There's no doubt about it; potatoes are at the top of the high-carb and high glycemic vegetable list. Potatoes are also something that a lot of followers of a low-carb way of eating miss. Check the links further down the page, or join us in the Low-Carb Forum to find alternatives.
Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Potatoes
- ½ cup diced raw potato:12 gram effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 58 calories
- 1 medium potato (2½ to 3½ inches in diameter; about 7.5 oz): 35 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 5 grams fiber and 164 calories
- 1 large potato (3 to 4½ inches in diameter; about 13 oz): 60 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 8 grams fiber and 284 calories
- ½ cup mashed potato made with milk (no butter):17 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 87 calories
- ½ cup mashed potato made from dehydrated (instant) potatoes with milk:13 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 2 grams fiber and 114 calories
Glycemic Index for PotatoesStudies of the glycemic index of potatoes are many and varied. The results are everywhere from 56 to 111. Most of the computed averages are in the mid to high eighties. Why are potatoes more glycemic than sugar?
Estimated Glycemic Load of Potatoes
- ½ cup diced raw potato: 6
- 1 medium potato (2½ to 3½ inches in diameter; about 7.5 oz):17
- 1 large potato (3 to 4½ inches in diameter; about 13 oz): 29
- ½ cup mashed potato made with milk (no butter): 8
- ½ cup mashed potato made from dehydrated (instant) potatoes with milk: 7
Health Benefits of PotatoesPotatoes are a very good source of vitamin C and potassium and a good source of folate, vitamin B6, and manganese. They also contain a fairly high concentration of antioxidant phytonutrients when foods are compared by volume or weight. On a per-calorie basis, however, they are not as high as many if not most non-starchy vegetables.
For lower-carb substitutes for some potato dishes see Carb Counts of Root Vegetables and the recipes on the Cauliflower page.
More Carb Profiles:
Leroux, Marcus, Foster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).
United States Department of Agriculture. "Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity (ORAC) of Selected Foods - 2007. November 2007
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 20.