Albert Bartlett, together with other representatives of the industry, have been engaged in a long debate with the Department of Health, protesting at the exclusion of potatoes from 5 ADAY. Health officials have admitted that they should be doing more to promote the health benefits of eating potatoes.
Potatoes are a naturally healthy component of the UK diet. They provide energy, mainly in the form of carbohydrate, as well as other nutrients including vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B1 thiamine, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc but are lower in calories than other common forms of starchy food, including rice and pasta. They are not part of 5 A DAY because of the technicality of being placed in the starchy food section of the UK’s Eatwell plate. Official Government advice is that the population should eat more of these starchy foods. http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Goodfood/Pages/starchy-foods.aspx
Potatoes are a dual purpose food, being an important vegetable providing a richer source of vitamins and minerals than many fruits and vegetables. Potatoes play an important role in a healthy diet in the UK helping the nation meet their daily requirements for some important nutrients, including potassium.