Wendyl Wants to Know: Hash brown a day can be okay
A reader asked me to look at hash browns as her husband loves them and she is trying to limit him to once a week.
There's not a lot wrong with hash browns as they are mainly made of potato, which may get a bad rap from the carb-free dieters, but as a food staple it contains a lot of nutrition.
It is very good source of vitamin B6 and potassium, copper, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, niacin, dietary fibre and pantothenic acid.
It also contains a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity.
And one man, Australian Andrew Taylor (google him) is eating nothing but potatoes for a year. He's into his fourth month and has lost 29kg and is healthy and fit!
Ingredients ( in order of greatest quantity first)
As these are made out of grated potato you would expect potato to be the main ingredient.
A bonus of this is that you get good fibre with these. Per 96g serving or two hash browns you will get 2.1g of fibre. Nutritional guidelines tell us to have 25g for women and 30g for men a day.
This will be used to provide the crisp and crunch when you cook these. Per 96g serving, which is two hash browns, you will get 7.9g of fat provided you grill or bake and don't add any oil to fry them.
Seasoning (rice flour, salt, maltodextrin, maize starch, mineral salt (450), dextrose, spice)
This seasoning isn't too bad, nothing artificial but a bit of sugar in the maltodextrin and dextrose. However you will only get 0.1g of sugar per two hash browns. There is rice and cornflour in there, and the mineral salt is a diphosphate which is salt of phosphoric acid. And there is salt. A lot of it at 583mg sodium per serving. That's more than half the low end of the recommended daily sodium allowance of 920mg a day.
Mineral salt (450)
This is similar to glucose and while it has a sweet taste it may be in here for texture and to keep moisture in the product.
As long as you don't add fat when you are cooking, these are fine. Bake, grill or even pop them in your toaster. They're not too full of fat or sugar, but they are salty at 582mg of sodium per serving of two, so you wouldn't want to eat more than two of them in a day. If you're a fan, once or twice a week isn't a problem.
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