So many wonderful varieties of potatoes from which to choose! Sweet potato, Yam, Russet, Yukon, and Red are some of the most common when making your selection in the grocery store (actually 100’s of varieties are available). Then for added complexity we add to that decision process, organic or commercially grown? Selecting potatoes just became a bigger decision than we first thought!
First off, quality first…organic vegetables are recommended whenever possible. The most critical consideration is the health or purity of the skin, which is the part with the largest amount of nutritional content. If you are using conventional potatoes either peel them or if baking them whole, do not consume the skin.
Potatoes can be very nutritious. However variety and preparation method plays a big role in the nutrition content of what actually makes it to your plate. Potatoes are known for their starch and fiber content. They are also a good source of vitamins and minerals specifically, vitamin C, potassium, calcium and manganese.
Russet potatoes have a significantly higher content of starch which when cooked breaks down and provides the fluffy texture for baked or mashed potatoes. They trade off is that they have less dietary fiber and less nutrients (about half) compared to sweet or Yukon potatoes. Sweet potatoes are a very good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene (antioxidants), fiber and a good source of potassium and calcium. Yams have the highest amount of fiber than them all and have a lower sugar content than sweet potatoes. Red potatoes have the least amount of starch and would be a good choice if trying to avoid spikes in blood sugar, while still including potatoes as part of your holiday cooking.
Pick and chose based on your health or culinary needs!