Can you eat a raw potato?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat raw potato, what is potato, what is the difference between cooked and raw potatoes, what are the benefits of eating raw potatoes vs cooked potatoes, what is the risk of eating raw potatoes and how can you add potato to your diet. 

Can you eat a raw potato?

A potato can be eaten raw but in small amounts. Potatoes are better eaten cooked but they can also be eaten raw. 

There are some risks of eating raw potatoes especially because raw potatoes won’t be digested completely and they contain an antinutrient that will likely cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and other gastrointestinal issues.

What is a potato?

Potato is a starchy root vegetable native to the Americas. It can be commonly found in the United States and Chile. Potatoes are a very popular starchy vegetable that is used around the world in a lot of dishes. In 2014, potatoes were the fourth-largest food crop. 

Potatoes contain a chemical compound known as solanine, which is considered a toxin and can be very dangerous for human consumption. Also, potatoes produce glycoalkaloids in high amounts and are dangerous for human health. 

The main producer of potatoes is Chile followed by India, Russia, Ukraine, and the United States. 

Potatoes are considered a starchy vegetable high in carbohydrates, it contains about 79% of water, 17% of carbohydrates, and 2% of protein. They are an excellent source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C. 

What is the nutritional difference between cooked and raw potatoes?

Potatoes are not normally eaten raw because they do not taste as good as cooked potatoes. Boiled or baked potatoes with no added ingredients have almost the same nutritional content as raw potatoes with the difference that raw potatoes have chemical compounds that can be a toxin to humans, especially in high amounts. 

1 pieceRaw potato (213 grams)Boiled potato
Calories162132
Total fat2 grams0.6 grams
Cholesterol0 mg9 mg
Sodium13 mg13 mg
Potassium905 mg900 mg
Carbohydrates37 grams31 grams
Dietary fiber4.5 grams4 grams
Sugar1.7 grams1.7 grams
Protein 4.4 grams3 grams

Potatoes are fat-free, an excellent source of carbohydrates and have a good amount of lysine and tryptophan. If potatoes are combined with other grains or animal protein, it is a good source of amino acids. 

Potatoes have a small amount of fiber but if eaten with the skin, you will have more fiber and the spike of glucose will be lower. Raw potatoes are high in vitamin C, once cooked they can lose a high amount of vitamin C especially if boiled.

What are the benefits of eating raw potatoes vs cooked potatoes?

Raw potatoes and cooked potatoes have almost the same benefits, but cooked potatoes do not have the risk of lectin as cooked potatoes. 

Raw potatoesCooked potatoes
Excellent source of fiber. 3.5 ounces of raw potato with skin contain 2.5 grams of fiberExcellent source of fiber
3.5 ounces of raw potatoes contain 11.5 mg of vitamin COne cooked potato contains about 40% of the recommended DV of vitamin C
Raw potatoes can provide 18% of vitamin B6 based on a 2,000 calorie dietExcellent source of potassium
Contains a high amount of amylopectin which works as a probioticHave a high amount of antioxidants

What is the risk of eating raw potatoes?

Raw potatoes might be healthy but in high amounts or if eaten raw every day they can be very dangerous. Some risks of eating raw potatoes include:

Lectins

All raw plants contain lectin which is known as an anti-nutrients. Raw potatoes are not the exception. Lectin is a protein that binds to carbohydrates and in high amounts can lead to digestive issues. 

When potatoes are cooked, lectin content is diminished because this protein is water-soluble. 

Solanine

Potatoes when exposed to light can produce a chemical known as solanine. This chemical can be produced even in the refrigerator when exposed to cold and artificial light. When potatoes produce solanine, they begin to turn green. 

Solanine even in small doses can be toxic and cause diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headaches, and central nervous system paralysis.  This compound can be found in higher amounts in the skin, so when you remove the skin it might be safer to consume. 

Cooking potatoes does not remove solanine. So when a potato is green, better throw it away. 

How can you add potatoes to your diet? 

The best way to eat potatoes is baked or boiled with not too many added ingredients because it can add too many calories. One potato a day, boiled or baked, can decrease the risk of cardiometabolic risk. 

Follow this link for some 22 healthy delish ways to eat potatoes. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat raw potatoes, what is potato, what is the difference between cooked and raw potatoes, what are the benefits of eating raw potatoes vs cooked potatoes, what is the risk of eating raw potatoes and how can you add potato to your diet. 

Citation

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/raw-potatoes#antinutrients

https://www.livestrong.com/article/475239-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-raw-potatoes/

https://www.thelist.com/453621/when-you-eat-raw-potatoes-this-is-what-happens-to-your-body/

https://www.eufic.org/en/healthy-living/article/the-goodness-in-potatoes

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