Spud Lite is a brand of lower carb potatoes available in Australian supermarkets. While I generally advocate for buying fresh produce from farmers markets and the like, I can see the benefit of having this product available.
The Spud Lite process
Spud Lite potatoes hail from South Australia and are produced using a cross pollination process, making the growing period shorter and the shelf life longer. In addition, the growers claim these potatoes contain 25% less carbohydrates than the average potato. According to the label, this means 8.9g of carbohydrate per 100g, compared to 10.9-14.2g for other potato varieties (1). This should be pretty obvious but please note these potatoes are not “low carb” or “keto”.
At the moment, Spud Lite potatoes are available in regular size (1.5 kg bags) and in baby (smaller) size (750g bags).
I’ve had these potatoes boiled, steamed, roasted and twice-cooked (boiled and then pan-fried) and I’ve found they work well in all situations. Having said that, I am Peruvian and find these, as most Australian potatoes, a bit boring in taste and texture. On the bright side, this is a great excuse to get creative in the kitchen!
Nutrients in Spud Lite
Besides carbohydrate, Spud Lite potatoes contain 1.4g fibre, 370mg potassium and <10mg vitamin C per 100g.
Potatoes that are cooked and cooled also contain one of four sub-types of resistant starch (RS). This is a type of fibre that cannot be digested by the small intestine, so it reaches the large intestine where it can be fermented by certain bacterial species. The fermentation produce, among other metabolites, short chain fatty acids (SCFA), which are fuel for the cells in the colon. Hence, RS may help improve health conditions involving the colon (e.g. colorectal cancer, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis), as well as lipid and glucose metabolism; however, the science is not conclusive yet (2).
Spud Lite as part of a healthy diet
For the majority of the population, I would stick to the general recommendation of meals containing 1/2 non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 starch (e.g. potatoes) and 1/4 protein. If you have metabolic issues, such as insulin resistance or diabetes, you might need to cut down on the starch portion. Consult with your dietitian for a personalised meal plan.
To know more about Spud Lite, follow the links below:
- Food Standards Australia New Zealand (2014). AUSNUT 2011–13 – Australian Food Composition Database. Canberra: FSANZ. Available at www.foodstandards.gov.au
- Nugent, AP. Health properties of resistant starch. Nutrition Bulletin. 2005;30(1):27-54.