Are potatoes bad for your blood pressure?

Credit: Unsplash+

Researchers at Imperial College London have recently shed new light on how the method of cooking potatoes might influence health, particularly in relation to high blood pressure.

For a long time, consuming a lot of potatoes has been associated with an increase in blood pressure and a higher risk of obesity.

However, past studies didn’t always take into account how the potatoes were prepared, the overall quality of the diet, or the nutrient content of the meals involved, all of which can play a significant role.

In their study, the researchers looked into various factors such as the amount of potatoes eaten, how they were processed, the general diet of the individuals, and the nutrient quality of their meals.

This was to see how these factors might affect blood pressure and body mass index (BMI).

They gathered data from 2,696 participants aged between 40 and 59 years from both the United States and the United Kingdom, as part of the International Study of Macro- and Micro-Nutrients and Blood Pressure (INTERMAP).

The findings were quite revealing. Overall, the researchers found no link between eating potatoes and an increase in blood pressure or BMI, whether the potatoes were boiled, mashed, baked, or part of a mixed dish.

However, when it came to fried potatoes, the results were different, particularly for women in the U.S. These women showed a noticeable increase in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure if they consumed fried potatoes regularly.

Systolic pressure was higher by approximately 2.29 mmHg and diastolic pressure by about 1.14 mmHg, regardless of their BMI.

Interestingly, this increase in blood pressure was also associated with an increase in BMI among these women. Yet, these concerning links were not observed in men, nor in any participants who ate fried potatoes that were part of a nutritionally richer meal.

It appears that the poorer the nutrient quality of the meal, the stronger the association with high blood pressure was.

This research highlights an important aspect of diet-related health issues: it’s not just what you eat, but also how you prepare it that can affect your health.

Fried potatoes, especially as part of meals low in nutritional quality, were particularly linked to higher blood pressure and BMI in women. On the other hand, non-fried potatoes did not show the same risks.

The study, led by Ghadeer S Aljuraiban and published in Clinical Nutrition, emphasizes the need for a deeper understanding of how our food choices and cooking methods affect our long-term health, especially in terms of chronic conditions like high blood pressure.Top of FormBottom of Form

If you care about high blood pressure, please read studies about unhealthy habits that may increase high blood pressure risk, and drinking green tea could help lower blood pressure.

For more information about high blood pressure, please see recent studies about what to eat or to avoid for high blood pressure,  and 12 foods that lower blood pressure.

Copyright © 2024 Knowridge Science Report. All rights reserved.