For people with gluten intolerance, eating a balanced and nutritious diet can seem like an impossible feat. Fortunately, there are plenty of gluten-free foods out there that are rich in nutrients and will not aggravate your symptoms. One of these is the humble potato. The truth is that potatoes do not contain gluten—a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley—or any other type of gluten. Because of this, they are safe for individuals who follow a gluten-free diet.
However, you should be aware that there are different types of potatoes available on the market which could have a potential impact on your overall health if consumed regularly. Let’s take a look at some key facts about this versatile vegetable…
Are All Potatoes Gluten Free?
There are no types of potatoes that naturally contain gluten. Most potatoes are gluten-free and safe for people with gluten intolerance. Even the few exceptions to the rule are often still considered gluten-free—they just have a lower gluten content. Potatoes are grown from the sprouted seeds of a perennial vine related to the tomato. The vine was originally native to Peru and Ecuador, but it has been cultivated all over the world for centuries.
You can find potatoes almost anywhere, but each variety has its unique properties and characteristics. In terms of gluten content, the two most important factors are the type of potato and the cultivation process.
Types of Potatoes
There are many different types of potatoes, but not all are gluten-free. Here are the best varieties to choose from if you want to eat gluten-free:
– Russet Potatoes – This is the most common variety of potato in the United States, and it’s also the type that’s been most frequently cross-contaminated during harvest. Russet potatoes are gluten-free, but you should be careful to avoid any that have been processed on equipment shared with wheat products.
– Red Potatoes – These potatoes contain fewer calories and more nutrients than their Russet cousins, but they are also more likely to be contaminated by gluten. This is because they are often grown in the same fields as wheat.
– Yellow Potatoes – These potatoes are less commonly used for baking and mashing, but they make a great addition to soups and stews. They are usually gluten-free, but again, watch out for contamination in the fields.
– Yukon Gold Potatoes – These potatoes are a bit sweeter than other varieties, and they are very popular in potato salads. They are gluten-free, but again, make sure not to buy any that have been grown in fields that also grow wheat.
– New Potatoes – These potatoes are immature potato tubers, and they are harvested while they are small and are still soft. They are often served skin-on and are a great option if you want to eat the skin.
– Purple Potatoes – These potatoes are rarer than other varieties, but they are one of the most nutritious. They are often combined with other potatoes in dishes like potato salad.
How to Find Gluten-free Potatoes
If you are trying to follow a gluten-free diet, you’ll need to take care when purchasing potatoes. Luckily, the standard labeling on potatoes will help you to make informed choices. Potatoes are often labeled as being “not for further processing” or “NFFP.” If a bag of potatoes has this label, it means that they have not been processed in a way that would make them safe to consume by individuals who suffer from gluten intolerance. Potatoes that are processed using the “Pressed and baked” label will be gluten-free. They’re often marked as “processed potato product” or “PPP” instead. If you don’t see any labeling on the potatoes you’re buying, ask the store employee for more information.
Nutrition Facts for Different Types of Potatoes
Russet Potatoes – By far the most popular variety of potatoes, this starchy tuber is great for baking, mashing, and frying. They are high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Potassium. They are also a good source of fiber.
Red Potatoes – These potatoes are lower in starch and higher in nutrients than Russet potatoes. They are a good source of Vitamin C and Potassium.
Yellow Potatoes – These potatoes are very similar to Russets in terms of nutritional value. They are best when baked or mashed, and they are also a good source of Vitamin C.
Yukon Gold Potatoes – These potatoes are a bit sweeter than other varieties, and they are great for making potato salads. They are a good source of Vitamin C and Potassium.
New Potatoes – These young potatoes are often served skin-on, and they are a good source of Vitamin C and Potassium.
Purple Potatoes – These are lower in starch than other varieties, and they are a good source of Vitamin C.
Baked or Roasted Potatoes vs Mashed Potatoes
A lot of people wonder whether baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are gluten-free. To make things even more confusing, baked potatoes are also mashed in a way. What’s the difference between mashed and baked potatoes? Baked potatoes are prepared in their entirety and then eaten skin and all. Mashed potatoes are mashed and then returned to their skins and baked.
While both types of potatoes are gluten-free, mashed potatoes are a bit more nutritious thanks to the addition of butter, milk, and spices. As far as mashed potatoes are concerned, make sure that you’re using gluten-free ingredients. If you aren’t sure, you can always opt for baked potatoes instead.
This article will help you understand whether potatoes are gluten-free. Potatoes, like many other vegetables, are naturally gluten-free. However, they may be grown in fields that are also used to grow other gluten-containing grains. This means that they may become contaminated with gluten during harvest or processing. To make sure you are eating gluten-free potatoes, buy certified gluten-free potatoes. You can also try growing your potatoes. Not only will you know where they came from, but you’ll also get a better variety than you can find in a store.