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Are All the Vitamins in the Potato Skin?

Baked potatoes sit on a piece of parchment paper.
Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

There are a lot of things our parents told us that, well, might not exactly be true. If you’re like me, you might have been told to eat the skin of your baked potato because that’s where all the vitamins are. But is that true?

Turns out that your parents might have some explaining to do. Potato skins are not more nutritious than the vegetable’s interior.

According to the official Idaho Potato website, the myth that potato skins have more nutrients is only somewhat true. This myth might come from only a single nutrient among the many found in potatoes. The vegetable has two grams of fiber in a standard medium potato. When baked and the skin removed, you’ll only get one gram of fiber.

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When you do eat the skin, be sure to clean it properly.

Potatoes are filled with potassium and vitamin C, and they’re found mainly in the flesh of the potato, not the skin. Both the skin and flesh have about 3 grams of protein each, and the flesh also has 60-70% of the total amount of vitamin B-6 and thiamin. When it comes to minerals, the skin does have a higher amount of iron—containing about 88% of the potato’s total.

So when looking at potatoes holistically, you can’t really say the skin is more nutrient dense than the flesh. You can, however, say that you’ll get more nutrients by eating both since you’re combining the best of them both.

The next time you want a baked potato, go ahead and leave the skin on, but don’t worry if there are times you want it removed.

Shea Simmons Shea Simmons
Shea Simmons is an Atlanta-based writer who has written about everything from whether Crisco is a good moisturizer to how to KonMari your space. Her work has appeared in Bustle, My First Apartment, and Make It Grateful. Read Full Bio »
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