Q & A

Q: Are potato skins good for you? Rodney. Plainfield, NJ

A: Great question! Eating a potato with the skin on is healthier than eating just the plain inside part or flesh of the potato. The skin of the potato contains minerals and vitamins. It also contains something called fiber which helps our bodies get rid of wastes that the body cannot use. If you see a potato skin that has some green color tell your Mom to remove it before you eat it. It may give you a stomach ache. Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in the world. The entire potato is low in calories when you eat it plain and contains complex carbohydrates which are good for you. A half of a plain baked potato, with the skin on, weighs about 3 1/2 ounces. It has about 110 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. A boiled potato has only 85 calories with no grams of fat. However, if you were to fry that same half of a potato the calories would increase to 345. Just two french fries have the same amount of fat as a whole 7 ounce baked potato. If you ate 20 potato chips which would weigh about 2 ounces you would be eating 300 calories and 20 grams of fat. See you around.

Your friend, Peter Potato.

Benny Bannana

Q: How many kinds of bananas are there and what do bananas have in them?
Sheri W. Atlanta, Georgiz

A: That's a great question Sheri! Bananas, one of the most popular fruits, can be found in many varieties. The most common one is the yellow type or Cavendish. Another is the manzano banana which is called apple or finger as they are small like a finger. This banana will turn black when ripe. The third is the red banana which tastes sweet and then ripe turns to a purplish red. The Saba and Brazilian are straight bananas of medium size and found to be somewhat tart. Lastly is the plantain, which are large, starchy, and generally cooked. Bananas contain fiber, vitamin C and potassium. Bananas are low in calories, have no fat, cholesterol, or salt. They have a relative lower water content as compared to other fruits so the carbohydrate level is higher. Due to this, they are a preferred snack for endurance activities. When involved in extended physical activity, some potassium can be lost by the body. Eating a banana can replace the loss of potassium. Potassium is vital for maintaining the body's balance of fluid. This mineral also functions in the adjustment of the body's blood pressure and heart beat. Doctor's may check the level of potassium in your parents to make sure the heart is working efficiently.

Your friend ... Benny Banana