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Are Potatoes Gluten-free?

Ashmeet Bagga Apr 15, 2020
Including potatoes in your diet can help meet your daily vitamin needs. However what about those people who are diet conscious or want to stay away from gluten? This story will answer the age-old question - do potatoes have gluten in them?

Save the skin!

Almost 20% of essential nutrients are found in potato skin, while the rest 80% are covered by the flesh.
Potato is a root vegetable, it is a small plant with huge leaves. The portion which we eat grows underground known as a tuber. Generally potato skin is brown or pink colored and the insides of the potato are white or yellow in color. Potatoes are rich with various vitamins, carbohydrates, and starch. Starch and carbs are two reasons why people on a diet avoid potatoes.
Using potatoes in almost everyday dishes has become fairly common, not to forget mashed potatoes, delicious French fries, and of course potato chips. Gluten-free diet is a trend followed by many people who want to shed some pounds, people who are allergic to it, and people suffering with celiac disease.
Gluten is a generic term for a group of storage proteins that exists in food grains such as rye, wheat, barley. Gluten helps to make baked products more fluffy & elastic, making them chewable. As potatoes possess high amount of carbs that can be fattening, it is often misunderstood that they have gluten in them. Let's find out if potatoes are gluten-free.

Potatoes contain gluten?

▶ Potatoes in their natural form are gluten-free. According to the Celiac Sprue Association, even sweet potatoes don't have any amount of gluten in it. Natural potato spuds that are removed freshly from the ground are gluten-free and they are an excellent source of fiber.
▶ But one thing you need to keep in mind, is the way in which potatoes are cooked. Mashed potatoes, fried, and baked may comprise gluten through cross contamination or mixing of any such ingredients which have gluten in it. If you are cooking at home, you can take precautions to include ingredients that support your gluten-free lifestyle. But if you step out to eat, you have to be extra careful.

Precautions to be taken

▶ Cross contamination takes place when French fries are made in the same oil where wheat-coated foods like onion rings and chicken fingers are cooked in. This means your delicious plate of French fries cannot be gluten-free.
▶ While baking potatoes at home, make sure you clean the kitchen slab thoroughly to remove any traces of gluten. However, if you share your kitchen, placing baked potato directly on the oven rack means inviting gluten products to contact your dish.
▶ If you go to a restaurant, ask the restaurant staff if they coat the skins of potatoes in butter or wheat flour to make it crispier. Also, some bake it alongside the rolls in the oven. If you are not sure ask the chef to serve you clean potato.
▶ While making mashed potatoes, refrain from adding wheat flour as a thickener. Mostly all potato chips producing companies say they use gluten-free elements, but to be on the safer side call up their hotline number to get more information about it.
People with celiac disease are malnourished due to poor absorption and intestine problems. Potatoes can serve to be a major source of vitamins, minerals that are necessary for celiac patients or even gluten-conscious individuals. Thus potatoes are a healthy, gluten-free substitute to be included in your diet regimen.