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Are Potato Skins Healthy?

Are Potato Skins Healthy? Are Potato Skins Healthy?


Potatoes come in many different varieties. Their skin colors range from white to red and brown to black. Although many people choose to peel the skin away from the potato before cooking and eating, the skin not only adds fiber and nutrients, but it also helps the flesh of the potato retain its nutrients. Potato skins are healthy when they are prepared in a healthy way.

Potato Skin Preparation

An average medium-sized potato with the skin on contains only 110 calories. Potatoes contain no fat, no cholesterol and no sodium, making them a great addition to any heart-healthy diet. Leaving the skin on a potato while baking or boiling ensures the nutrients in the potato do not leach out. Since no fats, such as oil or butter, were added, eating the skin prepared in this manner is healthy. There are many different ways to prepare potato skins; however, including deep frying in oil and filling them with cheese and bacon. Because of the addition of saturated and trans fat -- both of which contribute to increased blood cholesterol levels -- these types of potato skins are not healthy.


Vegetables, such as potatoes, as well as fruits and whole grains, contain fiber, that portion of the plant that the enzymes in the intestines cannot break down. Fiber offers several health advantages. It provides a feeling of fullness for longer, helping you to maintain or reduce weight, lowers blood cholesterol levels to reduce the risk of heart disease and promotes a healthy digestive tract. Potatoes contain 2 g fiber, the majority of which can be found in the skin. Adults should try to consume 14 g fiber per 1,000 calories. Eating one medium potato with the skin provides 8 percent of the recommended daily intake.


Potatoes, including the skin, are an excellent source of potassium, one of the essential minerals. The body needs potassium to support the normal function of all cells, muscles and organs. Potassium helps to keep the fluid inside and outside of cells balanced, transmits nerve signals to aid in muscle contractions and helps the heart beat rhythmically. Because potatoes grow underground, the skin absorbs many minerals, such as potassium, from the soil. One potato provides 620 mg potassium, a significant contribution toward the 4,700 mg daily intake recommended.

Vitamin C

In addition to minerals, potatoes and potato skins also provide essential vitamins. One potato eaten with the skin provides 45 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. The human body requires vitamin C to support a healthy immune system, for the production of collagen needed to build connective tissues and bones and to protect cells against damage caused by harmful atoms produced as a result of chemical reactions in the body.

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