Articles on baked potato

Are Potatoes Healthy?

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Potatoes are always linked with weight gain and health issues. Many people avoid potatoes in their daily diet when they are trying to lose eight or manage it. But do you know that potatoes are full of health benefits and can even help fight bloating. The key to restoring all the health benefits of potatoes is by using the right techniques to cook it.What makes potato a healthy food -Carbohydrates: The potato is best known for its carbohydrates content (approximately 26 grams in a medium potato). The predominant form of this carbohydrate is starch. A small but significant portion of this starch is resistant starch which improves your digestion by resisting immediate digestion, thus keeping you full – the same way, fiber would. Potatoes are also a good source of dietary fiber which provides bulk.Glycemic Index: Glycemic index (GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular type of food. Potatoes are often broadly classified as high on the glycemic index (GI) and so are often excluded from the diets. In fact, the GI of potatoes can vary considerably depending on type, origin, preparation methods and with what it is consumed. To reduce the GI of the potatoes consume them in a combination with other vegetables and roasted chicken.Phytochemical Content: Different studies have revealed that potato is a storehouse of phytochemicals, flavonoids and vitamins. These nutrients help fight cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. A new analytical method developed by Agricultural Research Service plant geneticist Roy Navarre's team also identified potatoes with high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, quercetin and kukoamines which have effect of regulating blood pressure.Other Nutrients: Potatoes are good source of iron, protein, potassium, vitamins and phosphorus. The vitamin C in potatoes promotes iron absorption. Potassium in potatoes helps manage bloating. However eating potatoes with its skin can increase the amount of dietary fiber.Healthy ways to eat a potatoTo get the maximum benefits from the potatoes, it is important to check the cooking process. Due to high content of starch, potatoes tend to absorb more fat on frying. Therefore they are best eaten roasted, baked or steamed. This not only enhances the nutrition of the potatoes but also protects them from becoming a fattening food.So, it is not the potato that is bad, it is the cooking process that makes it. Eaten the right way, they could actually help you lose weight.

7 Guilt-Free Potato Recipes

Dr. Sangeeta Malu, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Good ol' mashed potatoesSoft, warm, and fluffy - mashed potatoes leave you feeling all fuzzy fuzzy. Boil them and mash them up with roasted garlic, ginger, orange juice, salt, and pepper. Serve them with meat or fish and voila! You have a wholesome meal abound with nutrition.Potato fingersCrisped to perfection from outside and starchy goodness within, potato fingers are just too hard to resist. Dice them with their skins on. Brush a little olive oil and bake them in the oven. Toss them up with sour cream and fresh herbs and dig in!Potato indulgenceDice sweet potatoes and stir fry them in olive oil till they are golden brown. As they are cooking, add cumin, paprika, and ginger juliennes. Season with salt and stir till they are cooked through. If you're not too conscious, throw in some of that tempting cheese!Healthy potato saladsUse a variety of fresh potatoes to make a healthy salad. No need for fatty salad dressings. Just a dash of vinegar and some dijon mustard makes it an appetizing, ready-to-eat meal.Potato cakesOne of the best ways to sneak in some veggies for your kids is to make cutlets. Boil potatoes and toss in some carrots, peas, coriander, and bell pepper. Season with salt. Make small cutlets and saute them gently in olive oil till they are ready.Potato jacketsScoop out some of the flesh and stuff the potato with flavored curd. Bake for a few minutes till they are golden brown. Serve them with wedges of lemon and watch them disappear!Potato oven FriesSay bye-bye to the regular, deep fried chips and embrace oven fries. Cut thick wedges of potatoes, toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and herbs. Bake them in a hot oven for a few minutes. Keep turning them every now and then so that they cook well.Sumptuous and healthy, these delicious spuds can be a part of your diet plan. Indulge guilt-free in these recipes and enjoy the benefits of Vitamin C, Potassium, and fiber.

Potato: A Diabetic’s True Friend

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Diabetes is the new age epidemic. An increasing number of people are suffering from this disease and its related complications. Here, it is essential to understand that only medications are not enough to manage this menace. In fact, a modification in lifestyle and diet is a must in the management protocol of diabetes. This fundamental fact opens a door to the term ‘diabetes meal plan.’Diabetes meal plan‘Diabetes meal plan’ is a comprehensive guide on what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat for diabetics. It is a plan based on Glycemic Index (GI) of foods, carbohydrate count (carb count) and the plate method. Ideally, this is formatted for a diabetic individual by a trained and a qualified dietician or nutritionist. It is different for different individuals, depending on the blood sugar levels,activity levels and overall diabetes control. Generally, a good thumb rule to follow is not to exceed more than 15 grams of carbohydrates in a snack, lunch and dinner, however, can be 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates for women and 30 to 45 grams of carbohydrates for men. Of note, food items with high GI are to be avoided, as the higher the GI of a food, the more increase in the blood sugar and insulin levels.After this bird's eye view of the diabetic meal plan, let us look into some facts of potatoes.The Potato fact filePotato is a cheap and easily available vegetable and a kind of staple food for many. It is full of starch that breaks down into sugar; may be this is a fact that makes us doubt its place in a diabetic meal plan.We should not forget that potato is also rich in dietary fibre, vitamin C, B6 and potassium. Above all,it is free of fat and cholesterol.One small potato of 150 grams has about 110 calories, which is around 25 grams of carbohydrates.According to the standard in diabetic meal plan, half a cup of potatoes is one carbohydrate choice,i.e., 15 grams of carbs. The GI of potatoes is variable between 58 and 111; on an average it is 78 for a boiled one and 87 for an instant cooked one.Depending on an individual’s carbohydrate allowance, potato can be included in the meal plan of a diabetic patient. Let the dietician decide the quantity of potatoes to be eaten. It also depends on the other things eaten with potato during that meal. For example, a steamed cauliflower is an excellent choice along with potato in a meal.The Way to goAs seen the potato is loaded with nutrients and is equally important for all diabetic or non-diabetic persons. However, what makes a potato unhealthy is its consumption in large quantities and the way it is cooked. Fried potato or potato cooked with margarine, butter, cheese or cream is unhealthy.All you need to do is be vigilant on your blood sugar levels. How well a diabetic patient tolerates potatoes or any other food is very individualistic. So, you need to track your blood sugar levels all through the day or as recommended by your diabetologist, especially 2 hours after meals using a glucometer and making sure that it is not exceeding the control level.

Fat Free? Is It?

Ms. Tehzeeb, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Have you ever been deceived and/or betrayed? By a lover, by a friend, by your boss (promised a salary hike and a better position but refuses to make eye contact with you now), by your tailor (promised he would have your Kurta ready in 48 hours but the material is still sitting in the corner-in the bag you got-as untouched as a virgin). Point being, there may be varying degrees but come what may, isn't it the absolute worst feeling in the world?Sadly, we are continually deceived by the health industry as well and every time you may think you're purchasing 'slimming' foods because that's what the label says (oh, naïve you!), that may in fact be far from the case. Thus, here we are to your rescue! Knowledge really is powerful you know? Below is a roundup of 10 common foods we think are healthy but really aren't.1. Low-fat/skim/1 or 2 percent milkWhy isn't this healthy?) Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) will not get absorbed in the absence of fat) Since whole milk is denser in calories, you reach the satiety point quicker. With the slimmed down milk versions, you could keep chugging and still feel unsatisfied and restless2. Granola bars that aren't homemadeWhy isn't this healthy?Anything that comes from a packet will require either excess sugar, salt, fat or preservatives to conserve its shelf life. Thus, much better to opt for more natural foods as mid-meals such as fruits or nuts3. Baked chipsWhy isn't this healthy? Yes, the chips are baked with less oil but extra preservatives are added to give it that crunch we enjoy so much. Also, the sodium content in the baked varieties is higher which could lead to blood pressure and fluid retention a.k.a. the bloated feeling you loathe so much4. MargarineWhy isn't this healthy?A popular saying goes "Trust cows more than chemists." Margarine is a replica of butter. Butter is prepared naturally whereas margarine synthetically. Margarine contains less of Vitamin K, CLA and omega-3 compared to butter and has a dangerous type of man-made fat called trans fat5. Low-fat cookiesWhy isn't this healthy?If they are low in fat, they double up on the sugar and preservatives to retain shelf life. If you must indulge, then you're better off making a batch of homemade cookies and having those once a week or less as opposed to purchasing a pack of low-fat cookies and nibbling on it daily for weeks until your next trip to the grocery store6. Diet sodaWhy isn't this healthy?Diet soda are sodas which replace sugars with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin etc. These sweeteners tend to increase hunger which leads to excess eating thereby causing weight gain. A lot of research also links them to increased risk of acquiring cancer7. 100 calorie snack packsWhy isn't this healthy? Recent research has taught us that a calorie is not a calorie. At the end of the day, snack packs are 'packaged' and thus, even though low in calories, not high enough in nutrients. A banana would be a much better, natural, nutritious 100-calorie snack to opt for8. Diet khakra/diet chevdaWhy isn't this healthy? Labeling a food as 'diet' doesn't automatically make it healthier. Don't get fooled by these labeling gimmicks. On the contrary, each time you see the word 'diet' or 'slim' being used on a packet, you should get skeptical. Anything truly healthy (think carrots, apples) would never feel the need to label itself so. If fat is removed, sugar is added. If both are removed, preservatives are added. Best to stick to the simpler stuff wherein you are assured that chemicals and preservatives aren't added or excess elimination of a specific ingredient hasn't taken place9. Fortified orange juiceWhy isn't this healthy? A whole fruit is always better since the fiber content is retained. Also, there is always a risk of freshly squeezed juice getting oxidized owing to environmental factors such as heat. Oxidization is a process which would cause loss of nutrients thereby rendering the juice consumption pointless10. Packaged fruit juicesWhy isn't this healthy? High in sugar, added chemicals and preservatives and very low in nutrients, freshly squeezed juices or whole fruits are always a better bet in terms of nutrient contentShop wise and stay fit!Lots of love and health!

Stop Summer Sabotaging Your Beautiful Self!

Ms. Nisha Singh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Who doesn’t love themselves too much? Without sounding narcissist, we all do, right? Now there are times when we go over-the-top and end up sabotaging our bodies and minds.For example, as soon as the summer sun hits and the months are hot, dry and parch, we tend to guzzle down crates of root beer to cool and chill off,without realizing when Fall arrives, our beer bellies are too big. Not only this, there are a series of health issues to deal with as well. So, stop summer sabotaging yourself, will you!Take a pledge to love yourself a little more todayYes, the summer monthscan be cruel and unforgiving, but that doesn’t mean in a bid to stay cool you’dend up losing the gorgeous you? Think about all the lovely events, parties, pubhopping you would be invited to when Christmas arrives, and not looking thepart would play rain on a crisp winter night- damper alert!“According to USDA analyses, a cup of premium ice cream often has more than 500calories and is loaded with added sugars and saturated fat. For comparison, acup of frozen soft-serve yogurt has about 230 calories.” Source:HuffingtonPost.5 easy ways to stop thesummer sabotage, starting now!Is that how you wantyour year to end? Certainly not- here are 5 easy ways to stop the summersabotage, starting now!1. Baked not friedTry staying away fromoily foods as much as possible. Baked and not fried should be the way to goevery summer. In addition to keeping the right shape and weight of the body,you could also lose weight and not worry about the excess flab or fat on youwhen the parties come by. Baked chips instead of fries, baked veggies, shouldyou not like it raw- a touch of pepper can help spice things up too.2. A drink or twoRed wine when chilledis good for the body, instead of beers in summers. Wine glasses are smaller inquantity to consumer, much smaller than what your regular pints of beer wouldoffer. So skip the beers at the BBQs and have red wine instead, and here iswhat experts at Harvard University have to say on thesame lines.3. BBQ bitesBeer and burgers, canwe ditch them both because they have too much fat and unwanted calories inthem, that aren’t good for the body. What about tofu BBQs, or maybe healthygrilled meats sans the grease and oils with red wines? Ditch the creamydesserts too, and opt for healthy fruit bowls for sweet touches while the mid day gatheringsare on!4. Small portions a dayWith the summer heat,one doesn’t really want to have too much to gorge on, which is but natural. Andinstead of having three large meals a day, sticking to six small portions persnack would be fine.  Speak to a nutritionistto find out the right amount of proteins and carbs and good nutrition your bodywould need.  Salad dressings are a no-no!5. Walk and work outDon’t be a couch potatothis summer, not when the breezy summer evenings invite you out for a treat!Take a walk with your dad, your mom, your special someone or with your pet- 30minutes of walking can help you keep in shape, helps the respiratory system tooand makes you body fit and active as well!No more guilty winters to deal with, not when you have stopped the sabotage of summers!

Dessert Recipes to Be 60 and Sugar Free!

Dr. Priyam Sharma, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Being old and having a sweet tooth is no fun. You have just about everyone advising you against picking up that harmless sweet after a nice meal. But what if we told you that there were guilt-free sugarless options on the dessert recipes that you could proudly dig into?   These desserts with no added sugar may seem like a partial substitute, but they delight just the same.Frozen fruit ice cream Freeze two to three bananas for at least 12 hours and then blitz them in a blender along with frozen berries. You can use all kinds of berries such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. Just remember the more berries you add, the more it becomes like a sorbet but if you want a luscious creamy texture then just add more banana. Scoop out the fruity loveliness and enjoy! Yogurt parfaitProbiotics in yogurt are extremely good for the digestive system. This particular dessert combines the goodness of probiotics along with fruits and fiber. All you need is ¾cup of flavored yogurt, ½ cup of granola (no raisins), and ½ cup of fresh chopped fruits. Now layer each of these ingredients in a parfait glass in the same order. Take a big spoonful and indulge in this heavenly dessert.Baked apple chips When it comes to sweet snacks, baked apple chips are a great option. All you need is a couple of apples and some cinnamon powder. Thinly slice the apples and spread them on a baking tray. Sprinkle some cinnamon and bake for about 45 minutes. Turn them over, add more cinnamon, and bake again. Voila! Healthy and yummy!       Light, sugar-free, and stuffed with nutrition, these desserts are the answer to your prayers especially if you enjoy long, romantic walks to the fridge looking for sweet treats. 

Fasting, feasting, and everything in between!

Ms. Raminder Kaur Deshmukh, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Hey!! watch out Navratra's are ahead.As navratra's are here and everyone is prepared for the festivities ahead. If you are undertaking an extending fast one must take special care.Here are some tips which one can follow:Keep yourself hydrated by choosing coconut water/green tea/lemon water/water/fruit shakes/fruit yogurt/vegetable juices.Eat at every regular interval of time.One should take fruit in breakfast as it will energize your body.Avoid oily and fried food like fried potato/ fried tikki/ puri's etc. as it will lead to weight gain.Try to adapt baked/ grilled food like baked potato/ grilled stuffed potato with green chutney.Include sago(sabudana) khichdi with lots of veggies as it will give you feeling of fullness and also provide you fiber.Include sabudana kheer with low-fat milk as a sweet option or prashad. One can add dry fruit to it.At the time of snacking one can have roasted makhana with green tea or tea or baked chips with green tea.In dinner, one can have fruit shake with chia seeds/ veg. samakia with salads/ roasted or baked paneer with veggies.Fasting doesn't mean one have to starve for the whole day and eat more food at one time which is known as feasting. When we overeat our stomach stretches to accommodate extra food. we gulp more food at a time which also lead to heartburn or acid reflux. This occurs due to fasting for the whole day and feasting at a time.It is better to chew food well and eat slowly as it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to signal the brain when we are full. Overeating also lead to bloating/ acidity/ heartburn/ abdominal cramps etc.Hence, one should fast in a healthy manner.SAMPLE MENU FOR THE UPCOMING NAVRATRA'S:Breakfast: Fruit with milk/ fruit shake with 5 to 6 almonds.Mid-morning: Lemon water with fruit /coconut water with fruit/ green tea with fruit.Lunch: Grilled sabudana vada with green chutney/ Buckwheat flour (kuttu atta) chapati with vegetable and salad and ghiya raita/ Baked sabudana tikki with vegetable and curd/ Vegetable samakia rice with curd and saladAfter Lunch: Green teaEvening: Green tea/ tea with baked chips/ Roasted makhanaDinner: Paneer tikka/ milk with fruit/ A bowl of veggies and salad/ Petha+ ghiya soup with vegetable/ Apple soya shake with chia seeds/ Curd+fruit smoothie.

Navratri Diet

Dr. Renu Garg, Homeopath
Each year Hindus all over the world religiously fast for nine days twice in a year. This fasting period is recognized as Navratri Vrat by North Indians. The perception that substituting roti (carbohydrate) with endless servings of vrat ka khana, characterized by fried potatoes, sabudana papads, crispies, sweets, fruits etc will help in losing weight is a myth. Apart from eating wrong stuff, another common crime is 'not eating at all'. In the greed of knocking down a few kilos, people usually go for just one big meal in the evening, which is an absolute no-no. It is detrimental to metabolism and in the bargain you only get fat, a bloated feeling and constipation. Navratri food is generally starchy and needs a lot of oil to be cooked, which leads to constipation since the body is not used to so much of starch. So, the solution lies in changing the way you cook. For instance, a potato can be taken as a mash rather than in fried form.In case, you intend to fast this month of Navratra, it is important that you keep certain recommendations in mind: Avoid eating fried food. Limit your sugar intake. Avoid sweets. Eat one cooked meal and the rest fruits and dairy. Drink plenty of water. Remain hydrated with water in different forms like soups, nariyal pani, butter milk, nimbu pani and fruit shakes. Limit portion size.Follow these simple steps and enjoy the benefits of the nine days of detoxification!Diet Plan For NavratraDay 1 Potato Plan you may eat 4-6 boiled potatoes throughout the day in form of raita, tikkis (not deep fried) or subji. Have two meals of potatoes and curd, two of fruits and one snack of low-fat milk. Substitute fried potatoes and chips with grilled potato cutlets, potato mash, and aloo chaat. One can add veggies like cucumber, tomato, mint and coriander to add taste and volume. Sweet potato can be roasted and eaten as chaat. Day 2Paneer Plan On this protein plan you may eat paneer in a light preparation as two meals, papaya, oranges, pineapple, cucumber salad in one meal and a glass of low-fat milk as a snack. Day 3Sago/Sabudana Plan Sago or sabudana is relished as khichdi and kheer during Navratari fast. This is a high glycemic food and calorie dense so have one meal of sago/sabudana and rest of the meals as fruits and dairy. Day 4Repeat Paneer PlanSoups can be prepared out of vegetables allowed during the fasts and taken as a small mid-meal. Soups are considered to be natural diuretics so they'll help you ward off constipation Day 5Kuttu Atta (Buckwheat Flour) As Navratra fasting is not complete without a kuttu relish, have one favorite meal prepared with kuttu atta. Rest of the day keep your day light with fruits and dairy products. Rather than having it in the form of those oil dripping puris, make vegetable chillas (pancakes) out of the same. This will require a far lesser amount of oil. Day 6Repeat Paneer Plan Day 7Samakia Chawal you may enjoy one meal of the starchy preparation but again to ensure calorie balance have fruits and milk rest of the meals. If made in desi ghee tastes yummy but is a big source of calories. Instead, try eating them cold with curd and they can be an oil free treat for the season. One can also powder them to make pancakes.Depending on whether you keep Ashthami or Navmi you can repeat anyone of these favorite plans again. Remember not to feast after fasting as all that you lose will bounce back...