Dried potatoes are a simple way to prepare your favorite mashed potato recipe in far less time than it takes to make the dish from scratch. Fresh foods are always best because they don't contain additives and preservatives, but dried potatoes do offer certain vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and vitamin C. In a pinch, dried potatoes have a place in your healthy eating plan, but use fresh potatoes as often as you can because they supply more of most nutrients than the dried versions do.
You've likely heard that you should eat more fiber, and it's probably true. Fiber does more than keep your digestive system working so you don't get constipated. Eating plenty of fiber might also cut your risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber lowers your cholesterol and might help you lose weight, since it fills you up and prevents hunger for longer amounts of time than foods without fiber. Aim to eat between 21 and 25 grams of fiber every day. Mashed potatoes made with dried granules contain 2.7 grams of fiber per 1-cup serving, while 1 cup of homemade mashed potatoes supplies 3.2 grams of fiber.
Vitamin E is one of the few nutrients that dried potatoes supply more of than homemade mashed potatoes. Your daily requirement of vitamin E is 15 milligrams. A cup of mashed potatoes made with dried granules supplies 1.07 milligrams of vitamin E, while a cup of homemade mashed potatoes only supplies 0.25 milligram of this essential vitamin. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from causing cell damage in your body. Cell damage can lead to heart disease, cancer and other medical problems so getting plenty of vitamin E is one way to cut your risk.
Women should have 14 milligrams of niacin daily. Niacin is a B vitamin that helps your body make energy. The vitamin keeps your intestines, nerves and skin healthy, too. One cup of mashed potatoes made with dried granules contains 1.8 milligrams of niacin. A cup of homemade mashed potatoes supplies 2.25 milligrams of niacin.
Eating Dried Potatoes
Use skim milk and just a small amount of butter to prepare your potatoes. These ingredients will keep your dried potatoes as low in saturated fat as possible. Add nutritious ingredients to your dried granules to make the dish even healthier. Stir in sauteed onions for extra vitamin C. Puree steamed carrots and stir them into the potatoes. The carrots add flavor and increase the vitamin A content significantly. Replace the pureed carrots with pureed cauliflower to add several grams of fiber to your potatoes.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Potatoes, Mashed, Dehydrated, Prepared From Granules with Milk, Water and Margarine Added
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Potatoes, Mashed, Home-Prepared, Whole Milk and Butter Added
- MayoClinic.com: Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Vitamin E
- MedlinePlus: Niacin
Sara Ipatenco has taught writing, health and nutrition. She started writing in 2007 and has been published in Teaching Tolerance magazine. Ipatenco holds a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Denver.