General Question

LostInParadise's avatar

Are baked potatoes a good diet food?

Asked by LostInParadise (28165points) April 17th, 2010

They would seem to be. They are low in calories if you are careful of what you put on them and they are filling. I have even seen Web entries about potato diets.

According to low carb promoters, baked potatoes are the worst possible diet food because they have a high glycemic index, meaning that they are readily digested and quickly produce a lot of blood sugar. It is claimed that it is actually better to fry the potatoes in order to slow down digestion.

So which point of view is correct?

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14 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

It really depends on the person, their specific health issues and dietary needs, what the purpose of the diet is, and how it’s structured. There’s no one “right answer”.

LostInParadise's avatar

Perhaps I should have been more specific. The purpose of the diet is to lose weight, which is what I figured most people would assume.

tedibear's avatar

This gives a good basic explanation of the difference between glycemic index and glycemic load. Just because something has a high glycemic index, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has a high glycemic load. This has some more basic information as well.

According to the first link, a food with a glycemic load between 0 and 55 will release its carbs more slowly into your system, which is what you want. A 173 gram baked potato has a load of 28 according to this site.

Buttonstc's avatar

Sweet Potatoes are much healthier than white potatoes.

LostInParadise's avatar

@tedibear39 Thanks for the info on glycemic index and glycemic load. According to this link, baked potatoes are pretty high in both.

Gemini's avatar

It depends on the kind of diet you’re on——carb counting or fat intake. If you are trying to count calories or fat grams they’re pretty good. Of course what you put on the potato will make the biggest difference of all.

tedibear's avatar

@LostInParadise – It says on the site from your link that the glycemic load on a medium baked russet potato is 23. Between 0 and 55 is considered to be a low glycemic load.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

They’re good for making you feel full without a lot of calories. Just lay off the butter and sour cream. They’re not terribly interesting without the extras though.

gailcalled's avatar

They are also considered a starchy veggie, like corn and peas, and unlike the dark green ones. I am just now staring at a bunch of raw beet greens. They are staring back, balefully.

Having said that, I enjoy a baked potato with several T. of salsa as a good small meal.

marinelife's avatar

They are pretty heavy in carbohydrates to be a basic part of a diet to lost weight.

_Jade_'s avatar

Not the way I like them…which is fully loaded.

Bluefreedom's avatar

Potatoes, in any form, aren’t a good dietary consideration for a diabetic according to my endocrinologist. =(

gailcalled's avatar

But better than a hot fudge sundae or Big Mac. It’s all relative.

MorenoMelissa1's avatar

Baked potatoes are a good diet foods, it’s all about what you put on them and how much. Go ahead and enjoy your baked potatoe. :)

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