The skinny on fats - 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, July 31 /CNW/ - Potatoes are a fat-free friend! They
are low in calories and contain no trans or saturated fats so they are a good
choice to include in low-fat diets.
    But don't try to avoid fats altogether. Fat is the major component of our
cell membranes and is an essential part of our daily diets. Canada's Food
Guide recommends that we try to consume 30 to 45 ml (2 to 3 tablespoons) of
healthy fats every day. About 30 per cent of our daily intake should be from
fat but it's not only the total amount of fat you eat that matters, but the
type of fat you eat.
    Polyunsaturated fats, also known as the 'good fats', can help improve
your cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. These
can be found in vegetable oils such as sunflower, corn, safflower and soy bean
oils. Saturated fats, found in butter and meat, are known to raise blood
cholesterol levels.
    If you wish to add toppings to your potato but want to keep the calories
and added fat low, add a dollop of salsa, a sprig of broccoli or a sprinkle of
minced fresh chives or basil instead of butter or sour cream.


    Potato Salad with Tuna

    Potato salads are always popular. Marinate leftover potatoes from dinner
    tonight for a tasty salad tomorrow. Makes 4 servings.

    4            Medium cooked potatoes
    1/2 cup      Bottled Italian dressing (calorie-wise)
    1            7 1/2 oz (213g) can of tuna
    1/4 cup      Chopped celery
    2 tbsp       Sliced green onion
    1/4 cup      Chopped green and red peppers
    To taste     Salt and pepper
    To garnish   Lettuce, tomato and cucumber slices


    Reheat leftover potatoes in microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH; peel, if
needed. Cut in chunks. Pour 1/4 cup (50ml) of dressing over potatoes; mix
gently and refrigerate. Marinate potatoes several hours or overnight. At
serving time add remaining dressing and rest of ingredients except lettuce,
tomato and cucumbers. Toss gently. Arrange salad on lettuce leaves with
cucumber and tomato slices. Source: PEI Potato Board Recipes
    No leftover Potatoes? You can still make this recipe by boiling potatoes.
Simply boil the potatoes in water, for approximately 15 - 20 minutes. Potatoes
are cooked when a fork inserted into them pulls out easily.
    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

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

    Photos available in archive photo section.

For further information:

For further information: Calla Farn, Director, Corporate Affairs,
Government and Public Relations, McCain Foods (Canada), (506) 392-3277,

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