Keep it Complex - By Jayne MacDonald, RD



    The United Nations General Assembly has named 2008 the International Year
    of the Potato to draw attention to the role potatoes can play in
    improving diets and reducing poverty. The potato is low in fat and rich
    in nutrients such as vitamin C and potassium. Below is one in a series of
    articles highlighting the potato and its many health benefits.

    FLORENCEVILLE, NB, June 26 /CNW/ - The potato is a vegetable that is
classified as a complex carbohydrate. Carbohydrates are an essential part of a
healthy diet and, along with fats and protein, are considered excellent energy
providers.
    Carbohydrates come mainly from plant-based foods and are the main
supplier of energy for our bodies, especially the brain and nervous system.
They also keep our digestive system fit. The body converts the carbohydrates
from the foods we eat into glucose for immediate energy and into glycogen for
energy reserve.
    A common misconception is that carbohydrates will make you fat. But
obesity occurs when you consume more calories than your body requires and when
it comes to gaining weight, the source of the excess calories doesn't really
matter.
    However, for other reasons, complex carbohydrates such as starches and
fibre are often preferred over the simple carbohydrates known as sugars
because they are digested much slower, providing level and constant energy. In
addition to potatoes, complex carbohydrates include whole grain cereals and
breads, pastas, root vegetables and legumes.

    KEEP IT COMPLEX (ADD ONE)

    For most people, 45 to 65 percent of their total calories should come
from carbohydrates, preferably from complex carbohydrates. One medium-sized
potato contains about 130 calories and 30g of carbohydrates or about
10 per cent of the recommended daily intake.

    
    Corned Beef Hash

    1 Cup       Chopped Onion
    3 Cups      Chopped Cooked Potatoes
    1 Cup       Cooked Carrots (diced or chunked)
    1/8 tsp     Salt
    1/2 tsp     Pepper
    340 grams   Corned Beef (canned) approximately 1 1/2 Cups

    Method

       1. Spray frying pan with a non-hydrogenated cooking spray
       2. Add corned beef and heat
       3. Add onion, carrots, potatoes and seasonings
       4. Heat over medium heat, turning frequently
       5. Enjoy

    Note: Cooked ground beef can be substituted for the corned beef
    This is a great recipe to incorporate using leftovers!
    

    The potato is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in a variety of
ways. Whether you bake, roast, fry, boil or mash them, keep in mind proper
portioning.

    For more information on the International Year of the Potato or to learn
about the importance of the potato as a staple in diets around the world,
please visit www.potato2008.org.

    Jayne MacDonald is a registered dietitian with McCain Foods (Canada)




For further information:

For further information: Calla Farn, Director, Corporate Affairs,
Government and Public Relations, McCain Foods (Canada), (506) 392-3277,
calla.farn@mccain.ca

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