Myth-busted! Kumara vs. Potato
Despite the popularity and celebration about kumara being rich in nutrients and having a lower GI than their white counterparts. New Zealanders can rest easy knowing that our favourite vegetable holds it’s own next to the Big K.
However in the United States, it is the over-consumption of highly processed versions of Potatoes such as French fries and potato chips that have been linked with increased risk of diabetes and obesity. Not the potato itself! The reason the kumara has received so much praise is because they are generally eaten whole.
Science suggests that potatoes and kumara have complimentary nutritional differences, and that one isn’t necessarily better than the other. For example – kumara are found to have higher amounts of fibre and vitamin A. While potatoes are higher in essential minerals such as iron, magnesium and potassium.
Glycemic Index is another tool which has been used to compare the two. GI ranks carbohyrdrate foods based on the speed at which they enter the bloodstream, and measures the effect on blood sugar levels. The faster the response, the higher the GI. When measured alone, kumara appears lower on the scale, but these days foods are rarely eaten on their own. So by adding healthy toppings to your baked potato such as low-fat sour cream, cheese and yoghurt you are able to lower the glycemic index of the meal. The fact the Glycemic Index is affected by a number of factors means it is not a completely accurate measure for all individuals. Read more about GI here.
Basically, the most important thing with potatoes, is the form in which you eat it. So the more natural and the less processed you enjoy your spuds, the better!
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 12th, 2012 at 3:48 pm and is filed under potato facts or figures, Potato News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.