The humble potato has gotten a tough break in the diet world. Although maligned as high-carb and fattening, potatoes actually boast a number of surprising nutritional benefits and can be a healthful addition to any weight loss plan.
"I think potatoes have a reputation for being fattening because of all of the comfort food dishes they're used in—and because they're often fried, mixed with cheese, butter and other high fat ingredients. There's no need to do that; it's like covering up a gorgeous face with too much makeup," says Lisa Lillien, the brainchild behind the wildly-popular nutrition and diet website, HungryGirl.com.
In other words, the key is in the preparation: Once you ditch the fattening toppings (butter, full-fat cheese, heavy cream), potatoes are a relatively low-calorie food that pack a powerful punch of nutrients and stick-to-your-ribs fiber. "You get so much nutrition in a potato—potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B and more—for only 110 fat-free calories in a medium-size, 5.3 ounce potato with skin," Lisa notes.
Haven't sold you yet on the glories of the spectacular spud? Here are 5 diet-friendly potato recipes, courtesy of "Hungry Girl" Lisa Lillien and the U.S. Potato Board, that are sure to make the down-to-earth potato a staple in your diet repertoire.