Potatoes have long been a dietary staple in many cultures, and for good reason. Not only are they a versatile and delicious ingredient in many dishes, but they also offer a variety of health benefits. In this blog post, we’ll explore the perks of potatoes, the benefits of double cooking for starch-based carbohydrate absorption, and how it encourages short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) production, which can be amazing for gut health and even weight loss.
The Perks of Potatoes
Potatoes are a rich source of nutrients, including fibre, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6. They are also low in calories, with a medium-sized potato containing only about 110 calories. Here are some of the specific benefits of including potatoes in your diet:
Promotes Gut Health: Potatoes contain resistant starch, which is a type of starch that resists digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon intact. There, it serves as food for the beneficial bacteria in your gut, promoting a healthy microbiome.
Weight Loss: Potatoes are low in calories and high in fibre, which can help you feel full and satisfied for longer periods of time. Additionally, the resistant starch in potatoes has been shown to reduce hunger and increase feelings of fullness.
Improves Athletic Performance: Potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, which are the primary fuel source for your muscles during exercise. Eating potatoes before or after exercise can help replenish glycogen stores and improve performance.
Helps Control Blood Sugar: The fibre in potatoes can help slow down the absorption of glucose in the bloodstream, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Why Double Cooking is Better for Starch-Based Carbohydrate Absorption
While potatoes are a great source of starch-based carbohydrates, their starches are not easily digested by the body in their raw state. This means that a lot of the beneficial nutrients and energy in potatoes can be lost if they are not prepared properly.
The Role of Resistant Starch in Promoting Gut Health
One way to improve the absorption of starch-based carbohydrates in potatoes is through double cooking. Double cooking involves cooking potatoes first, then cooling them, and then cooking them again. This process increases the amount of resistant starch in the potatoes, making them easier to digest and improving their nutritional value.
When potatoes are cooked and then cooled, some of the starch molecules are transformed into resistant starch. This is because the cooling process causes the starch molecules to form more tightly packed structures, which are more resistant to digestion. When the potatoes are cooked again, these resistant starches are more easily digested and absorbed by the body, providing more energy and nutrients.
Encouraging SCFA Production for Gut Health and Weight Loss
Double cooking potatoes can also encourage the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) in the gut. SCFAs are produced when beneficial bacteria in the gut ferment dietary fibers, including resistant starch.
Incorporating Potatoes into a Healthy Diet
SCFAs have been shown to have a number of health benefits, including improving gut health, reducing inflammation, and even promoting weight loss. They can also help regulate blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
Potatoes are a versatile and nutritious food that offer a variety of health benefits. Double cooking potatoes can improve the absorption of starch-based carbohydrates, encourage SCFA production, and promote gut health and weight loss. So next time you’re cooking up a batch of potatoes, consider giving them a double cook for maximum nutritional benefit.
Here’s one of my fave go-to recipes for my simple, yet delicious, recipe for double-cooked potatoes…
Double Cooked Garlic Herb Potatoes Recipe
- 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the cubed potatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until they are tender.
- Drain the potatoes and spread them out on a baking sheet. Let them cool for 10-15 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C.
- In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, chopped herbs, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
- Pour the olive oil mixture over the cooled potatoes and toss until they are evenly coated.
- Bake the potatoes in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or until they are crispy and golden brown.
- These double-cooked garlic herb potatoes make a delicious side dish that’s easy to prepare and packed with nutrition. They’re a great way to incorporate the benefits of double-cooked potatoes into your diet. Enjoy!