Although we eat potatoes mostly cooked, are they safe to eat raw? This article will help you make informed decisions about how to prepare potatoes.
You can eat potatoes raw or cooked. Cooking potatoes can alter the natural flavor of the potato. Raw potatoes offer many health benefits over cooked potatoes. However, there are some drawbacks. For example, solanine levels can increase.
Raw Potatoes: Nutritional Benefits
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These nutritional benefits might convince you to include raw potatoes in your diet, even though they aren’t often on the menu.
The nutritional content of potatoes is affected by cooking. Vitamin C is the main nutrient affected by heat. The Vitamin C in vegetables is reduced by cooking, and raw potatoes contain twice as much Vitamin C . If you are suffering from cold, raw potatoes may be better than baked potatoes.
Raw potatoes provide more dietary fiber than cooked potatoes. It has more resistant starch which is high in fiber but can be easily destroyed during cooking unless you wait until the cooked potatoes cool down completely.
Butyric acid is found in higher quantities in raw potatoes. It has been shown to alleviate symptoms of IBS by decreasing inflammation and reducing the risk of infection in the gut.
These nutritional benefits are not only significant but eating potatoes raw also lowers your exposure to carcinogens. Maillard reactions are chemical reactions in which food and potatoes produce several byproducts. Acrylamide is a known carcinogen. One study by Stockholm University compared the risk of developing cancer in rats who had eaten cooked food to uncooked foods, suggesting that cooked foods could be responsible for the background cancer risk in humans. These small amounts of carcinogens are not harmful to a large population. However, those at greater risk for cancer could benefit from reducing their intake of cooked foods, such as potatoes.
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Raw Potatoes Pose a Risk of Solanine Poisoning
As you can see, potatoes usually have a yellowish hue. After a while they turn green which could indicate a dangerous toxin.
Although raw potatoes sound delicious, there are also some drawbacks.
One of the most striking examples is the high level of solanine in potatoes, especially when green. Solanine is a toxin found in potatoes that increases with sunlight exposure. Solanine will be more concentrated in potatoes that have been left out for a longer time. While solanine is present in raw and cooked potatoes alike, heating potatoes can significantly reduce their concentration. One study by the Department of Agriculture showed that deep-frying potatoes at 410@F can reduce solanine levels by around 40%. Eating potatoes raw makes you more at risk for solanine poisoning.
Avoid eating potatoes that are starting to turn green to avoid solanine poisoning. Chlorophyll production is a good indicator of solanine content. Also, you can prevent potatoes from producing solanine by keeping them in a dark area where they are not exposed to sunlight. Also, be aware of symptoms such as:
Abnormal body temperature (both high and low).
Hallucinations and other neurological abnormalities.
You should immediately seek medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms.
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Other downsides to raw potatoes
Many people prefer cooked potatoes to raw potatoes.
Apart from the potential danger posed by solanine and the texture, the taste is one of the most obvious downsides. Raw potatoes are more appealing than cooked potatoes. They have a bitter taste and a hard texture, which many people might find objectionable. Raw potatoes can be difficult to incorporate into a healthy diet.
While raw potatoes contain some nutritional benefits, their resistant starch also has many antinutrients and compounds that can make it difficult for food to be digested. Additionally, cooking potatoes generate antioxidants, while raw potatoes contain lower potassium and Vitamin B6 levels.
Uncooked food is at higher risk than cooked food because heating can’t kill bacteria. If you plan to eat your potatoes raw, washing them well and peeling them to reduce the risk is essential.
It is essential to eat a wide variety of foods in order to maintain a healthy diet. Raw potatoes have many benefits, but cooked potatoes have many advantages. Both types of potatoes can be incorporated into a balanced diet, but you need to be careful about how they are prepared.