A lot of people enjoy potatoes, but there’s been some concern about how they might affect our health, especially regarding blood pressure and obesity.
Past research suggested that eating a lot of potatoes might lead to higher blood pressure and increase the risk of becoming overweight.
However, these studies didn’t really look into how the potatoes were prepared, what else was eaten with them, or the nutritional value of the whole meal.
Researchers from Imperial College London decided to explore this further. They wanted to see if the way we cook potatoes makes a difference in their impact on blood pressure and body mass index (BMI), which is a measure of body fat based on height and weight.
To do this, they studied 2,696 people, aged between 40 and 59, from the US and UK. These participants were part of a bigger study called the International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP).
The researchers looked at how much and what kind of potatoes the participants ate, as well as the overall quality of their diet.
Interestingly, they found that eating potatoes in general – whether boiled, mashed, baked, or as part of a mixed dish – didn’t seem to affect blood pressure or BMI. However, when it came to fried potatoes, things were different, especially for women in the US.
Women who ate more fried potatoes had slightly higher systolic and diastolic blood pressure (these are the two numbers used to measure blood pressure). Fried potato consumption was also linked to an increase in BMI for these women. But these effects weren’t seen in men.
What’s more, the researchers noticed that when fried potatoes were part of meals with lower nutritional value, they were more likely to be associated with higher blood pressure in US women.
However, when fried potatoes were part of healthier meals, they didn’t seem to have the same effect on blood pressure.
So, what does this all mean? It seems like fried potatoes might be linked to higher blood pressure and BMI, but only in women, and especially when they’re part of less nutritious meals. Non-fried potatoes, on the other hand, don’t seem to have this problem.
If you’re worried about high blood pressure, you might want to look into other research too.
Some studies suggest that Vitamin C and certain herbal supplements could help lower blood pressure. And if you’re watching your diet, be aware that added sugars can also affect blood pressure.
For those interested in learning more about blood pressure and diet, there are studies on how probiotics might help reduce high blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
This research was published in Clinical Nutrition and conducted by Ghadeer S Aljuraiban and her team. It sheds light on the importance of considering not just what we eat, but how we prepare it, especially when it comes to something as common as potatoes.
If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies that early time-restricted eating could help improve blood pressure, and natural coconut sugar could help reduce blood pressure and artery stiffness.
For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about added sugar in your diet linked to higher blood pressure, and results showing vitamin D could improve blood pressure in people with diabetes.
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