In our low-carb conscious society, potatoes have gotten a bad rap. Millions of former potato lovers bid a reluctant farewell to spuds when the Atkin’s diet craze hit. But now it may be safe to put potatoes back on the grocery list. According to a recent study, eating potatoes isn’t evil after all – even if you’re trying to lose weight.
Potatoes and Weight Gain: Is Eating Potatoes Really So Bad?
Researchers divided 86 overweight adults into three groups. One group ate a diet that consisted of low-glycemic foods. A second group ate a diet of mostly high-glycemic foods, while a third group, which served as a control, chose their own diet based on standard nutritional principles. All three groups ate five to seven servings of potatoes weekly for the full three months of the study. They all reduced the total number of calories they ate by 500 per week.
The results? All three groups lost similar amounts of weight. It didn’t matter whether they ate high-glycemic foods or low ones – or whether they ate potatoes. When they reduced their calorie intake by 500 calories per day, they lost weight no matter what the composition of their food was.
Is Eating Potatoes Okay Again?
This study shows that even weight-conscious people can enjoy eating potatoes again. They’re low in calories – with only 110 calories per potato and they’re fat-free. They’re also a good source of fiber and resistant starch that helps to fill you up. In fact, boiled potatoes rank very high on the satiety index. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin C and potassium.
Eating Potatoes May Not Be for Everyone
White potatoes cause more rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, so diabetics should eat them in moderation. Sweet potatoes are a better choice since they don’t raise blood sugar levels as rapidly, and they’re an excellent source of heart-healthy carotenoids.
Anyone who eats potatoes should be concerned about how they’re prepared. French fries and hash browns aren’t healthy for anyone, but a baked or boiled potato with minimal butter and sour cream isn’t going to pack on the pounds if you eat them in moderation – and keep your overall calorie count within range. On the other hand, don’t use potatoes as your vegetable of choice. For good health you need lots of green, purple, red, and purple veggies too.
Potatoes and Weight Gain: The Bottom Line?
Don’t be too quick to purge potatoes from your diet. If you enjoy their taste, eat them in moderation and prepare them in a healthy manner – and don’t forget about the sweet potato. They’re full of antioxidant power.
Eurekalert.org. “Lose the Weight, NOT the Potatoes”