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Slim Down with This Smart Approach to Carbs

Slim Down with This Smart Approach to Carbs

Which starchy, satisfying food can you keep on the menu even when you're trying to lose weight? Potatoes.

Researchers tested this very theory in a study of overweight people. They put everyone in the study on a diet but let half of them eat a serving of potatoes almost every day. Twelve weeks later, the potato eaters had lost roughly the same amount of weight as the potato abstainers -- about 3 pounds.

Slim Down Secrets
Contrary to popular belief, carbs aren't off limits when you're trying to lose weight. In fact, your body needs carbs for energy and key nutrients. And in a study where overweight people cut 500 calories from their diet each day, people still lost weight regardless of whether their diet included potatoes. Bottom line: When it comes to weight loss, the overall composition of your diet is more important than including or excluding any single food. A calorie-controlled diet that is balanced, high in fiber and nutrients, and focused on healthful fats will get you further than nixing bread. Or potatoes. Or any one food group, like carbs. 

Spuds for All
Whether you're trying to slim down or just boost your nutritional status, potatoes are a super menu choice. One medium baked potato with the skin serves up 4 grams of fiber, 900 milligrams of potassium, and a healthy dose of vitamin C. All for just 160 calories. Top your tater with corn, black beans, and salsa to ratchet up the flavor and nutrition without adding tons of extra fat and calories.

Medically reviewed in August 2019.

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