In defence of one of our oldest friends… the humble potato
Vegetables are such an important part of a balanced diet. It seems this is one thing everyone can agree on. So, you can imagine our surprise at the increase in requests from guests, for meals without any wholegrains or starchy root vegetables, with the most feared of these being the white potato.
This perspective has come about from the low carb diet that is having its time in the lime light. One of the main problems with this approach to eating and hence macronutrients is that it is no longer a balanced diet, to limit your intake of carbohydrates as a whole will result in you throwing the good out with the bad.
Foods giving carbohydrates their bad name like doughnuts, cakes and processed white breads are without question not a good source of carbohydrate in your diet. And here in Australia the average person consumes far too much of them in their diet. However, lumping unprocessed wholegrains and our once celebrated root vegetable into the same nutritional food group is just crazy.
Education is a big part of what we do here at the retreat, I will often sit with guests who are requesting low carb meals and discuss how they have come to ask for that. Often, it’s because they are confused and misinformed and because they lack the time to stop and think about it rationally they jump on the latest bandwagon and hope for the best.
While our busy modern lifestyle leaves us time poor at the end of the day, everybody wants to be healthy. And with so many conflicting messages around what we should and shouldn’t be eating people can easily become overwhelmed and fall prey to fad diets.
We remain strong in our messaging at the retreat and find ourselves as the voice of reason again, suggesting we just cool our jets here and have a think about what the poor old potato did to gain such a negative reputation, and if wholegrains are really the reason we are putting on weight? Or is it possible that the processed convenience products and the snacks we eat, or even the alcohol we consume regularly, are maybe the real problem?
At the end of the day its simple… if you’re eating a well-balanced diet that includes an appropriate mix of high quality carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, use the freshest ingredients possible and create meals using as many colours and textures of vegetables as possible you will ensure that you are nourishing you and your family with a good cross section of nutrition. And yes that includes potatoes
By Executive Chef James Knight