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Is Something In Potatoes Making The French Thin?

Before you turn down the taters, consider this: Potatoes could help minimize weight gain.

Yes, a new study from McGill University in Montreal showed that mice fed an “obesity-inducing diet” high in fats and refined carbs gained significant weight...unless the mice were also fed potato extract. The potato extract, it seems, helped keep the weight off.

Surprised? So were the scientists. They were so surprised, they gave the study a do-over to ensure they hadn't missed something.

Here's what researchers say made the difference. The potato extract was high in polyphenols, which are chemical compounds thought to have beneficial health effects. Ok, so caveat time: The extract was so highly concentrated with polyphenols, that for a human to get the same amount of polyphenols from eating actual potatoes, he’d have to put away about 30. And eating 30 potatoes a day sounds pretty ambitious, probably even to the guy who ate 20 potatoes a day.

Ready to be surprised again? Let's hear from the study’s principal author, Stan Kubow, Associate Professor of Dietetics and Human Nutrition and an expert on polyphenols: “In the famous French diet, considered to be very healthy, potatoes, not red wine, are the primary source of polyphenols.”

That’s pomme de terrific news, people. Particularly these days, when so much of what we hear about potatoes amounts to tuber trash talk: They’re starchy, they’re carby, they’re deep-fried junk food.

So even considering the caveat above, we welcome a little tater rehabilitation. And to celebrate, here are 15 top-rated recipes that aren't afraid to shout it out: Potatoes are polyphenomenal!

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

4.5 Stars | Preps in 30 Minutes

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

Photo by lutzflcat

“The creamy cheese sauce and tender potatoes are deliciously addictive.” -- CathyM

Restaurant-Style Potato Skins

4.7 Stars | Ready in 35 Minutes

Restaurant-Style Potato Skins

Photo by SunnyByrd

"Quick, easy appetizer, just as good as a restaurant, if not better." -- BUTTERFLIES05500

Creamy Potato Leek Soup II

4.7 Stars | Ready in 1 Hour

Creamy Potato Leek Soup II

Photo by Jessica

"Really easy, satisfying soup. Serve hot and garnish with grated cheese." -- ANABANANA

Fondant Potatoes

4.6 Stars | Ready in 1 Hour

Fondant Potatoes

Photo by Marianne

"The texture is unlike anything you get by just roasting. The crusty, crunchy edges contrast magically with the rich, creamy inside." -- Chef John

Mexican Potato Nachos

4.5 Stars | Ready in 1 Hour

Mexican Potato Nachos

Photo by Sherri

"A family favorite, in a household that LOVES nachos, but doesn't love eating lots of chips." -- wrylymorgan

Perfect Baked Potato

4.7 Stars | Preps in About 1 Minute

Perfect Baked Potato

Photo by PARKER71

"Great comfort food! It has a crisp, golden skin, and is light and fluffy on the inside." -- CURLEEGIRLEE

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

4.6 Stars | Ready in 1 Hour

Sausage, Potato and Kale Soup

Photo by Bibi

"Hearty and flexible. If you don't have kale, use spinach. Any sausage will do. I often use leftover mashed potatoes. So easy!" -- ckeiling

Irish Champ

4.6 Stars | Ready in 40 Minutes

Irish Champ

Photo by MrsFisher0729

"Champ is native to the North of Ireland. Great on its own, served with extra butter; it's also the perfect side for sausages." -- Ita

Chef John's Cottage Fries

4.6 Stars | Preps in 10 Minutes

Chef John's Cottage Fries

Photo by Baking Nana

"Delicious and easy to make! I like that these are baked, not fried. They have a hint of spice from the cayenne, but it's subtle." -- jolley900

Shepherd’s Pie VI

4.5 Stars | Ready in 50 Minutes

Shepherd’s Pie VI

Shepherd’s Pie VI

"Awesome! I substituted cooked, frozen peas-n-carrots for the carrot layer, and the rest is perfect. This is now my gold standard for S.P." -- SEASONS3

Roasted Potatoes with Greens

4.6 Stars | Ready in 40 Minutes

Roasted Potatoes with Greens

Photo by Dianne

"Roasted potatoes with fresh spinach and rosemary in a garlic-butter sauce. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and a shredding of Parmesan or Pecorino." -- Lisa

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

4.7 Stars | Ready in 55 Minutes

Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder

Photo by Molly

"Just THE BEST corn chowder! Hubby asks for it over and over and over!" -- CLANHAM

Chef John's Twice-Baked Potatoes

4.7 Stars | Ready in 2 Hours

Chef John's Twice-Baked Potatoes

Photo by Baking Nana

"Great to make ahead. You can also freeze them. Any combination of cream, butter, and cheese works well. Hard to ruin this recipe." -- janetsteph2

Mom's Mashed Potato Salad

4.8 Stars | Preps in 20 Minutes

Mom's Mashed Potato Salad

Photo by ReneePaj

"Very simple recipe yet very, very tasty! It was a hit. This one's a keeper!" -- Larry

Chef John's Ham and Potato Soup

4.9 Stars | Ready in 1 Hour

Chef John's Ham and Potato Soup

Photo by Sherri

"Incredible! I brought it to work and got rave reviews. It was thick, creamy, and super tasty!" -- Charly

About Carl Hanson

Carl will eat that. Share with him @CarlNo9 on Twitter.