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Potassium and Idaho® Potatoes

Q:

I heard that Idaho® potatoes have more potassium than a banana. Can that possibly be true?

A:

Potassium and Idaho Potatoes-Consumer and Foodservice_10.25.10Potatoes are amazingly healthy. In fact, potatoes are quite nutrient dense. A medium potato with the skin left on contains 45 percent of the daily value for vitamin C; as much or more potassium (620 mg) than a banana, spinach or broccoli; has 10 percent of the daily value of B6; and even trace amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and zinc.

Here are the technical details about the potato: A medium (5.3 oz) potato contains 110 calories, 26 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. The predominant form of carbohydrate in potatoes is starch (a complex carbohydrate). In fact, simple sugars (i.e., disaccharides and monosaccharides) comprise only .25-3% of the dry matter in potatoes (and thus, the calorie content). Therefore, simple sugars account for 2.75-3.3 calories of a medium potato (110 multiplied by .025 and .03), which is only about 1/5 of a teaspoon (16 calories per teaspoon of sugar).