While boxes of instant potatoes have extra ingredients such as preservatives, vegetable oils, anti-caking agents, and corn syrup, they do, in fact, contain potatoes. Surprisingly little of the nutritive value of the potato is lost in the process of making boxed instant potatoes. Turning real potatoes into flakes for instant mashed potatoes involves cooking the potatoes, mashing them, dehydrating them, and then breaking them up into flakes. For the best nutrition, when shopping for instant potatoes, check the ingredients first.
Potatoes tend to get a bad rap for being heavy on starch and carbohydrates. But the truth is potatoes have long been a staple of the human diet, and they contain necessary nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, folic acid, and dietary fiber. In addition, potatoes are fat free, cholesterol free, and at 169 calories per one medium russet potato, low in calories. Potatoes are also rich in flavonoids, carotenoids, and phenolic acids, which function as antioxidants to protect your body from the ravages of free radicals.
The skin on a potato will take on a greenish tint if it has had too much light, either sunlight or fluorescent. Potato leaves, stems and roots contain a compound called saponin. When potatoes are exposed to light, they turn green and convert saponin to solanine. While solanine is poisonous in large quantities, there is not enough solanine in one potato to cause harm. If you have a potato with a little green on it, simply cut that part away and discard it. If you notice the produce section of your local grocery store has a lot of green potatoes, ask the produce manager to switch out the inventory to fresher spuds.