Potatoes provide vitamin C, iron and dietary fiber, and are an excellent source of complex carbohydrates - a source of energy.

One medium potato has 110 calories, 23 grams of carbohydrates and 2,710 milligrams of dietary fiber. It also provides 50 percent of U.S. Recommended Daily Allowances (U.S. RDA) of vitamin C.Potato dishes can be high in fat and calories. One tablespoon of butter, for example, doubles the number of calories in a baked potato. However, today's cooks can lighten the fare by reducing the amount and type of fat in potato recipes and using low-calorie sour cream and dairy products.

The following are some low-no calorie potato topping ideas from the Potato Board, which represents some 14,000 potato growers in the United States:

- Toasted sesame seeds.

- Whipped butter and poppy seeds.

- Melted butter or margarine thinned with lemon juice.

- A mix of dried herbs: parsley, chives, basil and dill.

- Cottage cheese and lemon juice whipped in a blender.

- A spoonful of stewed tomatoes and a bit of grated cheese.

- Chopped onion with coarsely grated black pepper.

- Chive-spiked yogurt.

Additionally, time-consuming potato dishes can be streamlined with the use of a microwave oven. Potatoes saute quickly in a hint of oil in the microwave.