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Calories in Baked Potato

The potato is the starchy and tuberous plant from the perennial Solanum tuberosum. The name is used interchangeably to describe both the plant itself and also the edible tuba. It is believed to have originated from the Andes region and was first introduced to the rest of the world 4 centuries ago, becoming an instant hit with the international community. Today, potato is an integral part of international cuisine. It represents the world's fourth most in demand food, only after rice, wheat, and maize (in that order). There are a number of ways to prepare potato but the majority of them involve baking or broiling.

Breakdown of Nutrients and Calories in Potatoes

Size Calories Fat Carbohydrate Protein
potato medium (2-1/4" to 3-1/4" dia.)(173.0 g) 161 0.2g 36.6g 4.3g
potato large (3" to 4-1/4" dia) (299.0 g) 278 0.4g 63.2g 7.5g
potato small (1-3/4" to 2-1/2" dia.) (138.0 g) 128 0.2g 29.2g 3.5g
NLEA serving (148.0 g) 138 0.2g 31.3g 3.7g

For a serving size of about 173g, potatoes calories are rated about 160 and this is considered a bit high by the US Food and Drug Agency (FDA) standards. In addition, potato does not have any cholesterol and it also boasts a very low fat content (consequently, very low saturated fat), so it is generally considered a healthy food choice. Even though carbohydrate content is relatively high, the fact that it has significantly more dietary fiber than sugar means that it does not fare too badly in terms of nutritional value. Potato is especially rich in vitamin C (which comprises some 28%) and a decent amount of minerals (such as calcium and iron). It also offers high levels of potassium.

Pro and Cons of Potatoes in Terms of Nutritional Value

From an overall health consideration, the calories in baked potato, which measure over 150, are considered moderate in order to replenish our daily calorie consumption. The non-existence of cholesterol and very low saturated fat and sodium levels make potato a desired healthy food. There is an abundance of Vitamin C along with a decent amount of useful minerals (e.g. potassium, iron and calcium).

On the other hand, a significantly high amount of carbohydrates seems to be a concern. It is not all bad, however, as it has a bigger proportion of dietary fiber compared to sugar. In a way, that can help to mitigate certain health risks. Sugar is known to be linked to an array of disorders like obesity and diabetes.

Effectiveness of Potatoes as a Weight Loss Agent

Due the high level of calories potatoes carry, they are not in general considered a useful aide for people who aim to lose weight through dieting. The high count of calories baked potato has effectively require people to expend this energy first before they can burn their excess fat through their metabolism. Baring this factor, zero cholesterol and very low saturated fat would be really helpful to supplement a weight loss program. Additionally, the high carbohydrate count means that people who are on a low-carb regimen would likely need to refrain from this staple in order to achieve their weight loss objective.

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Copyright ©  2012 Last Updated 23 November, 2014. NUM OF CALORIES HomeCalories in FruitCalories in VegitablesOthers