REVIEW: An overview of the role of potatoes in the UK diet


Dr Elisabeth Weichselbaum, Nutrition Scientist, British Nutrition Foundation, High Holborn House, 52-54 High Holborn, London WC1V 6RQ, UK.


Potatoes are widely consumed in the United Kingdom and in many other countries. They provide energy, mainly in the form of starch, as well as other nutrients including vitamin C, folate, some B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. Potatoes are naturally low in energy and provided that little or no fat is used when cooking them, they can decrease the energy density of a meal. As potatoes are high in starch and as they are usually eaten as a side dish replacing other carbohydrate rich foods, they are found in the starchy food section of the UK's Eatwell plate model and do not officially count towards the recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. However, potatoes can help consumers to meet their daily requirements for some nutrients, including micronutrients for which there is evidence of low intakes in some groups in the UK, such as potassium. This paper gives an overview on the role of potatoes in the UK diet, including their consumption and their contribution to nutrient intakes in the UK.