So, you’ve resolved to lose weight – and this year, you’re really going to do it. You’ve made some changes. You cut your portions down. You’re eating salads. And you’ve switched from French fries to baked potatoes.
But hold on a second – because while swapping fried foods for baked ones sounds like a good idea, the science says a potato by any name would sabotage your health just the same.
Whether they’re baked, mashed, scalloped, boiled, or brined, potatoes don’t just pack on the belly fat – they can also significantly raise the risk for type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in Diabetes Care.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health reviewed information from three US studies of nearly 50,000 healthy doctors and nurses without diabetes.
Eating a serving of potatoes a day for four years increased the risk of the disease by 33 per cent. Even eating a fraction of that – just two to four portions of potatoes a week – increased the risk by 7 per cent.
That’s no small potatoes.
Now, it’s no surprise that French fries were the real killer. For every three servings of French fries people ate each week, they raised their risk by a whopping 19 per cent, compared to those who ate potatoes prepared some other way.
And that was true regardless of the study subjects’ BMI (or the presence of any other risk factors, for that matter).
The thing about potatoes is that even though we consider them a “vegetable” in the US, they actually contain a large amount of starch and not much fibre, vitamins, minerals, or the disease-fighting chemicals found in most other fruits and veggies.
And when they’re served hot, the starch becomes easier to digest… easier to get into your bloodstream… and easier to raise your blood glucose levels.
The truth is most people think that sugar is the ONLY problem for people with diabetes – but starch is also problematic, because your body breaks it down into sugar (glucose).
The study suggests replacing potatoes with whole grains, but I say skip the starches altogether. Ditch the home fries for breakfast – and the oatmeal and cereal, for that matter – and bulk up on steak and eggs.
Avoid diets that are high in sugar and starchy carbohydrates like grains and potatoes — they increase insulin levels in the body, not to mention your weight and risk for heart disease, circulatory problems, and neurodegenerative diseases.
You’ll do better on a Paleo-style diet or even a Mediterranean diet – pretty much ANY diet with a lower glycaemic index will help to prevent diabetes (or, at least, lessen its effects).Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Glenn S. Rothfeld
Nutrition & Healing
Potato Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results from Three Prospective Cohort Studies, care.diabetesjournals.org/content/early/2015/12/09/dc15-0547