Monday, June 27, 2011

Public Enemy #1

Back in the 1930's, the term public enemy referred to criminals such as Al Capone, John Dillinger, Baby Face Nelson, Bonnie and Clyde, and Ma Barker who were seen as extreme threats to society. Today I would expect Al Queda leaders to top the public enemy list.

Come to find out, Americans should be more afraid of potatoes than terrorists. Yeah, that's right...the scrumptdillicious potato is the biggest threat to the Nation. Or at least, its waist line. The US Department of Agriculture estimates the typical American woofs down 117 pounds of potatoes each year, including 41 pounds of frozen french fries.

Obviously, they didn't query me because that seems ridiculously low by my consumption standard. If I were stranded on a desert island with only one natural food source, dear god please let it be the potato and not the coconut.

A joint study between Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health found that  extra serving of potatoes contributed to an average weight gain of 1.3 pounds to 3.4 pounds over a four year period, depending on how someone preferred their spuds served. On average, that's more than the junk in the trunk packed on by drinking sodas or eating beef.  (Orlando Sentinel article, 6/24/11)
Oh, the horror.

Discovering my favorite side-dish is broadening my butt is too much bear.

Oh what a relief.

All this time, I've blamed my weight gain on the lack of exercise.  I can stop trying to fit the gym into my schedule now.

Oh, the revulsion...I can't give up potatoes. I'll give up ice cream before bed, sweet rolls for breakfast, and fried buffalo chicken sandwiches for dinner, but I will not give up potatoes.  I will harbor them in my pantry so that I can slice them and dice them, fry them, mash them, bake them and broil them.

Potatoes have been a dietary staple for thousands of years. They contain 0 fat, 0 cholesterol; have 7 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber; and are loaded with vitamins A & C, iron, and calcium. So why the bad rap?

The up to 63 grams of carbohydrates per serving is my guess.

A quick Google search on high carb foods revealed fructose, granular sugar, drink powders, hard candies, gummies, sugary cereals, dried fruits, rice cakes, low fat crackers, flour, cakes, cookies, jams and preserves have more carbs per serving than potatoes.  Woohoo! Loads of foods to give up before potatoes.

Lucky me.  I love potatoes any way you serve them, except the boxed au-gratin kind. Uck!

Professor X's favorite is red potatoes tossed in olive oil and season salt, then broiled in the toaster oven until crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.  Mmmmm.

Not to be deterred by the potato's new public enemy status, I'm on the hunt for new ways to serve 'em up. So, how do you do your spuds?

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Deborah Walker said...

I love them baked with a little olive oil and salt. So that the outside goes really brown and yummy. I reckon they're healthy, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Shakespeare said...

The problem is not the potatoes, but what we put with them. Bake a potato, and it's still healthy. Load it with everything from full fat sour cream to 1/4 butter to bacon to grated cheese and it's suddenly 500 calories' worth of fat.

And deep frying is no better, I'm afraid.

I think I like them best--well, the red potatoes, cut up and baked with a little olive oil and TONS of spices--garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes. The spicier the better.

William Deen said...

Baked. With lots of butter, salt, pepper, sour cream, cheese, and bacon bits. I'm sorry. I will not stop eating them and I'm going to request a second opinion.

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