Saturday, February 03, 2024

Are Potatoes Considered Vegetables?


Key Takeaways

Some dietary guidelines do not classify potatoes as vegetables.

Are Potatoes Considered Vegetables?

There's speculation about the reclassification of potatoes as grains in the upcoming Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2025–2030.

Potatoes, high in carbohydrates and starches, are nutrient-dense and virtually fat-free.

Americans consume more potatoes than almost any other vegetable, providing potassium and vitamin C.

About 10% of U.S. adults meet vegetable intake recommendations, with debate on whether potatoes count due to their high carbohydrate content.

White potatoes, along with corn, peas, and cassava, fall under the “starchy vegetable” subcategory.

Eating vegetables, including starchy ones, is a core element of a healthy dietary pattern according to guidelines.

However, there's speculation that potatoes may be reclassified as grains in the 2025 dietary guideline updates.

Kam Quarles, CEO of the National Potato Council, opposes this potential reclassification, citing botanical and horticultural characteristics.

Are Potatoes a Vegetable or a Grain?

Potatoes differ from traditional vegetables but don’t perfectly match the profile of grains, says Caroline West Passerrello, a registered dietitian.

While potatoes contain starches causing blood sugar spikes, they are nutrient-dense with vitamins and potassium.

Some public health authorities, like Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, have removed potatoes from the vegetable category.

Lilian Cheung, director of health promotion at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, suggests occasional inclusion in a healthy diet.

Are Potatoes Considered Vegetables?

What This Means For You

Potatoes can be part of a healthy eating pattern, but their preparation matters. With the skin left on, they are a good source of fiber, but frying can increase fat content.<

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