Do potatoes make you fat?

Fatty fried potatoes, French fries, chips: potatoes have a bad reputation. But only the method of preparation is unhealthy. We do away with old prejudices

"Child, don't eat so many potatoes, otherwise you'll get fat," Grandmother often warned. But is Omi right with her advice? "No, there is no food that generally makes you fat. The problem is too much of something," explains Professor Ina Bergheim, a nutritionist at the University of Vienna.

It is true that potatoes are low in calories

100 grams of potatoes have around 70 kilocalories and are therefore comparatively low in calories. For example, they have fewer calories than bananas. The only reason that healthy tubers have fallen into disrepute is because many of their most popular methods of preparation are quite high in fat. This applies to chips, fried potatoes or French fries, for example.

There is also one ingredient in the potato that sets alarm bells ringing for many: starch. The word alone sounds like being overweight. "Starch is a carbohydrate and doesn't make you fat any more than other macronutrients, as long as you enjoy them in a healthy amount," says Bergheim. Macronutrients are the three main nutrients in our food: carbohydrates, fat and protein (proteins).

Don't be afraid of carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are, per gram, much more figure-friendly than fat, for example. One gram of carbohydrate provides around 4 kilocalories, one gram of fat is more than twice as energetic with 9 kilocalories. If you chew potatoes for a long time, they get a sweet taste. This is because after a while in the mouth, the starch breaks down into smaller sugar molecules.

The more starch a potato contains, the more floury it is. However, this has hardly any influence on the calorie content. The individual varieties are just differently suitable for the preparation of different dishes. Floury varieties are good for porridge, gratins or soup. You can use firmer varieties for fried potatoes, potato salad or boiled potatoes.

Tip: cook potatoes with their skin on

Incidentally, you live particularly healthy and figure-friendly when you boil potatoes in their skins or prepare them in the steamer. Before consumption, however, you should peel the vegetables due to the poisonous solanine content of the peel. Because of the solanine content, you should also cut out any green areas from potatoes.

Cooking in the peel is so healthy because otherwise potatoes will lose vitamins and minerals. "Potatoes have a relatively high amount of vitamin C," says Bergheim. 15 milligrams per 100 grams of raw vegetables. In addition, there are 415 milligrams of potassium.