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What part of a potato has the most potassium?

Busting Five More Myths about Potatoes

With the start of fall comes the start of the potato harvest, the busiest time of year for potato growers. Since I busted several potato nutrition myths earlier this year, this seemed like a good time to return and address some other misperceptions so you can get beyond the myths and enjoy nutritious and delicious potatoes more often this harvest season and all year round.


Contrary to popular belief, the consumption of potatoes in all forms is well within current food intake recommendations. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2 – 8 cups of starchy vegetables per week (based upon calorie needs) and potatoes fall into this vegetable subgroup, yet Americans only eat about 50% of the vegetables they should. One way to close this gap is to eat more potatoes since research suggests that consumers of white potatoes, on average, eat more vegetables than those who don’t eat potatoes.


While boiling potatoes does cause a small loss of water-soluble nutrients like vitamin C and vitamin B6, the white potato retains most, if not all, of its potassium and dietary fiber regardless of cooking method, such as baking, boiling, or frying. You might be surprised to learn that frying, because it decreases water, actually increases the concentration of key nutrients including potassium. In fact, a recent study found that on a gram weight basis the white potato in all of its cooked forms provides more potassium and as much dietary fiber as other commonly consumed fruit and vegetables.


The only thing coming between you and a great tasting baked potato is your imagination! Traditional toppings like butter, sour cream and bacon bits can be high in fat and calories, but there are plenty of others that are not. Here’s a list of tasty and nutritious toppings to help you discover many new ways to top a baked potato. Use just one or try a combination to create the perfect flavor profile for you.
Dijon Mustard Sautéed Mushrooms Crumbled Feta Cheese
Low-fat Greek Yogurt Caramelized Onions Grated Smoked Gouda
Chunky Salsa Sliced Scallions Melted Pepper Jack Cheese
Marinara Sauce Diced Black Olives Shaved Parmesan Cheese
Guacamole Black Beans Shredded Manchego Cheese

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One thing most parents quickly find out when planning family-friendly meals is that children love potatoes! That’s good news for kids and parents alike because potatoes are vegetables and provide the same key nutrients, or more, than other family favorites. For example, a medium baked potato provides more vitamin C than 5 cherry tomatoes, more potassium than a banana or a cup of chopped broccoli, and more folate than a large carrot, plus it’s a good source of fiber and vitamin B6. And research shows children who consumed potatoes that were baked, boiled, mashed or roasted actually ate more other vegetables, too.


Potatoes actually last much longer than most fresh vegetables. According to the Idaho Potato Commission, by storing them in a cool, dark place, between 45 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, they can last several weeks. If held at room temperature potatoes will keep for about one week. An easy way to prevent spoilage is to not buy more potatoes than you can properly store and use in that amount of time.

If you see a greenish color on your potatoes it may be chlorophyll, a natural plant pigment that is tasteless and harmless if eaten. Greening of potatoes may also indicate the presence of excess solanine, another natural compound produced in potatoes by exposure to light. Since solanine makes the potato taste bitter, and it’s not possible to tell by looking whether it’s chlorophyll or solanine making the potato green, it’s best to peel the potato to remove the green parts before cooking.

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Sprouting on a potato is a sign the potato is trying to grow and should be cut away before cooking or eating. Proper storage will help reduce sprouting.

October 1, 2015 By Robyn Flipse, MS, MA, RDN

Disclosure Statement: Robyn Flipse was compensated by the Alliance for Potato Research & Education for her services as a guest blogger, but all opinions expressed here are her own.

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Nutrition Facts

Potatoes provide important essential nutrients, including 45 percent of the Daily Value of vitamin C, as well as potassium and dietary fiber, two nutrients that are often lacking in the American diet.

Potatoes are nutrient-rich vegetables providing significant amounts of key shortfall nutrients. The white potato is an important source of essential nutrients, including potassium, vitamin C, vitamin B6, dietary fiber and magnesium, as well as important phytonutrients.

  • Potatoes contain nutrients of public health concern including fiber and potassium. Read Potatoes and Childhood Nutrition and Healthy Dietary Patterns for more information.
  • Potatoes provide about 20 percent of the potassium in the American diet. Based on research supported by APRE, the bioavailability of potassium is as high from potatoes as from potassium gluconate supplements (1).
  • A collection of studies published in an Advances in Nutrition supplement, supported by APRE, identified a substantial body of evidence that demonstrates how the inclusion of white vegetables, such as potatoes, can increase intake of shortfall nutrients as well as help increase overall vegetable consumption (2). The open-access supplement can be viewed here.
  • Potatoes are one of the best nutritional values in the produce department, providing valuable nutrients such as vitamin C and significantly better nutritional value per dollar than many other raw vegetables. A 2013 analysis examined the nutrient density per unit cost of the 46 most frequently consumed vegetables as part of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and found that potatoes and beans were the least expensive sources of not only potassium but also fiber. Specifically, potassium-rich white potatoes were almost half the cost of most other vegetables, making it more affordable to meet key dietary guidelines for good health (3).
  • Potatoes contain surprisingly high-quality protein with a biological value between 90-100, which is considered very good, especially for a non-animal source (2).
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For more information on the nutritional contributions and benefits of potatoes, read:

  • Scientific Brief: The White Potato – An Affordable, Nutrient-Dense Vegetable
  • Potatoes, Nutrition and Health: A Review
  • Potato Nutrition Handbook
  • Press release: Don’t judge the nutrient content of white vegetables by color alone

For more information about how the potassium and fiber in potatoes compare to other commonly consumed sources, read:

  • Dietary Fiber Content of Commonly Consumed Vegetables
  • Potassium Content of Commonly Consumed Vegetables
  • Potassium Content of Commonly Consumed Starch Foods per Serving
  • Potassium Content of Commonly Consumed Starchy Foods per Calorie (Nutrient Density)


Macdonald-Clark CJ, et al. Bioavailability of potassium from potatoes and potassium gluconate: a randomized dose response trial.

White vegetables: a forgotten source of nutrients. Adv Nutr. 2013; 4: 318S-326S, 2013.

Drewnowski A, Rehm CD. Vegetable cost metrics show that potatoes and beans provide most nutrients per penny. PLoS One. 2013 May 15;8(5):e63277.

Looking to contribute to potato science?

APRE’s research program was created to extend the understanding of the nutritional value of potatoes, while adhering to guidelines that support sound and credible research through industry funding. To receive email announcements on our annual grant and fellowship programs, sign up below.

Dedicated to advancing the scientific understanding of the role potatoes play in promoting the health of all people.

Lower Potassium Potatoes

For those of you on a low potassium diet you are likely aware of the high potassium content of potatoes. Over the years, experiments on how to make our potato lower in potassium have led to recommendation for double boiling the potatoes to leach some potassium. This method will remove about 50% of the potassium from your potato. Unfortunately, a potato with 50% less potassium is still considered a high potassium vegetable. A new study has taken the preparation of potatoes one step further and the good news is that this new method of preparing potatoes can produce a potato with much less potassium, allowing it to become part of a low potassium diet.

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Here is what the study investigators found:

  • Soaking fresh raw potatoes before cooking does not leach a significant amount of potassium from the potato, so basically, this method is a not worth the time.
  • Not discouraged by this finding the investigators decided to see what happens when you soak a potato after cooking. They found that this method allows the potato to leach much more potassium. The size and shape of the cut potato also influenced how much potassium was leached out.
  • Cutting potatoes into strips (1.2 cm x 1.2 cm) allowed the most potassium to leach out of the potatoes.
  • Dice cutting (2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm) still produced a fairly low potassium potato after cooking and soaking.

Other findings

  • Canned potatoes are lower in potassium than fresh potatoes and when soaked in water they become even lower in potassium.
  • Frozen French fries are high in potassium, however when soaked in water before frying they become much lower in potassium.

What about taste and texture?

This study also involved taste and texture testing of all products and found all methods produced similar taste and texture.

Here are the potassium leaching methods used

Fresh potatoes

  1. Peel the potatoes
  2. Cut into strips (1.2 cm x 1.2 cm) or dice (2 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm)
  3. Boil in water (1.5 L) for 8 minutes
  4. Drain potatoes
  5. Add clean water (1.5 litres) and soak for 12 hours
  6. Use as required, e.g. mash, potato salad, home fries, baked

Canned potatoes

  1. Wash and drain
  2. Soak in water (1.5 L) for 12 hours
  3. Use as required

Frozen french fries

  1. Soak frozen fries in water (1.5 L) for 12 hours
  2. Drain and dry fries
  3. Prepare in the usual way
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The results

The table below identifies how much potassium is in 100 g (approximately ½ cup) of potatoes after preparation. The recommended daily potassium intake for someone following a low potassium diet is less than 2,000 mg.

Once you have boiled and soaked your potatoes try to prepare them in a method with little added fat to keep the calorie content down. Remember potatoes are still high in carbohydrates so if you have diabetes they can increase your blood sugar if consumed in large quantities.

Now you can cook your potatoes, soak them and enjoy them too knowing that this preparation method can produce a much lower potassium potato.

Reference: Montserrat Martinez-Pineda, Cristina Yague-Ruiz, Antonio Vercet-Tormo: Is it possible to include potato in the diet of chronic kidney disease patients? New culinary alternatives for limiting potassium content; Journal of Renal Nutrition, Vol 30, No 3 (May), 2020 pp 251-260

Posted in Potassium, Renal Diet

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