May 15, 2013
White Veggies Just As Nutritional As Their Colorful Cousins
Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Forgoing those boring looking veggies for ones that have a little more color isn't necessarily the best way to great nutrition, according to a new study.
Researchers wrote in the journal Advances in Nutrition that potatoes and other white vegetables are just as important to good nutrition as colorful ones.
"It's recommended that the variety of fruits and vegetables consumed daily should include dark green and orange vegetables, but no such recommendation exists for white vegetables, even though they are rich in fiber, potassium and magnesium," says the supplement's editor Connie Weaver, PhD, distinguished professor of nutrition science at Purdue University.
"Overall, Americans are not eating enough vegetables, and promoting white vegetables, some of which are common and affordable, may be a pathway to increasing vegetable consumption in general."
The team uncovered evidence that demonstrates how white vegetables can increase intake of fiber, potassium and magnesium, as well as help increase overall vegetable consumption among children, teens and adults in the US. They wrote about key health benefits associated with consumption of potatoes and other white vegetables like cauliflower, onions, mushrooms, turnips and kohlrabi.
According to the study, color does not necessarily predict nutritive value of a vegetable like old wives' tales tend to claim. White vegetables actually contribute important amounts of shortfall nutrients to the American diet across all age groups. Researchers also found that the average intake of starchy veggies is about half of what is recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines of Americans.
The team says better cooking oils, coatings, preparation methods and processing technology is critical to enhancing the nutritional value of the white potatoes in all forms.
In April, researchers at the annual Experimental Biology 2013 conference in Boston, Massachusetts announced evidence that supports the nutritional value of potatoes. They said they discovered links between consuming white potatoes and an increased intake of potassium. According to the study, white potatoes significantly increase potassium intake, a key nutrient that helps the body to naturally control blood sugar levels.
“Even without its skin, the flesh of the white potato is a potassium powerhouse. Just one cup (122 g) of baked potato without the skin provides 477 mg potassium,” the researchers said. They echoed the other team's findings by saying the potato alone is a "significant" source of key vitamins and minerals.