While popular myth has it that potatoes are unhealthy and fattening, I’m here to assure you not all potatoes are created equal. Clearly, potatoes come with this negative connotation due to the major way potatoes are consumed in this country: deep-fried French fries. However, the type of potato you consume and the way you prepare it can take its nutritional value to another level.
As I have advised on a number of bases, aim to consume homemade food for as many meals as possible. The less you eat out, the more likely you’ll know what’s going into your body. Remember, restaurants are profit-based businesses, and the majority will probably use cheaper products to ensure maximum profit. Yes, there are a number of wonderful restaurants that provide genetically modified free food, grass-fed meat, and healthy options. However, if it’s not labeled as such, your meal will most likely contain genetically modified oils, additives, and preservatives that come with negative health effects in the long run.
When it comes to French fries from restaurants, they are fried in vegetable oil or hydrogenated oil for frying. These oils are genetically modified, and extremely devastating to our health! Hydrogenated oils contain trans-fat, and is the perfect food to consume to increase the risk of cardiovascular health issues. Genetically engineered oils, like vegetable, soybean, cottonseed or corn, are in no way a good choice if you’re seeking a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the priority action item I advise all attendees at my workshops and events: get these genetically modified oils out of your kitchen! They have been linked to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, food allergies, infertility, and much more. I take these oils seriously and advise you do too.
You may be wondering how you can possibly eat without them. I recommend using extra virgin olive oil, which I cover thoroughly in my book, “Sunnah Superfoods.” I also share which oil is the best, what to use it for and what to avoid using it for, and much more. It’s an oil simply remarkable for consuming or even using on hair and skin. Although I don’t suggest using olive oil for frying, I’d be happy to inform you that coconut oil would do the job well. Coconut oil is another healthy oil to use as an alternative to the many junky options. Best of all, it can handle a high-smoke point, in other words, if you are desperate to fry anything, use coconut oil. It comes with plenty of health benefits as well as a distinct yet delicious taste.
Potatoes are part of the nightshade family, which include bell peppers, peppers, eggplant, and tomatoes. Surprisingly to many, if prepared and eaten correctly, potatoes can actually carry a myriad of health benefits for you and your family. Potatoes are high in Vitamin B6, potassium (yes, it’s not only bananas!), copper, Vitamin C, fiber, and phosphorus. Potatoes are extremely filling and satisfying. Try making homemade baked potatoes, and top it with organic sour cream and some chopped parsley. Potatoes work well in dishes like baked chicken or aside your lamb chops for dinner. Try red potatoes, white potatoes, russet potatoes, or best of all, sweet potatoes! Sweet potatoes are much higher in fiber, beta-carotene, Vitamin A, manganese, and natural sweetness. They make a great side or even work well as a dessert. Don’t be afraid of consuming potatoes, just be wary of the way they have been prepared.
Noor H. Salem is an author, speaker, and Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, from Michigan. Noor works with clients in better understanding their bodies and healing with natural foods through her wellness practice, Holistic Noortrition. She presents various workshops, school lectures, group coaching classes, and community lectures on the topic of holistic health. Noor recently published her book, “Sunnah Superfoods,” a culmination of life-changing recipes and remedies, with a foreword by Dr. Waleed Basyouni. Her book consists of prophetic hadith, modern research, and delicious recipes, and is in the process of being translated into other languages.