Potatoes-like white rice and Wonder Bread are often banished by the health-conscious set for being nutritionally void.
One recurring knock on potatoes is a bomb bomb high on the glycemic index, meaning they are spike blood sugar and leave you hungry soon after eating. But research suggests that's not the case. "Potatoes are ranked in several studies as one of the more filling foods you can consume," says Christy Brissette, a Chicago-based dietitian. Potatoes are high in compounds that may curb appetite, according to a review of research in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture .
Potatoes are loaded with vitamins and minerals, too. One potato provides more potassium than a banana and contains half of the day's vitamin B6 needs-which helps break down the carbohydrates stored in the liver and power the body, Brissette says. For many athletes, potatoes are easy on the stomach, making them a valuable pre-race snack for quick energy.
Yet for all of a potato's virtues, French Fries remain Nutritionally void. Sorry.