Idaho Potatoes Provide Perfect Counterpart to New USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines

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Throughout National Nutrition Month, Consumers Can Count On Idaho® Potatoes to Fulfill Nutrient Needs as Outlined in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

EAGLE, ID—March 17, 2011—The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently unveiled the new 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans which outline evidence-based nutritional advice to promote health, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, and reduce overweight and obesity rates through improved nutrition and exercise habits. With March recognized as National Nutrition Month, consumers hoping to put the advice from these guidelines into practice need look no further than Idaho® potatoes to provide a wholesome nutritional base for any meal.

According to a survey conducted by the Idaho Potato Commission (IPC), potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable (February 2009)! They are naturally packed with a nutritional punch and contain many vitamins and minerals that are vital to a healthy diet including fiber, potassium and Vitamin C. Potatoes are also low in calories and contain no sodium, fat or cholesterol which can help with weight management and reduce the risk of disease.

“For Americans looking to live a healthier lifestyle and follow the new USDA guidelines, Idaho® potatoes are a perfect food option,” said Frank Muir, President and CEO, IPC. “Potatoes are one of the most nutritious and versatile foods available.  They can be prepared in an assortment of great-tasting dishes that can easily help consumers meet their daily requirements of potassium, Vitamin C and fiber.”

A baked potato topped with fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese is one healthy way to enjoy America's favorite vegetable.

A baked potato topped with fresh vegetables and low-fat cheese is one healthy way to enjoy America's favorite vegetable.

Potato Solutions for 2010 Dietary Guidelines
When planning healthful home menus that meet the 2010 Dietary Guidelines, Idaho® potatoes offer a nutritional building block for meals across all day parts. To keep your potatoes nutrient-rich, opt to steam or bake them instead of boiling.

Control Calorie Intake
•    A medium-sized potato has only 110 calories and packs in 3 grams of fiber per serving, which can help people feel full and manage their body weight.
•    The natural size of potatoes offers convenient portion control, and according to the USDA, consuming smaller portions can contribute to weight loss.

Reduce Sodium
•    The USDA suggests that Americans should consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily and individuals with hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease should consume even less. Potatoes are naturally sodium-free and can be prepared in appetizing, low-sodium recipes, such as Idaho® Potato and Chicken Skewers.

Fill Half Your Plate with Fruits and Vegetables
•    One easy way to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables is by preparing "Power Salads": Simply handpick the nutrients you want to load up on. Below are examples of Power Salad staples; keep in mind that Idaho® potatoes are packed with many of the nutrients showcased below.
◦    Fiber: Aids in digestion; salad greens, almonds and potatoes with the skin left on are all good sources of fiber.
◦    Potassium: Lowers blood pressure and protects against heart disease; potassium is found in potatoes, avocados, tomatoes.
◦    Vitamin C: Boosts the immune system and is plentiful in potatoes, butternut squash, and Brussels sprouts.
◦    Vitamin A: Helps to improve vision; consider carrots, zucchini and spinach for Vitamin A.
◦    Calcium: Builds strong bones and is found in broccoli, low-fat cheese, and peas.
◦    Antioxidants and carotenoids: Fight diseases, including certain cancers. Select yellow bell peppers, carrots, herbs such as rosemary and sage.
◦    Complex carbohydrates: Provides energy; potatoes and whole barley are packed with carbs.
◦    Protein: Increases metabolism; lean meats (chicken breast, turkey or fish) and beans are all high in protein.
•    Visit for Power Salad recipes including Grilled Idaho® Potato Ratatouille Salad, Idaho® Potato Nicoise Salad, and Jurich Salad.

Increase Physical Activity
•    The recommended weekly goal of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes. Potatoes are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide fuel for exercise.

Start the Day with a Nutrient-Dense Breakfast
•    Countless studies confirm that consuming a nutritious morning meal helps with weight management. The IPC offers potato breakfast recipes, such as Idaho® Potatoes with Pepper and Onions, that are guaranteed to jumpstart the day.

Choose Foods Rich in Potassium, Fiber, Calcium and Vitamin D
•    Did you know an Idaho® potato has more potassium than a banana?  When potatoes are teamed with other vegetables, proteins and low-fat dairy, a meal with high nutritional content is easily achieved. Consider the IPC’s Hashbrown Veggie Melt as a delicious and nutritious meal option.

Reliable Resources
The IPC’s website has an array of healthy resources for Idaho® potato lovers, including a vast repertoire of recipes, nutritional information, heart-healthy, convenient cooking tips and more. The website also offers a comprehensive nutrition handbook dedicated to America’s favorite vegetable.

To view the entire 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and for other resources, including personalized nutritional advice from MyPyramid and the Healthy Eating Index, visit the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.

Denise Austin
For fitness tips, meal planning ideas and motivational support, visit Denise has been working with the IPC for over seven years helping to educate consumers about the importance of diet and exercise. For an opportunity to win a free copy of Denise Austin’s book, Get Energy!,  visit the IPC’s Facebook page,

American Dietetic Association
Visit for advice on diet and nutrition from the largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

About the Idaho Potato Commission
The Idaho Potato Commission is a state agency that is primarily responsible for expanding the markets for Idaho-grown potatoes through advertising, promotion and research. The Commission also protects the use of the “Idaho® potato” and “Grown in Idaho®” seals, which are federally registered Certification Marks that belong to the IPC.  These Marks ensure that consumers are purchasing potatoes that have been grown in the state of Idaho. For more information, visit