Which is Healthier, Potato Salad or Macaroni Salad?

by in Which is Healthier?, July 1, 2012

potato and macaroni salad

Potato Salad

Potatoes are loaded with nutrients including fiber, vitamin C and potassium – they’re also free of fat and cholesterol. No matter which recipe you choose, potatoes are often accompanied by good-for-you veggies and herbs like celery, onions, carrots, parsley, dill and basil.

The addition of mayonnaise, oily dressings and sometimes bacon will fatten up potato salad. You’re looking at over 420 calories and 30 grams of fat per cup.

Healthy Potato Salad Tips:

  • Cut the mayo in half and replace it with nonfat Greek yogurt.
  • Lose the mayo all together and use small portions of vinaigrette dressing.
  • Make your favorite recipe with sweet potatoes instead.
  • More tips and recipes for lightening up potato salad.

Macaroni Salad

Pasta is a blank canvas for any flavors you like and there’s plenty of room for veggies and herbs.

Once again, dressings are to blame; it’s easy for a cup of macaroni salad to top 600 calories and 40 grams of fat. Plus, classic macaroni salad dressings are often high in added sugars. One cup of cooked pasta has 200 calories all by itself.

Healthy Pasta Salad Tips:

  • Use whole-grain pasta to boost the fiber.
  • Just like potato salad you can lighten up the dressings with low-fat yogurt or vinaigrette.
  • The more veggies, the better.
  • More tips and recipes for lightening up macaroni salad.

Tell Us: Who’s the winner? Potato or macaroni salad?

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Comments (16)

  1. SandyGreentree says:

    As the article mentions: the dressings are the culprits. Lots of veggies & light dressing of macaroni salad is the one for me!

  2. prabhu says:

    Macaroni salad is much healthier

  3. Jennifer says:

    As the article asks which one do I think is
    healthier, the cons were the same for both however
    the pros for the potato salad are way better
    for you. So I say potato salad.

  4. How about a warm, succulent, non-mayo potato salad? Best of both worlds—a little on the lighter side, and a great accompaniment. Here's the link to the recipe for Warm, Roasted Baby Potato Salad with Caramelized Red Onion and Crispy Bacon with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette: http://thecozyapron.com/warm-roasted-potato-salad

  5. samh195 says:

    Don't forget the mustard, it goes well with the mayonnaise. : )

  6. Tiff says:

    Potato salad! I use half mayo, half mustard, and keep it to a minimum. Just enough to moisten everything up and help it stick!

  7. Mark says:

    No contest, any form of POTATO salad is buch better tasting than macroni salad

  8. Steve says:

    Where can I find the recipe for the potato salad pictured on the right??

  9. Becky says:

    If you make the potato salad with vinegar, canola or light olive oil and add minced garlic, salt
    and pepper or even light italian dressing you have the nutrition of the potatoes plus no heart harmful fats. This way the potato salad can be either cold or even warmed if you like. I would use potato salad over mushy macaroni every time!

  10. Jazz says:

    Potato salad, of course! Imarinate the cooked hot potatoes in a dressing of light olive oil, mustard, minced onion (or sliced spring onions), minced garli,c salt, pepper, & red wine vinegar. Next day add sliced or diced veggies including a few sliced olives. If it's too dry add more dressing or if you like it creamy, add fat-free Greek yogurt or fat- free sour cream.

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