Q: Potatoes, potato and more potatoes … v all these carbs, the no wonder I acquire a pound for every day of Pesach—and the main before, too! How can I avoid overdoing the carbs?

A: together a long-time potato lover, i feel the need to defend one of my favorite tubers. Potatoes acquire a bad rap. They’re not truly “fattening,” as many world like come think; in fact, plain potatoes save on computer no fat at all. At one allude in mine life, ns was even able to lose around thirty pounds ~ above a self-designed potato diet. (Of course, that was throughout my pre-professional days. I would never recommend together a limited food arrangement now.) My suggest is merely that potatoes space actually healthful and also delicious, and contain vital nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, potassium and also folate; the latter is particularly far-ranging for ladies of childbearing age, since research has displayed an sufficient intake that folic acid (400 micrograms every day) might reduce the incidence the neural pipe defects during pregnancy.1 Sweet potato are likewise rich in nutrients, especially vitamin A.

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In general, starchy foodstuffs like potatoes and sweet potatoes space undeservedly vilified. Carbohydrates space actually good for you—and are critical for life. They are your quick power source, offering fuel—glucose—for her movements, including those you may not think around much, such as breathing and brain activity.2 And, choose potatoes, numerous carbohydrates are good sources of an essential nutrients—after all, fruits, vegetables and whole grains space all carbs and are packed with vitamins, minerals and also antioxidants. Diet fiber, i m sorry may assist lower cholesterol, manage blood street and carry out protection versus cancer, is a kind of carbohydrate as well.3

But if potatoes and also other carbs space as healthy as i say they are, why are so many human being convinced the they’re the source of weight gain? One reason for this is an observation made by weight problems researchers. Mental the “low-fat” heat of the eighties and early nineties? Researchers found that at the very same time Americans started reducing your fat intake and eating more carbohydrates, obesity rates began to climb.4 when this suggests some relationship in between carbs and also obesity, it does not median that the boost in carbohydrate entry actually caused the observed load gain.

For many people though, the circumstantial evidence is there: when they eat an ext carbs, they gain weight. But eating too much of any type of food is a cooking recipes for load gain! It just seems less complicated to overload ~ above calories as soon as it involves carbs, for number of reasons. Although lock filling, that feeling of fullness doesn’t last. If you eat a enjoy the meal that is composed only the carbohydrates, the food will be damaged down and took in quickly right into your bloodstream and, in ~ a couple of hours or so, you’ll probably be hungry again.5 That will send you earlier to the kitchen for much more food, which will add an ext calories to her day and also tack ~ above the pounds. Also, countless carbohydrates have tendency to be “comfort foods” (think creamy mashed potatoes, yummy cacao cake or a large bowl of pasta or rice), which human being eat once they’re no really hungry and also usually overdo portion sizes. Plus, carbs favor cake and also cookies are loaded v extra fat and sugar—which add more calories too.

In recent years, the prevalent popularity that high-protein diets like the Atkins diet and also South coast diet only added more fuel to the fire. However the jury is still out on why this diets occupational so well. Some researchers indicate that the additional protein in high-protein diet lends an ext satiety come the food plan so dieters eat fewer calories. In the case, it’s no carbs that result in weight gain, but rather there is a potential weight-loss advantage in eating much more protein. Researchers speculate that it’s also easier to stick to a diet the is much more liberal in protein. Think around the food options recommended on this diets, favor meat and cheese; if you’re allowed more of the “beef” in the meal—literally or figuratively—you’ll more than likely feel an ext satisfied. And also remember, too, the these diets are generally pretty restrictive. Choosing from just a restricted amount of foodstuffs works in your favor when you’re trying come diet; there’s much less to overeat. Plus, there’s the idea of “food-specific satiety”: there’s a limit to how much you have the right to eat of a details food before you tire of it, also if it’s the juiciest steak.6

It’s true that high-protein diets might lead to far better weight-loss outcomes (at least in the brief term) and may additionally be simpler to adhere to—but that does not average that carbs room bad, and it absolutely doesn’t typical that potatoes are out. However, even I, as a potato lover, can understand a little potato tiredness on Pesach. That’s why you need to make certain your Pesach meals and snacks have balance—each need to contain a great mix that carbs, protein and a bit of fat for satiety. This will assist you feeling satisfied and also will additionally ensure that your body gets the nutrient from these different varieties of foods.

You don’t have to give up potatoes to balance your meals—just add something to them! Pesach is the perfect time to experiment with potato-combination dishes. How around a small potato topped with other veggies, like broccoli or spinach, and a little of cheese? that’s a balanced and delicious meal right there (and one ns personally eat fairly often). Or try tuna-stuffed potatoes, another heart-healthy and also chametz-free meal. Scrambled eggs and also hash-browned potatoes room a good substitute for grain for a Pesach breakfast; use only one yolk, yet throw in as numerous whites together you like, and try using a food preparation spray instead of oil. Or you can constantly opt for the timeless meat and potatoes dinner—but cut down on portions and also start the enjoy the meal off with a vegetable soup or salad. It’s straightforward to reap potatoes guilt-free during Pesach or any kind of other time that the year. All it takes is a tiny balancing act!

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Make this Lime and also Honey Chipotle Glazed Sweet Potatoes

• baked potato (medium) with broccoli (1 cup) and also part-skim mozzarella (1 ounce): 271 calories, 5 grams fat, 12 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates.

• small potato (medium) through light tuna (4 ounces, canned in water) and part-skim mozzarella (1 ounce): 372 calories, 6 grams fat, 40 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates.

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• Scrambled egg (1 whole, 3 whites) and also hash browns (1 medium potato): 284 calories, 5 grams fat, 22 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates

• Mixed environment-friendly salad (2 cups) v reduced-calorie dressing (2 teaspoons), lean beef (3 ounces) and a baked potato (medium): 380 calories, 10 grams fat, 32 grams protein, 43 grams carbohydrates.

Shira Isenberg is a registered dietitian and writer. She has actually a master’s level in public wellness nutrition from Hunter college in new York. Send her food- and also nutrition-related concerns to ja