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
FLORENCEVILLE, NB, March 13 /CNW/ - The potato contains many essential
nutrients that are important for your health including fibre. Fibre is
generally defined as the indigestible portion of plant foods that moves
through the digestive tract. It used to be referred to as roughage and is
mostly recognized for its ability to combat constipation or to keep us
"regular." Although regularity is important, fibre contributes many other
health benefits. A high-fibre diet can, for example, help reduce the risk of
heart disease, aid in the management of some diseases including diabetes, and
may help you feel full for a longer time, which can help you to control your
There are two recognized broad classes of fibre: water soluble and
insoluble. Soluble fibre breaks down as it travels through the digestive
tract, slowing down the digestion process and the absorption of carbohydrates.
This delay means we feel fuller longer and are less likely to snack. The
slowing down of carbohydrate absorption also benefits diabetics who sometimes
struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Insoluble fibre, on the other
hand, does not break down but absorbs many times its weight in water,
assisting in the quick and smooth passage of food through the body.
Experts say that most Canadians only get about half the amount of fibre
they need in their diet. Health Canada recommends that women consume 25 g of
fibre a day and men 38 g. Fibre-rich foods include whole grains, legumes,
fruits and vegetables. To get the most fibre out of your potato, cook it with
the skin on.
5 medium Potatoes, with skin, cut in chunks
2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1 tsp Onion Powder
1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1) Combine Italian seasoning and onion powder and set aside.
2) Wash potatoes, cut into chunks and place in a bowl.
3) Pour olive oil over potatoes.
4) Add seasonings and toss with a spoon to blend oil and seasoning.
5) Place potatoes on a tray and cook at 400(degrees)F for 25-30
6) Remove potatoes, turn and then place back in the oven for an
additional 5-10 minutes for added crispness.
Remove from the oven and serve.
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
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).
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For further information:
For further information: Calla Farn, Director, Corporate Affairs,
Government and Public Relations, McCain Foods (Canada), (506) 392-3277,