Specifically I’ll discuss the importance of choosing healthy potatoes, why you should avoid sweet potatoes and whether your pet needs at least one other food. After reading this article you will be able to educate yourself on the subject of potato nutrition and hopefully make better decisions regarding the health and care of your pet.
First, let’s take a look at potato nutrition facts. The first thing that you need to know is that an animal which lives solely on a diet consisting of table scraps is likely not getting enough calories to maintain its body weight. As a matter of fact, studies have shown that a well fed dog requires up to six times the amount of calories that he would if it were fed a high carbohydrate diet. It makes perfect sense if you think about it.
The Primary Food Source For These Nutrients Is Their Skin
So if your dog eats only scraps, how is it possible to retain all those essential nutrients? Since dogs are carnivores they must consume these nutrients from something else. The primary food source for these nutrients is their skin. If you have ever given your dog a raw potato, you may have noticed the brown or straw-colored exterior of the skin.
Potatoes are rich in vitamins A, B, C and E, as well as potassium and magnesium. While they do contain some calories, the vast majority of them come from dietary fiber, which is absorbed and used by the body. So, not only are potatoes good for you, but they actually help dogs to lose weight! That’s because they are full of fiber.
They Are Completely Natural
Another important fact to note about potatoes is that they are completely natural and therefore contain no additives or unhealthy fillers. Now let’s take a closer look at the subject of potatoes and their nutritional benefits. Potatoes are loaded with vitamins, minerals and potassium, just to name a few. They also contain beta carotene, fiber, folic acid, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potassium, iron, vitamins B, C and E and almost one hundred other nutrients. In addition, potatoes are also a great source of protein, which is needed for strong bones and teeth. The list of nutrients completely explains why eating a raw potato is beneficial to your dog.
But let’s focus on the dietary fiber aspect for a moment. Humans need a lot of dietary fiber to keep our digestive systems working properly. This is the reason that whole grains are so popular. However, the potato is similar to a grain in that it has an ingredient known as starches. Starches are not complete by themselves, as they lack the complete fiber component, which makes them much more difficult to digest than other carbohydrates.
Eleven Times The Amount Of Dietary Fiber That We Humans Need
But the interesting thing is that when potatoes are consumed in their whole form they have eleven times the amount of dietary fiber that we humans need. That means eating one-fourth of a pound of potatoes gives you almost twice the amount of dietary fiber that you should be getting from any given serving of vegetables. And the nice thing is that you can get all of the benefits that potatoes have without having to eat them the way they are cooked in most dishes. Most people are under the mistaken impression that potatoes have to be steamed or even baking in order to gain nutritional benefits. But nothing could be further from the truth.
You can eat potatoes that way and still receive all of the health benefits without the risk of consuming trace amounts of gluten. And even if you don’t want to, there are plenty of ways to make potatoes easier to digest by simply removing the starch layer during the cooking process. Carrots are another great example of this as they are both high in starch but low in gluten so you can use them with no problem.
Just remember to use a fork or spinner when you cook them, since both the ends will be affected by the starch. By choosing mashed potatoes over the regular type you’ll be adding a very nutritious food to your diet that will give you all of the benefits without any danger of cross-contamination from other foodstuffs.