Potatoes do not increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, study finds

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With low or no-carbohydrate diets rising in popularity in recent times, the humble potato is now regularly overlooked in favor of other vegetables.

In fact, the research literature has previously indicated potatoes may have a detrimental effect on health, such as possibly increasing the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In a study from Edith Cowan University, scientists found while spuds may not have all the same benefits as some other vegetables—such as lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes—health issues linked to potatoes may actually be due to how people are preparing them and what they’re eating them with.

They examined more than 54,000 people and their dietary intake for the long-term Danish Diet, Cancer, and Health study.

A recent analysis of this study led by ECU’s Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute found people who consumed the most vegetables were 21 percent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the least amount of vegetables.

The team found while potatoes didn’t have the same impact on Type 2 diabetes, they also didn’t have any negative effect.

They suggest that underlying dietary patterns were the key.

In the study, people who ate the most potatoes also consumed more butter, red meat, and soft drink—foods known to increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

But boiled potatoes are no longer associated with diabetes. It’s only fries and mashed potatoes, the latter likely because it is usually made with butter, cream, and the like.

These findings from the study indicate vegetables could play a key role in reducing Type 2 diabetes, as people who ate a lot of leafy greens and cruciferous veggies such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower had a significantly lower risk of developing the condition.

The team says the finding that vegetables lower diabetes risk is crucial for public health recommendations, and people shouldn’t ignore it.

People should be advised to increase their vegetable intake—and they could include potatoes, so long as they left out some of the unhealthy extras such as butter, cream, and oil.

If you care about diabetes, please read studies that not all whole grain foods could benefit people with diabetes, and green tea and coffee could help reduce the death risk of diabetes.

For more information about nutrition, please see recent studies that blueberries strongly benefit people with metabolic syndrome, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.

The study was conducted by Dr. Nicola Bondonno et al and published in Diabetes Care.

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