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Potatoes Offer More Nutritional Bang For The BuckPotatoes Offer More Nutritional Bang For The Buck

June 7, 2013

2 Min Read
Potatoes Offer More Nutritional Bang For The Buck

DENVERPotatoes provide one of the best nutritional values per penny, offering one of the most affordable sources of potassium compared to other raw vegetables, according to a new study published in the journal Plos One.

Researchers from the University of Washington used a combination of nutrient profiling methods and national food prices data to create an affordability index," which was then used to examine the nutrients per unit cost of 98 individual vegetables, as well as five vegetable subgroups. These groups included dark green, orange/red, starchy, legumes (beans and peas) and other" vegetables.

The findings show dark green vegetables had the highest nutrient density scores, but after accounting for cost, starchy vegetables (such as potatoes) and beans provided better nutritional value for the money. Potatoes, in particular, provide one of the lowest cost options for four key nutrients, including potassium, fiber, vitamin C and magnesium. Among the most frequently consumed vegetables, potatoes and beans were the lowest-cost sources of potassium and fiber, which are nutrients of concern as identified by the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines.

The ability to identify affordable, nutrient dense vegetables is important to families focused on stretching their food dollar as well as government policy makers looking to balance nutrition and economics for food programs, such as the school lunch program and WIC," said lead researcher Adam Drewnowski, Ph.D. And, when it comes to affordable nutrition, its hard to beat potatoes."

The United States Potato Board funded this study, which adds to the growing database of nutrition science that supports potatoes in a healthful diet. One medium-sized (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving and boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana (450g). It also provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45%), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

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