Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Are Mashed Potatoes Bad For You?



Short answer

If you take off the peel and eat mountains of mash potatoes drenched in butter, it is quite bad for you. However, a simple serving of 1-2 cups with the peel left on and enjoyed without butter can be rather healthy.



Long answer

Potatoes are a great source of fiber and are low in calories.  However, when they are mashed, much of the fiber content gets left out and there are more calories per serving - with even more calories being added if you like to add butter to your mash.  That said, keeping the peels on the potatoes when you mash them can save much of the fiber content.  Fiber is important when it comes to digestive health in that in ensures that stool passes through smoothly without getting caught up in the intestines - something which is a factor in colorectal cancer.  Furthermore, since fiber helps reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, it is important in the war against heart / cardiovascular disease, also reducing the risks of heart attack and stroke.

Still, mashed potatoes are a good source of both potassium and vitamin B6 (13% and 38% of the daily recommended value per cup, respectively). Potassium is important in regulating blood pressure and acting as a foil to the harmful effects of excess sodium, while vitamin B6 supports metabolism and is a cofactor for hundreds of enzymes.

Overall, if you leave the peel on and limit or cut out the butter, mashed potatoes are good for you - just not quite as much so as eating a whole potato. That said, due to the nature of mashed potatoes being higher in calories, it is easy to eat too much in one sitting and thus increase your risk of gaining unwanted pounds.

Possible long-term side effects

  • overeating
  • weight gain

Big are mashed potatoes bad for you.


  • aids metabolism
  • helps digestive system stay healthy
  • reduces risk of heart disease
  • reduces risk of stroke
  • reduces risk of heart attack

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Written by Jeff Volling | 02-22-2016

Written by Jeff Volling
Suggest improvement or correction

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