Eating Potato during Pregnancy: Health Benefits & Risks

Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Mukhija (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the well-being of both the expecting mother and her developing baby. Potatoes, in particular, offer a myriad of benefits during pregnancy. They are not only a rich source of dietary fiber but also provide essential vitamins such as vitamin C, which are vital for the development of the baby’s immune system.

It’s important, however, to practice moderation when incorporating potatoes into your pregnancy diet. While they contribute valuable nutrients, excessive consumption can lead to an overload of certain compounds, potentially causing digestive discomfort or unwanted weight gain. Read on to learn all about consuming potato in pregnancy.

Is It Safe to Consume Potatoes During Pregnancy?

Can pregnant women eat potatoes? Yes, it is generally safe to consume potatoes during pregnancy. Potatoes are a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. However, moderation is key to avoiding potential issues related to overconsumption. Additionally, choosing healthier cooking methods like baking or boiling is recommended, and incorporating a variety of nutrient-dense foods into the diet is essential for overall pregnancy health.

Nutritional Value of Potatoes

Potatoes are a versatile and widely consumed vegetable that offers a range of nutritional benefits. Rich in carbohydrates, potatoes also provide essential vitamins and minerals, making them a valuable addition to a balanced diet.

The nutritional value of potatoes can be summarized as follows:

  • Carbohydrates: Potatoes are a good source of complex carbohydrates, containing 37 grams of carbs per 100 grams.
  • Dietary Fiber: High in dietary fiber, with approximately 2-3 grams per 100 grams, potatoes aid in digestion and promote a feeling of fullness.
  • Vitamin C: Potatoes contain vitamin C, providing around 19.7 mg per 100 grams, crucial for immune function,
  • Vitamin B6: Potatoes offer approximately 0.3 mg per 100 grams, important for brain development and function.
  • Potassium: Rich in minerals such as potassium, with an average of 425 mg per 100 grams, which supports heart health and regulates blood pressure.
  • Fat: Potatoes are naturally low in fat, with only about 0.1 grams per 100 grams, making them a healthy option for those watching their fat intake.
  • Iron: Iron is present in potatoes at a level of approximately 0.4 milligrams per 100 grams, playing a crucial role in the production of red blood cells.

Benefits of Eating Potato During Pregnancy

There are numerous potato benefits during pregnancy; hence if you are craving potatoes during pregnancy, you are free to have some. However, it’s best to consult your doctor or nutritionist before consuming it. Here are some of the benefits of potatoes:

1. Reduces Acidity

Potatoes are highly beneficial for those with digestive or acidity issues. A serving of mashed potatoes can help reduce gastric acidity. These are also easier to eat and are easy to digest.

2. Rich in Vitamins B and C

The vitamins in potatoes assist in healing wounds and boost immunity. They also help in the absorption of iron from other foods.

3. Good Source of Folate

Folic acid is significant in the development of the fetal brain and nervous system. Having folate-rich food in the early stages of pregnancy reduces your chances of having a miscarriage.

4. High in Energy

Potatoes are full of carbohydrates and act as a good source of energy for pregnant women. However, it is vital to exercise and stay active to prevent excessive weight gain from potatoes and other starchy carbohydrate-rich foods.

5. Treats Puffy Eyes

Potatoes can help treat the bags under eyes, which are common during pregnancy. Placing some grated raw potato on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes gives a cooling effect and relieves the swelling.

6. Reduces Cardiovascular Disease

The skin of potatoes contains large amounts of potassium, that is known to reduce heart strokes and hypertension as it reduces Blood pressure.

7. Supports Healthy Skin

The vitamins and antioxidants in potatoes contribute to healthy skin. Consuming potatoes during pregnancy can help maintain skin elasticity and reduce the risk of skin issues related to hormonal changes.

8. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

Potatoes, when consumed in moderation, can contribute to stabilizing blood sugar levels. This is important during pregnancy to prevent energy fluctuations and support overall maternal well-being.

9. Alleviates Morning Sickness

The mild and easily digestible nature of potatoes can help alleviate morning sickness, providing a nourishing option for pregnant women experiencing nausea.

10. Enhances Bone Development

The presence of minerals like phosphorus in potatoes contributes to the development and maintenance of healthy bones in both the mother and the developing baby.

11. Manages Swelling and Water Retention

Potatoes’ potassium content, especially in the skin, acts as a natural diuretic, assisting in managing swelling and water retention—a common concern during pregnancy.

Harmful Effects of Consuming Potatoes While Pregnant

During pregnancy, you need to take care of your eating habits and ensure that you consume healthy food. Although potato is rich in nutrients, it also poses some risks to your health, and some of these risks are listed below:

  • Potatoes with green spots indicate the presence of toxic compounds like glycoalkaloids, alpha-solanine, and alpha-chaconine, which can cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • Eating green potatoes can lead to congenital disabilities like spina bifida and anencephaly.
  • Consuming rotten potatoes may cause food poisoning in expectant mothers.
  • Overweight women consuming an excessive amount of potatoes during pregnancy are more prone to becoming obese.
  • Excessive consumption of potatoes, especially when prepared in ways that increase their glycemic index, can lead to elevated blood sugar levels. This condition may contribute to complications such as gestational diabetes, posing risks to both maternal and fetal health.
  • While uncommon, some individuals may develop allergies to specific proteins found in potatoes. In pregnant women with a history of food allergies, consuming potatoes may increase the risk of allergic reactions, affecting both the mother and the developing baby.

Cooking Methods You Should Avoid

Eating potato chips during pregnancy is not recommended, as it is fried and unhealthy for you. It may trigger gestational diabetes or may lead to unhealthy weight gain. Hence during pregnancy, you should avoid cooking methods like deep frying, baking potatoes with butter or cheese. Instead of frying and baking, boil or steam potatoes and add herbs to enhance the flavour.

Does Frequent Potato Consumption Raise the Risk of Gestational Diabetes?

Potatoes have large amounts of starch, which get rapidly absorbed by the body. This can affect glucose metabolism, thus increasing the risk of developing diabetes. Hence, it is likely that overconsumption of potatoes can lead to a risk of developing gestational diabetes.

How to Choose the Right Potatoes?

One needs to be careful when buying potatoes. There are certain things to consider when choosing your potatoes, to avoid their ill-effects. The potatoes that you pick should be:

  • Firm and well-shaped
  • Blemish-free
  • Having no sprouts
  • Having no cuts
  • Free from black or green spots
  • Thoroughly washed before cooking

Healthy Ways to Include Potatoes in Your Diet

Mashed Potatoes

Potatoes are beneficial for pregnant women when taken in moderate amounts and cooked properly. Some of the healthy options to cook potato are:

  • Baked potato (without cheese)
  • Cooked in combination with other vegetables or meat
  • Soup
  • Stew
  • Mashed potato with vegetables and spices
  • Steamed potato

Potato Recipes You Can Try

From the above-listed ideas, here are some of the recipes you can try with potatoes:

1. Potato and Onion Soup

Here’s a healthy appetiser to satiate your pregnancy hunger pangs.


  • Finely diced potatoes – 1 cup
  • Dried mixed herbs – ½ cup
  • Thinly sliced onions – ¼ cup
  • Butter – 1 tsp
  • Salt and ground pepper (to taste)
  • Grated carrot (to garnish)


  1. Put onions and butter in a pressure cooker and saute them on a medium flame for a minute.
  2. Add potatoes and saute for 2 minutes.
  3. Pour one and a half cups of water, mix well and pressure cook for up to 3 whistles.
  4. Once the mixture cools off, blend it into a smooth puree.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a pan and add dried herbs, pepper, salt and half cup water.
  6. Stir and cook on a medium flame.
  7. Garnish with the grated carrot. Your soup is ready to be served.

2. Potato Salad

This easy and delicious recipe is quick to make and will be enjoyed by everyone.


  • Cooked and diced potatoes – 8 medium-sized
  • Apple cider vinegar – 2 tbsp
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Mayonnaise – 1 ½ cup
  • Salt – 1 tsp
  • Yellow mustard – 1 tbsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic powder – 1 tsp
  • Blended onion – 1 cup
  • 2 celery ribs sliced
  • Paprika – a pinch
  • Boiled eggs – 5


  1. Dice the boiled potatoes and put them in a bowl.
  2. Mix vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, salt, mustard, pepper, and garlic powder in another bowl.
  3. Add this mixture to the potatoes.
  4. Add onions and celery to this combined mixture.
  5. Slice the boiled eggs and add them to the bowl.
  6. Top the salad with paprika and serve.


1. Is It Safe to Eat Sprouted and Green Potatoes During Pregnancy?

It is not advisable to consume sprouted or green potatoes during pregnancy. These may contain toxic compounds like glycoalkaloids, which can be harmful to both the mother and the developing baby.

2. Why Do You Crave Potatoes During Pregnancy?

Potato cravings during pregnancy may be attributed to hormonal changes, increased energy needs, or a subconscious desire for comfort foods. While moderate potato consumption can be part of a healthy diet, it’s essential to balance cravings with a variety of nutritious foods.

3. Is It Safe to Consume Raw Or Undercooked Potato While Pregnant?

Consuming raw or undercooked potatoes is not recommended during pregnancy due to the risk of bacterial contamination. Cooking potatoes thoroughly ensures food safety and eliminates potential health hazards.

4. Can You Eat Fried Potatoes in Pregnancy?

While occasional consumption of fried potatoes is generally considered safe during pregnancy, it’s essential to practice moderation. Excessive intake of fried foods may contribute to unhealthy weight gain and other complications, so it’s advisable to choose healthier cooking methods whenever possible.

5. Is It Safe to Eat Potato Chips While Pregnant?

Eating potato chips in moderation is generally safe during pregnancy. However, it’s important to be mindful of the added salt and fat content in commercial potato chips. Opting for homemade or low-sodium varieties can be a healthier choice.

So, in short, potato is good for pregnancy. Potatoes are full of healthy nutrients for a pregnant woman and should not be excluded from the pregnancy diet. Potatoes are healthy for the overall growth and development of the foetus, and hence should be consumed in moderation and in a healthy way. Wondering whether potato during pregnancy’s first trimester is good? Yes, do go ahead! Also, it is best to avoid fried potatoes and avoid overeating, as it can lead to problems like obesity, gestational diabetes, and other pregnancy complications.


1. Potatoes, flesh and skin, raw; U.S. Department of Agriculture;

2. Are Potatoes Healthy?; Cleveland Clinic;

3. Bao. W, Tobias. D, Hu. F, et al.; Pre-pregnancy potato consumption and risk of gestational diabetes mellitus: prospective cohort study (The BMJ); National Library of Medicine;; January 2016

4. Are Sprouted Potatoes Safe to Eat? Poison Control;

5. Potato health benefits and why you should eat more spuds; UC Davis Health;

6. Rumbold. A, Ota. E, Nagata. C, et al.; Vitamin C supplementation in pregnancy; National Library of Medicine;; September 2015

7. Gestational Diabetes and Nutrition (American Family Physician); American Academy of Family Physicians;

Also Read:

Eating Onions in Pregnancy
Consuming Tomato during Pregnancy
Eating Sweet Potatoes when Pregnant

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