Are white vegetables less nutritious than those with bright colors?
No. Vegetables of every color provide important nutrients to the diets of Americans.
- The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines recommend that Americans eat a variety of vegetables from all vegetable subgroups, including dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas) and starchy (including potatoes).1
- White vegetables provide key nutrients lacking in the diets of many Americans, and can help increase overall vegetable consumption.2
- Color does not necessarily predict the nutritional value of a vegetable. White vegetables, including nutrient-dense potatoes, contribute important amounts of essential shortfall nutrients to the American diet across all age groups.2
- This includes potassium—a nutrient essential to healthy blood pressure, of which only 2-3% of American adults consume the recommended daily amount.2
- A study examining the contribution of white vegetables to nutrient intakes found that white potatoes were positively associated with higher dietary fiber intakes among both children and adults.3
- Specifically, the results indicated that more than 20% of dietary fiber intake was provided by white potatoes for 6 out of 8 age groups for male potato consumers, and >16% of dietary fiber intake was provided by white potatoes for 6 out of 8 age groups for female potato consumers.3
- A medium-sized (5.3 ounce) potato with skin-on provides 26 grams of carbohydrates, 620 mg of potassium, 27 mg of vitamin C, 2 grams of fiber, 3 grams of protein, and is fat, sodium and cholesterol-free.4
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2. Weaver C, Marr ET. White vegetables: a forgotten source of nutrients: Purdue roundtable executive summary. Adv Nutr. 2013 May 1;4(3):318S-26S. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23674800 or https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3650503/
3. Storey ML, Anderson PA. Contributions of white vegetables to nutrient intake: NHANES 2009- 2010. Adv Nutr. 2013;4:335S-44S.
4. Nutritional data is based on a 5.2 ounce skin-on potato. US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Nutrient Data Laboratory. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (Slightly revised). Version Current: May 2016. Internet: http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl