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Are Potatoes a Diet Disaster?

This is a discussion on Are Potatoes a Diet Disaster? within the Weight Loss forums, part of the Health | Fitness category; Are Potatoes a Diet Disaster? Blame it on the French fries and baked potatoes served with high-fat cream, but when ...

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Old 11-19-2011
Neeshu
 
Star Are Potatoes a Diet Disaster?

Are Potatoes a Diet Disaster?



Blame it on the French fries and baked potatoes served with high-fat cream, but when we think of potatoes our instant recall is that of something fattening and unhealthy. Often painted as diet disasters, recently many studies have proved how potatoes can be good for you. For instance, a study by researchers at the University of Otago, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that when you eat potatoes in a healthy meal along with meats and vegetables, they can actually be quite harmless. Today, Dr. Simran Saini, Weight Loss Management Consultant at Fortis Hospital, tells us why potatoes aren’t always diet disasters and which are the best ways to consume them.


Potatoes and Blood Sugar Level:
Unlike the general perception of high glycemic index food, potatoes have a medium glycemic index and they do not raise the blood sugar levels to crazy. Their glycemic index is a decent 56. However, the forms in which they are consumed make them fattening such as deep fried, shallow fried and so on.

Potatoes and Recommended Amount:
The moderate amount recommended is 1 medium-sized potato a day.

Potatoes and Calories:
1 large potato (260gms) will have 278 calories and 63 grams i.e. 21% of carbohydrate. Calories from potatoes result in weight gain only if taken regularly in large amounts. Also, as stated earlier, the form in which they are consumed matters. The best preparations are baked and steamed.

Potatoes and Top Health Benefits:
Potential health benefits of potatoes are:
  • Weight gain for the lean: They could result in weight gain as most calories come from a high percentage of carbohydrates in potatoes.
  • Facilitates digestion: Potatoes contain simple carbohydrates that are easy to digest and thus facilitate digestion. They are a source of instant energy, but they should be consumed only in moderate quantities to avoid other health complications.
  • Helps skin care: Potatoes contain vitamin-C and B-complex and minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc which are good for the skin.
  • Prevents scurvy: The vitamin-C present in potatoes can help prevent scurvy which is caused due to lack of vitamin-C.
  • Relieves inflammation: Potato is a simple carbohydrate especially in steamed and mashed form and is easily digested and absorbed through our digestive system. It relieves inflammation of the intestines and the digestive system.
  • Keeps brain function active: Carbohydrates are a major and easiest form of glucose and the good news is that potatoes are high in carbohydrates. By providing instant calories, potatoes maintain instant replenished levels of glucose in the blood which keeps the brain active instantly.
  • Heart disease: Usually, potatoes should not be given during treatment and immediately after treatment of heart disease. This is because, usually, heart diseases are related with obesity and this would be a time to eat a lean diet devoid of simple carbs. Although, as per your cardiologist’s recommendation, potatoes can be taken in a healthy balanced manner.

*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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