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Serving Sizes for Potatoes

by
author image Melodie Anne
Melodie Anne Coffman specializes in overall wellness, with particular interests in women's health and personal defense. She holds a master's degree in food science and human nutrition and is a certified instructor through the NRA. Coffman is pursuing her personal trainer certification in 2015.
Serving Sizes for Potatoes
A close-up of baked potatoes wrapped in aluminum foil. Photo Credit monkeybusinessimages/iStock/Getty Images

You should be getting 2 to 3 cups of vegetables -- or equivalents -- in your diet every day. A serving of potatoes is a nutritious addition to your diet -- and counts toward your daily vegetable servings. However, keep in mind that potatoes are a starchy vegetable and shouldn't replace the green veggies in your diet. Potatoes are naturally low in calories, but rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins. Red bliss, russet, Yukon gold and even sweet potatoes are just some of the types of spuds you can enjoy.

Proper Serving Sizes

If you’re having a baked potato, a single, 1-cup serving is equivalent to one medium-sized 2.5 to 3-inch diameter spud. As an alternative, you can dice and roast potatoes. In this case, a serving amounts to 1 cup. A cup of mashed potatoes or 20 French fries that are 2.5-inch to 4 inches long, are also equivalent to a 1-cup serving of potatoes.

Healthy Tips

Preparation methods and certain toppings can quickly turn your low-cal tater into an unhealthy side. To keep calories down, top baked potatoes with fat-free Greek yogurt instead of butter and sour cream. Keep mashed potatoes low in fat by making them with skim milk or fat-free Greek yogurt to get that creamy texture. When you’re in the mood for fries, fire up a baking sheet in the oven, spread out the fries on your hot sheet and cook them until crispy, rather than deep frying them.

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