While they may not have all the benefits of other vegetables, potatoes can still be a healthy choice when prepared properly.
In recent years, low-carb or no-carb diets have become popular, causing potatoes to be replaced by other vegetables.
In fact, research suggests potatoes may have negative health effects, including an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.
However, new Edith Cowan University (ECU) research shows that while potatoes may not have all the same benefits as some other vegetables (such as a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes), the health problems associated with potatoes are actually It may be due to the way people prepare their food and what they eat with them.
More than 54,000 people reported their dietary intake in the long-term Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Study.
A recent analysis of the study by Dr Nicola Bondonno from ECU’s Institute of Nutrition and Health Innovation found that people who ate the most vegetables were 21% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who ate the least.
PhD candidate Pratik Pokharel carried out the analysis and said that while potatoes didn’t have the same effect on type 2 diabetes, they didn’t have any negative effects either.
“In previous studies, potatoes were positively associated with the incidence of diabetes, regardless of how they were prepared – but we found that this was not the case,” Mr Pokharel said.
“In Denmark, people eat potatoes cooked in many different ways; in our study we were able to distinguish the different preparation methods. When we separated boiled potatoes from mashed potatoes, chips or chips, boiled potatoes were no longer Associated with higher diabetes risk: they had no effect.”
The underlying dietary pattern is key, Mr Pokharel said.
“In our study, people who ate the most potatoes also ate more butter, red meat and soft drinks — foods that are known to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes,” he said.
“When you think about it, boiled potatoes are no longer associated with diabetes. There are only chips and mashed potatoes, the latter most likely because it’s usually made with butter, cream, etc.”
eat your vegetables
Mr Pokharel said the findings of the study suggested that vegetables could play a key role in reducing type 2 diabetes, as people who ate high amounts of green leafy and cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower developed type 2 diabetes Significantly lower risk of health) condition.
He said the link between vegetables and diabetes should be included in public dietary guidelines – and so should the benefits of eating potatoes.
“The finding that vegetables reduce diabetes risk is critical to public health advice, and we should not ignore it,” he said.
“With regards to potatoes, we cannot say they are good for type 2 diabetes, but they are not bad if prepared in a healthy way. In terms of disease prevention, we should separate potatoes from other vegetables, but substitute potatoes for refined grains (such as white rice and pasta) can improve the quality of your diet because potatoes contain fiber and other nutrients.”
Put it into practice in the kitchen
Mr Pokharel said people should be advised to increase their vegetable intake – which can include potatoes, as long as they don’t eat unhealthy extras such as butter, cream and oil.
“Potatoes have fiber and nutrients that are good for you,” he says.
“People talk about carbs being bad, but it’s more about the type of carbs you’re consuming; boiled potatoes are excellent carbs compared to things like white rice. But be careful how you prepare them: don’t Eat chips or mashed potatoes all the time. Just boil them and eat them like any other vegetable or other food—you don’t need to eat them with red meat all the time.”
Reference: “Intake of vegetables rather than potatoes is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the Danish Diet, Cancer and Health Cohort”, by Pratik Pokharel, Cecilie Kyrø, Anja Olsen, Anne Tjønneland, Kevin Murray, Lauren C. Blekkenhorst, Catherine P. Bondonno, Jonathan M. Hodgson, and Nicola P. Bondonno, December 5, 2022, diabetes care.