• Mayo Clinic Minute: Rooting for potatoes

Potatoes often get a bad rap for being unhealthy. But if prepared in the right way, these root vegetables can be a great source of vitamins and nutrients. In this Mayo Clinic Minute, Angie Murad, a dietitian with the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program explains why you should root for potatoes.

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When they're not deep fried in oil, or smothered in butter or sour cream, potatoes can be a healthy side dish, packed with vitamins and nutrients, especially if you leave the skin on.

"They can provide additional fiber, which is a great benefit because it can help you feel satisfied longer. And that's a great benefit if you're trying to lose weight," Murad explains.

Murad says sweet potatoes and yams are packed with vitamin A, which is a great antioxidant and may help prevent chronic diseases. Another perk of potatoes, regardless of which kind, is how versatile they are.

"Both can be used as a great option for a starchy vegetable, so they can replace things like pasta or rice, or different types of grains," Murad explains. "It's a great way to add different flavors to your meal options."

Plain potatoes are naturally fat- and cholesterol-free. Preparing them with butter or sour cream will significantly boost calories, fat and sodium.

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