Both potatoes and cauliflower are nutritious additions to your daily diet. In their raw form, they are both low in calories and supply a wealth of key nutrients. Add either side dish to boost your intake of these vitamins and minerals, but compare the two to determine which contains more of the nutrients you may be lacking in your diet. Learn more about different preparation methods to also guide your choice.
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Calories and Fat
A 1-cup serving of boiled potatoes contains 0.16 g of fat; the same amount of boiled cauliflower contains 0.56 g of fat. In boiled form, potatoes contain more calories than cauliflower, with 134 compared to the 28 in a single serving. If you are looking to restrict your calorie intake, cauliflower may be the healthier choice.
Both potatoes and cauliflower contain fiber, but potatoes contain more of this nutrient. Include at least 30 g of fiber as part of your daily diet to help cut your risk of constipation and other digestive complaints. A 1-cup serving of plain boiled potatoes contains 3.2 g of fiber. A 1-cup serving of boiled cauliflower contains slightly less with 2.8 g of fiber.
Potatoes and cauliflower are both nutritious sources of key vitamins, but their content varies. One cup of plain boiled potatoes contains 11.6 mg. Boiled cauliflower contains significantly more vitamin C with 55 mg in each 1-cup serving. Plain boiled potatoes contain 2.04 mg of niacin and trace amounts of vitamin A. Pureed cauliflower provides 54 micrograms of folate and 17.2 micrograms of vitamin K, two nutrients not present in significant amounts in potatoes.
A 1-cup serving of plain boiled potatoes supplies 0.48 mg of iron, 0.42 mg of zinc and 512 mg of potassium. One cup of pureed cauliflower contains 0.40 mg of iron, 0.22 mg of zinc and 176 mg of potassium. Boiling cauliflower with salt adds 300 mg of sodium, and boiling potatoes with salt adds 376 mg of sodium per 1-cup serving.
If you opt to mash your potatoes, you will increase the fat content. Milk and butter, which are typically included when mashing potatoes, add an unhealthy amount of saturated fat to your side dish that can increase your risk of elevated cholesterol and chronic health conditions. A 1-cup serving of mashed potatoes contains approximately 8.86 g of fat. Cheese sauce is a common topping for boiled cauliflower, but will also add fat to your side dish. Add a 1/4 cup serving of cheese sauce to your cauliflower and you add 8.37 g of total fat, 3.78 g of which are saturated.