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In Praise of the Baked Potato

In the recent era of carb bashing, the humble potato took a hard hit. Often prepared in fattening ways, like the cream-and-butter-laden mashed potatoes or the oily french fry, our potato fears might have been justified. But, I ask you to reconsider the baked potato.

If you take away the butter, sour cream, and cheese often heaped on a baked potato, what you have left is an exceptionally healthful, low calorie, high fiber food containing antioxidants that offer protection against cardiovascular disease, cancer, and possibly Alzheimer's.

Not only is the potato high in vitamin C, it is also a good source of vitamins B6 and B3, as well as the minerals potassium and magnesium, which both help prevent muscle cramps. Plus potatoes are high in dietary fiber, but don't skip the skin because that is where you'll find the fiber.

So, if you're like me and crave a baked potato on a cold Winter night, I say go ahead and eat one. To see my suggestions for healthy ways to top your spud, just


Here are a few alternatives to overplayed potato toppings like sour cream and butter: salsa, pesto, soup, soy sauce and steamed broccoli, sauteed onions (in olive oil, of course!) caramelized with a little balsamic vinegar and some lightly toasted walnuts.

Well, I know what I am having for dinner. What about you? Do you love potatoes too? Share your love in the comment section below.


Join The Conversation
KMattes KMattes 8 years
I live mine topped with canned vegetarian chili-watch the sodium-- but it's a quick, filling, once-in-awhile meal.
dawnswimmer dawnswimmer 8 years
I love BBQ chicken stuffed potatoes. I ask for no butter which makes it less fattening. BBQ chicken stuffed sweet potatoes are good too, which I made with Vidalia onion BBQ sauce.
fuzzles fuzzles 8 years
I usually make a batch of caramelized onions every week to toss into various dishes. I love these, coupled with a very hot salsa on a potato. The sweet/spicy combo is nummy!
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Love all these topping ideas ... and I LOVVVEEE me a baked potato! There is a BBQ place near us: Ray Lewis' (yes, that Ray Lewis) Full Moon BBQ... they have these ultra loaded baked potatos they are horrible for you but sooo delicious as a treat!
emily-violet emily-violet 8 years
Soniabonya Soniabonya 8 years
used to have baked patatoes quite a bit in college. got to get back into them. never liked sour cream on my food, only lightly buttered and chives. Yum!
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 8 years
My fave is some marinara sauce, lots of red pepper flakes, garlic, oregano and black pepper, then a little bit of mozzarella cheese melted on top (just for a little gooeyness) -- heaven! And you get good nutrients from the tomato sauce, too!
fortheloveofrock fortheloveofrock 8 years
yummm, I want one tonight, and BTW FIT YOU HAVE BECOME MY FAVORITE SUGAR!!!!
leeluvfashion leeluvfashion 8 years
I just had a baked potato as part of my dinner last night; I only put a small little piece of Smart Balance in there (the version w/ flax seed.) So yummy! I also love it with some soy sauce mixed in or a little mustard. I hate heavy toppings.
joy76 joy76 8 years
By the way I leave out the butter!
joy76 joy76 8 years
Ha Fit! where you in my office yesterday??? Recently for the past week all i crave is a jacket potato with baked beans we call baked potato here jacket potato. Anyways I usually have it on gym days and I've found that it keeps hunger at bay till dinner time and also stops the mid afternoon snack. Out of curiosity I asked a colleague if it was fattening or high in calorie and she was educating me that it was not and very perfect for losing weight. Thanks for posting this I am going to continue as I am loving it at the moment especially during the winter month so comforting, and filling.
danceintheerain danceintheerain 8 years
FAGE greek yogurt is an excellent alternative to sour cream... it tastes almost exactly the same, and even the fat free kind is every bit as thick and creamy! yummmm
susanec susanec 8 years
Sunflower seeds and a lot of pepper. Not a butter or sour cream fan but spicy and crunchy is good.
psterling psterling 8 years
I use plain light yogurt instead of sour cream. tasty!
mtiger mtiger 8 years
I just use light butter and sour cream. I love potatos, cooked any way with any topping!
Hill82879 Hill82879 8 years
If you like sour cream and butter, try using lemon juice and a little bit of salt. It sounds totally crazy, but it is actually a really fantastic substitute.
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
We used to eat baked stuffed potatoes on a regular weekly basis; I'm not sure when we stopped doing so, but I know what I'm having tonight!
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
it's really interesting that you posted about this one. for AGES i would have a baked potato for dinner with my meal and then i kind of got scared because of the carbs and all that so it's found it's way out of my menu. i think that i really need to remember that there are a lot more benefits compared to the negatives that you'll find in this food - especially since i don't use the fatty things on top of it. i just go with the salt option, or sometimes the light sour cream thing.
TidalWave23 TidalWave23 8 years
I like low-fat cottage cheese on my baked potato. yum!
princessgouveia princessgouveia 8 years
It sounds weird but low fat plain stonyfield yogurt actually works as a sour cream substitute if you don't want all the calories of real sour cream. Little bit of that and 50% low fat jalapeno cheddar and its dinner! *disclaimer* I can't think of a way I don't like potatoes and so I might be biased.
356UIK 356UIK 8 years
Good post. Yes, they are actually very good for you, soooooo many vitamins, and filling from their fiber which is a great way to 'diet'. I'm glad you reminded me of them because I'm running out of dinner ideas and getting sick of eating the same stuff. I also like sweet potatoes which require no toppings at all! :P
kristints kristints 8 years
I use light margarine or light sour cream, about 40 calories per TBSP for either.
Renee3327 Renee3327 8 years
I'm a sour cream girl...I just buy the light kind and use it sparingly
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