Both potatoes and butter are relatively inexpensive, so a baked potato with butter can be an affordable, easy-to-prepare dish. Potatoes are rich in carbohydrates, and butter provides a lot of fat, so adding a source of protein would make this a well-rounded meal. Baked potatoes with butter aren't ideal for all diets, but they do provide some beneficial nutrients.
Baked potatoes with butter are relatively high in calories. A medium-sized baked potato weighing 173 g, topped with 1 tbsp. of butter, provides 263 calories. This represents about 13 percent of the daily recommended intake of 2,000. You could burn off the calories in a medium-sized baked potato with 1 tbsp. of butter by jogging for 27 minutes or in-line skating for 17 minutes.
Although potatoes are virtually fat free, butter is composed almost entirely of fat. Thus, a baked potato with butter is rich in fat; a medium-sized potato with 1 tbsp. of butter has 11.7 g fat, 7 g of it saturated. This amount of saturated fat is nearly half of the American Heart Association's daily suggested limit of 16 g. Consuming too much saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease.
Baked potatoes are rich in carbohydrates. A 173 g potato with 1 tbsp. of butter provides 36.6 g carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are your body's primary fuel source, so a baked potato with butter might be a good snack to choose before an athletic endeavor.
Butter doesn't contain any dietary fiber, but baked potatoes do. A medium-sized baked potato with 1 tbsp. of butter provides about 4 g of fiber. This nutrient promotes satiety, aids in regulating blood sugar levels and can help support the health of your digestive system.
Both butter and baked potatoes are low in protein. A medium-sized baked potato with 1 tbsp. butter provides 4.4 g of protein. The Institute of Medicine recommends eating .8 g of protein for each kilogram of body weight daily, as protein helps build and maintain your body's tissues. If you weigh 180 lb., this would equate to 65 g.
Minerals and Vitamins
Butter is virtually devoid of minerals, but baked potatoes are rich in potassium and magnesium. Butter provides some vitamin K, while baked potatoes contain folate and choline, two types of B vitamins.
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Potato, Baked, Flesh and Skin, Without Salt
- USDA National Nutrient Database: Butter, Without Salt
- Mayo Clinic; Exercise for Weight Loss: Calories Burned in 1 Hour; December 2009
- American Heart Association; Know Your Fats; June 2011
- Mayo Clinic; Dietary Fiber: Essential For a Healthy Diet; November 2009