not just a starchy veggie, they’re part of the same category as bread and cereal! But don’t let that stop you from enjoying your favorite spuds. As long as you keep an eye on how many carbs per serving is reasonable for any one meal or snack (and also remember that most people with type 2 diabetes should limit their intake), then potatoes can be good in moderation.
Potatoes are the perfect side dish to any meal, but beware: they can cause a blood sugar spike. For those with diabetes or who want low-carb diets without sacrificing flavor satisfaction, make sure you only eat 1 cup per serving and limit your intake overall because potatoes carry more carbs than other sides like green beans for example (only 15 grams).
Are Mashed Potatoes Healthy During Pregnancy?
It’s not just the potato that can be a healthy option for pregnant women, but whole grains like rice and cereal as well. Glucose (a carbohydrate) is found in abundance within these carbohydrates which your baby uses to fuel himself or herself early on during development; it’s important you keep up with this intake!
Swiss Association for Nutrition says, three to four servings per day should be safe if taken at meals without too much protein involved so try making sure those cozy bowlfuls are part of every morning meal plan going forward because no one knows better than mommy how easy access food should really feel – especially while gestation lasts.
Mashed Potato Healthy Recipes
Mashed potatoes are a staple of any meal, no matter the occasion. Some people enjoy them with just butter and salt while others get creative by topping their dish off in myriad ways from herbs to veggies! There’s always room for some delicious mounds of fluffy mashed goodness so we rounded up some of the healthy mashed potato recipes.
Creamy Garlic Mashed Potatoes
This is a classic mashed potato recipe, made with plenty of creams. Be sure to simmer them slowly and add plenty of salt to the cooking water.
- 3.5 pounds potatoes
- 2 tablespoons of salt
- 6 cloves crushed garlic
- Parmesan (6 ounces)
- First peel and dice all potatoes. Then place in a large saucepan or bowl. Now add salts, and water. Boil over a medium heat for 30 minutes and then reduce it to a minimum heat for 10 minutes. Cook until potatoes fall apart when poked with a fork.
- Heat garlic cloves in another bowl or saucepan. Set the heat into medium for 10 minutes and then simmer. After 5 minutes into minimum heat, remove the bowl from fire.
- After making sure the potatoes are boiled, drain off the water. Mash and add the garlic-cream mixture. Add parmesan later on. Now mix again. Keep it for 5 minutes so that the mixture thickens. Serve well.
Mashed Potato Puffs
These are a great way to get your appetite going. Try them for breakfast or as an appetizer, they’re bite-size and yummy! Warm inside with creamy filling on the outside these little gems will make you never want another morning again.
- Cooked mashed potatoes (2 cups)
- Eggs (3, bitten)
- Parmesan cheese (1 cup)
- 1/4 cup minced fresh chives
- Salt (as your requirements)
- Put an oven rack in the middle of your oven and heat it to 400°F. Lightly coat the cups of a mini-muffin tin with cooking spray or butter before arranging cakes on them so they don’t burn!
- Place the mashed potatoes, eggs, cheese, and chives in a large bowl and stir all of them to combine. Season with salt and pepper if requires.
- Fill each of the muffin cup with the mashed potatoes. Add cheese to the top of the cups.
- Now place it in an oven. Bake for 20 minutes until the potato cups are browned on top. Let them cool for about 5 minutes and then use a knife to gently release them from the pan. Serve well.
Mashed Potato Pancakes
These mashed potato pancakes are the perfect way to use up leftover spuds. Mix them with an egg, cheese, and some fresh chives for extra flavor!
- Well grated parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
- Chives (chopped, 2 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg
- Mashed potatoes (2 cups)
- Flour (0.5 cup)
- Olive oil (2 tablespoons)
- Mix mashed potatoes, egg, flour, salt, pepper, garlic, cheese, chives and any optional ingredients. Make sure the mixture is slightly thick.
- Preheat the pan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Now by using a wide and flat spatula, gently transfer the patties into the pan and cook until it looks golden-brown. Serve warm
Are Idahoan’s Mashed Potatoes Healthy?
Idahoan’s mashed potatoes are low in price and are considered a good food if consumed in moderation. Otherwise, they are not very healthy because they are buttery and the added butter increases the number of calories they have.
They are a good source of potassium, carbs, vitamin B6, and minerals but are also higher in sodium that is not good for heart health. It can cause high blood pressure, stroke, and other cardiovascular diseases so they are not healthy to eat daily.
Are Bob Evan’s Mashed Potatoes Healthy?
Bob Evans mashed potatoes contain potatoes, milk, butter, salt, natural flavors, black pepper, and monoglycerides. They are good in nutrition and are surprisingly very healthy.
They can be microwaved before eating. These mashed potatoes contain saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and fiber. They are low-calorie mashed potatoes and contain 150 calories per serving.
Are Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Healthy?
Cauliflower mashed potatoes are very low-calorie mashed potatoes and are especially good for those who want to lose weight. They are more satiating with only 57 calories per serving.
Also, cauliflower has a lot of nutrients, it is low in starch and high in vitamin C. It is very healthy for weight loss.
The Bottom Line
Mashed Potatoes are healthy but the only cooking method that can sometimes make them unhealthier. It is beloved comfort food. But is often less healthy than other types of potato dishes because of ingredients that add saturated fats and sodium.
So, are mashed potatoes healthy? Yes, they are but you can improve how nutritious your mashed potatoes are with healthy substitutions and controlling the amount of food you eat.
Do mashed potatoes make you gain weight?
Yes, mashed potatoes can make you gain weight if you eat them a lot. Whereas, eating mashed potatoes in moderation is very healthy as potatoes are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Will eating mashed potatoes make you lose weight?
Eating mashed potatoes will not make you lose weight. However, if you replace your fats and proteins with mashed potatoes, then you can lose some muscle mass. This can make you lose weight. But it is not a long-term solution. The decreased muscle mass can cause weight gain in the long term.
What do mashed potatoes do to your body?
Mashed Potatoes contain a lot of minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. It has many health benefits as it can control blood sugar, boosts immunity, and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Are potatoes healthy for weight loss?
Yes, potatoes are healthy for weight loss if you take them in moderate amounts. This is because they are filling and are low in calories compared to other foods. They enhance longevity and help in weight loss if you eat them in moderation.