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Does the potato make you fat or thin?

January 15, 2021
Eating potato makes you fat

The dilemma about whether ” the potato is fattening or not ” stems from the ancient belief that in order not to gain weight it was necessary to reduce or eliminate the consumption of foods rich in carbohydrates. This included foods such as rice, pasta, potatoes, and other root vegetables . More recent scientific research has dismantled this theory, ensuring that carbohydrates are definitely not the enemy . However, many of these food myths remain ingrained in the population, leading to misunderstandings and causing information to be misrepresented. Have you been wondering if potatoes are fattening and still can’t find a clear answer on the subject? Keep reading below to find out.

Also learn about some of the pros and cons of potatoes in controlling body weight , what experts think and what are the best consumption options to consider.

Eating potato makes you fat?

Since the answer cannot be a simple Yes or No , we believe that it is necessary to review some points before reaching a conclusion.

The potato is a food rich in starchy carbohydrates, with great nutritional value and a significant energy supply. If we analyze the glycemic index of the potato ( GI = 78 )1 we see that its value is high, hence its consumption increases glucose and insulin levels in the blood.

Taking into account that insulin promotes fat synthesis 2 3 , then we could say that eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as potatoes, will make us fat. But this is not entirely true.

Contrary to what was previously thought, the simple fact of eating these types of carbohydrates does not make us gain weight, in the same way that cutting them does not make us thin. In fact, scientific research has reported that low-carbohydrate diets are not the most effective way to control or reduce weight, and that they may even have the opposite effect in the long run.4 5.

Returning to the initial question, then we can say that the simple fact of eating potatoes does not make you fat . As with other foods ( sweet potatoes , pasta, rice, corn), weight gain is actually more related to portion size, preparation, general diet, and physical activity level, but not with the carbohydrate contribution of the potato as such.

In other words, eating a moderate portion of potato (1 cup) will not make you fat; it is excessive and inappropriate consumption that you should avoid. When eating potatoes, be sure to choose a healthy cooking method , avoiding the addition of caloric dressings (sauces, creams) and serving with a source of protein, good fats and fiber.

There are no reasons to eliminate potatoes from your diet. Let’s not forget that it is a nutritious tuber , rich in essential vitamins, fiber and minerals. Being a good source of energy and complex carbohydrates, it is ideal for people who do high intensity physical exercise and for those who want to gain weight in a healthy way, especially those who are trying to increase muscle mass.

See below: What Properties and Healthy Benefits does Potato have?

Note : Even moderate consumption of potatoes may be contraindicated in some people, specifically those with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease. If that is your case, consult your doctor about the possible contraindications that the consumption of a particular food may have.

What is the best way to eat potato so as not to gain weight? Cooked, Fried, Roasted?

If you are a potato lover, but you are concerned that its regular consumption may make you fat in the long term, here are some suggestions so that you always make the best decisions.

There is no doubt that the potato is a very versatile food. It can be prepared in different ways and included in numerous recipes, however some options are often better than others when it comes to maintaining weight and caring for overall health.

The boiled or parboiled potato is one of the most common preparations and also one of the most recommended. It does not provide fat, is rich in fiber and maintains the amount of calories that are in the food naturally. It is important not to add an excess of popular toppings, such as butter, sour cream, cheese, and to control the portion size, especially when making the mashed potatoes , since it usually takes several potatoes to make this dish (if you are a lover of puree, visit Papa Amarilla – Characteristics, Differences, Uses in the Kitchen and Papa Yungay – Origin, Characteristics and Nutritional Value ).

In addition to the cooked potato, another excellent alternative is the baked potato . Many even say that the baked potato is better because it keeps all the nutrients intact, unlike the boiled potato that can lose a certain amount in the cooking water.

Note : If you are concerned about the loss of nutrients in the case of parboiled potatoes, you can steam them.

As you might expect, one of the least recommended options when it comes to not gaining weight is the potato chip , basically due to factors such as the high content of saturated fat and the predisposition to eat large portions in a single meal. If you eat chips and fries regularly, you may find it difficult to control your body weight. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine looked at weight gain in more than 100,000 people over several years; The researchers observed that those individuals who claimed to maintain a regular consumption of potato chips had the highest rate of overweight among all participants.6

Quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions

If I don’t want to get fat, is it better to eat peeled or unpeeled potato?

In general, eating peeled or unpeeled potato won’t make a big difference in how many calories you eat. However, many nutritionists recommend eating the potato with the skin, since it contains a part of the vitamins (vitamin C, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine), minerals (potassium, iron) and fiber of this tuberous root.

Fun fact : According to a publication of the National Nutrient Database of the United States Department of Agriculture7 , a medium potato, roasted and in the shell, has about 70% more iron and 35% more potassium compared to a peeled potato.

An average baked potato, without the skin, provides approximately 145 calories, 34 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of protein; not removing the skin would only represent an increase of 15 calories and 3 grams of carbohydrates, a negligible amount when it comes to weight control. As a positive point, the peel provides an extra gram of protein, a greater amount of fiber and a higher concentration of nutrients.

Does the potato get fat at night?

Considering that a potato will provide you with the same amount of carbohydrates and calories regardless of when you consume it, this question might seem absurd. However, there is one very important aspect to consider. We are generally more inactive at night ; This means that if we eat something and our body does not need it, the resulting glycogen will be stored as fat. So consuming more calories than you burn can actually make you fat in the long run.

If you are trying to lose weight, avoid eating caloric carbohydrates in the inactive hours of the night or just before sleeping. If you eat potatoes at these times, opt for boiled potatoes and control the portions very well.

Does the potato fatten the buttocks?

No food is capable of generating weight gain in a specific place. The storage of fat in our body is determined by factors such as genetics and gender; that is, some people accumulate fat in the abdomen and arms, while others can easily put fat on the thighs and buttocks.

Assuming that the potato is a caloric food rich in starchy carbohydrates, eating too much potato can make you fat in the back area, as long as your body type tends to accumulate fat in that area.

Tip : A better way to grow your glutes is to train with weights and increase muscle mass, rather than fat.

What makes you fatter, potatoes or rice?

First of all, both potatoes and rice are foods that are fully compatible with a balanced diet and a healthy weight. Both provide a similar number of calories, protein, and are practically fat-free; However, when it comes to not gaining weight, many nutritionists recommend consuming potatoes before rice. The explanation is that the potato contains more fiber than rice , hence it helps to better counteract blood glucose peaks and therefore weight gain.

Despite this, it is important to note that everything is relative. The mode of preparation and portion sizes can make a big difference. For example, eating a mashed potato with plenty of cream and butter, or a plate of potato chips, will make you fat faster than a serving of white / brown rice.

What makes you fatter, potatoes or bread?

If you are trying to lose weight or maintain your current weight, potatoes may be more beneficial than regular wheat bread. Although a serving of potato usually has more calories than a slice of bread, the tuber is a source of complex carbohydrates, with more protein and dietary fiber. This helps keep you full longer , lowers blood sugar spikes, and prevents you from gaining weight in the long run.

Final thought

Does the potato make you fat or thin? One thing or another. When potatoes are cooked in a healthy way, for example roasted, boiled or steamed, and eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, they are not fattening. Rather, they are a source of complex carbohydrates, rich in fiber and essential nutrients. But if you usually add sauces, creams, butter, etc. or you eat them fried, then it is very likely that they will make you gain weight.

  • Control portion sizes (remember the saying: “a lot of a good thing can turn into a bad thing”)
  • Always accompany with a source of lean protein and healthy fats .
  • Maintain an active lifestyle (sedentary lifestyle and poor diet will make you fat)



My name is Louise Hammond, and I am the creator of this website, a place to find information about tubers, bulbs and medicinal roots. In I show the properties, benefits, characteristics, photos and images, ways of growing and how to make delicious meals from starchy vegetables.