Researchers from Imperial College London have discovered that the way potatoes are cooked can impact blood pressure.
Previous studies had shown a link between high potato intake and high blood pressure and obesity but did not consider the method of preparation or overall diet.
This study aimed to address these issues by examining potato consumption and its effect on blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).
The study examined 2,696 people aged between 40 and 59 in the US and UK using data from the International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP).
Researchers found no association between total potato intake, boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes, or potato-based mixed dishes, and blood pressure or BMI.
However, in US women, a higher intake of fried potatoes was linked to higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure, independent of BMI.
This was also directly linked to an increase in BMI. These associations were not found in men.
The study also found that a higher intake of fried potato meals with a lower nutritional quality was positively linked to systolic and diastolic blood pressure in US women.
On the other hand, there were no associations with blood pressure for fried potato meals with higher nutritional quality.
These findings suggest that fried potatoes are directly related to blood pressure and BMI in women, while non-fried potatoes are not.
Furthermore, poor-nutrient quality meals were linked to intake of fried potatoes and higher blood pressure.
This study is important because it provides insight into how different preparation methods of potatoes can affect blood pressure and BMI.
Women in particular may need to pay closer attention to their consumption of fried potatoes, as they were found to be associated with higher blood pressure and BMI.
By choosing alternative cooking methods such as boiling, baking, or mashing, individuals can continue to enjoy potatoes as part of a healthy diet without negative health consequences.
It is also important to consider the overall nutritional quality of the meals consumed, as this can have an impact on blood pressure and other health outcomes.
What to eat to prevent high blood pressure
Maintaining a healthy diet is important for controlling blood pressure. Here are some tips on what to eat to control blood pressure:
Consume a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and can help lower blood pressure.
Eat foods that are high in potassium, such as bananas, avocados, spinach, and sweet potatoes. Potassium can help counteract the effects of sodium on blood pressure.
Choose lean protein sources such as fish, chicken, and beans instead of red meat.
Limit your intake of processed and packaged foods, as they are often high in sodium, which can raise blood pressure.
Avoid sugary drinks, and instead drink plenty of water, low-fat milk, or unsweetened tea or coffee.
Consume low-fat dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt, as they have been shown to help lower blood pressure.
Use herbs and spices to flavor your food instead of salt.
Choose healthy fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, and fatty fish.
Limit your alcohol intake, as excessive drinking can raise blood pressure.
Monitor your portion sizes, and aim for a healthy weight.
Remember, it’s important to not only focus on what to eat but also on how much to eat. A healthy, balanced diet along with regular physical activity and other healthy lifestyle habits can help manage and control blood pressure.
If you have concerns about your blood pressure or dietary needs, speak with your healthcare provider or a registered dietitian.
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The study was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Ghadeer S Aljuraiban et al.
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