30 May 2013

Study says beans and potatoes healthy and cheap

7:25 pm on 30 May 2013

New research in the United States has found that beans and potatoes are the vegetables which provide the best nutritional bang for your buck.

The research from the University of Washington looked at nearly 100 common vegetables in the United States and was designed to tell school food providers which vegetables provide the most nutrition to students for the money spent.

Sitting at the front of the class alongside beans were potatoes - which are also especially popular among American students when served as French, or Freedom Fries.

Jaspreet Singh is a senior researcher at the Riddet Institute at Massey University in Palmerston North.

He says studies like this which identify the nutritional value of food are very important so consumers can make good decisions, but also in terms of global food security.

Dr Singh says potatoes are very high in nutrients and the starch they contain is an important energy source, potatoes also have vitamins particularly B group vitamins and vitamin C, and they also contain potassium, iron, magnesium and fibre.

He says nutritionists have unfairly had it in for potatoes in recent years - linking them with obesity.

But Dr Singh says the potato is an essential source of energy and dietary fibre for children and pregnant women - but he says the less they've been processed the better.