Potatoes have developed a reputation for causing weight gain and an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and often find themselves on a list of foods to avoid, especially for individuals with insulin resistance.
In a study from Pennington Biomedical Research Center, scientists found that potatoes actually did not increase that risk, are filled with key nutrients, and packed with health benefits.
The team tested 36 participants between the ages of 18 and 60 who were overweight, had obesity or had insulin resistance.
Insulin resistance refers to a health condition in which the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin and glucose does not enter into the cells to make energy.
Insulin resistance is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type 2 diabetes
These people ate precisely-controlled diets of widely available common foods including either beans, peas, and meat or fish, or white potatoes with meat or fish.
Both diets were high in fruit and vegetable content and substituted an estimated 40% of typical meat consumption with either beans and peas or potatoes.
Previous studies have shown that eating beans and peas improves blood sugar levels in individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
To increase the dietary fiber component of the potatoes, they were boiled with the skin intact and then refrigerated between 12 and 24 hours.
Potatoes were incorporated into the main lunch and dinner entrées, such as shepherd’s pie and creamy shrimp and potatoes, and served together with sides such as mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potato wedges, potato salad, and scalloped potatoes with lunch and dinner entrees.
The study prepared the potatoes in a way that would maximize their fiber content.
When the team compared a diet of potatoes to a diet of beans and peas, they found them to be equal in terms of health benefits.
They say people typically do not stick with a diet they don’t like or isn’t varied enough. The meal plans provided a variety of dishes, and they showed that a healthy eating plan can have varied options for individuals striving to eat healthily.
In addition, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to incorporate into a diet.
If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with type 2 diabetes, and green tea and coffee could help reduce death risk in type 2 diabetes.
For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes, and results showing a Mediterranean diet could help reduce the diabetes risk by 30%.
The study was conducted by Candida Rebello et al and published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.
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