BRITTANY GEROW/THE VARSITY

Potatoes used to be a staple in many people’s diet. However, their nutrition has been underestimated lately and they have often been categorized as unhealthy and as a contributor to weight gain. But potatoes can, in fact, act as a great source of a low-glycemic carbohydrate.

Slightly cooked potatoes can serve as a very nutritious part of a meal. A medium sized potato contains only 110 calories, and contains no fat, cholesterol, or sodium. When it is eaten with its skin, a potato will have nearly half of the recommended daily value of vitamin C and more potassium than a banana

Athletes and active people who frequently lift weights or engage in long-distance running can take advantage of the potato’s carbohydrates. The more an individual engages in physical activity, the higher their insulin sensitivity becomes, which is a good thing.

One reaches a state of insulin sensitivity when regular exercise and low-carb diet becomes routine, and cheat meals are kept at a very minimum.

A meal with potatoes consumed within three hours of a workout will replenish muscle glycogen without any kind of a response, such as bloating.

Potatoes are a great part of a dinner when the amount of fat is limited. Limiting fat means avoiding butter and oils.

Under 40 grams consumed before bed will help to release serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters. The release of these neurotransmitters will allow one to have a sound and restored night of sleep, but the timing of consumption is crucial — at least two hours before sleeping is ideal.

Eating carbohydrates with the final meal of the day allows for insulin to release serotonin, which makes one lethargic.

At a low level, insulin will promote the growth hormone. This production has many benefits including muscle building, fat loss, cell restoration, and general body recovery.

When buying potatoes at the grocery store, it is important to avoid potatoes green in colour. Types of potatoes to look for are those coloured russet, red, white, yellow or purple.

When storing the potatoes away at home, avoid placing them in the refrigerator. An ideal way to store potatoes is placing them in a brown paper bag, away from other vegetables, especially garlic and onions.

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