In 1960, 19 percent of potatoes consumed in the United States were done so in processed, lower-nutrition forms (fries, chips, and dehydrated ‘instant’ products). In 2005, 67 percent of potatoes consumed in the United States were in one of those three processed ways.
This is why I get so frustrated when I hear nutrition “experts” say statements like “potatoes are fattening,” or equate their nutritional profile to that of doughnuts and refined grains.
As this statistic shows, the problem isn’t potato consumption, but rather the way this vegetable is mainly consumed.
A simple baked potato, for example, packs in a significant amount of potassium, vitamin C, magnesium, manganese, and many B vitamins. More importantly, if eaten with the skin on, it provides anywhere from 5 to 7 grams of fiber (depending on the size).
Processed potatoes, meanwhile, are lower in all those nutrients — especially fiber — and higher in sodium (and, due to added fats, calories).