Don't Drop The Potato
Don't Drop the Potato by Berkeley Wellness Many people fear that potatoes will make them fat or cause other health problems. Are potatoes really such villains? Are they any better or worse than bread, rice, or other starchy grains? A half-baked myth Potatoes have a bad reputation, in part, because they have a high glycemic index (GI), meaning that their carbohydrates are quickly broken down into sugar, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to rise rapidly. This, in turn, increases fat storage and the risk of obesity and diabetes—at least in theory. A few studies have implicated potatoes in weight gain and diabetes. For instance, a 2009 study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found a link between potato consumption and waist circumference in women (but not men). Earlier data from the Nurses’ Health Study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2006, linked potato intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes in obese women—especially when potatoes were eaten in place of whole grains. But there are plenty of caveats to consider before you drop the potato. For one, not all studies support the idea that high-GI diets—let alone potatoes, in particular—have such adverse effects. Several have found no relationship between high-GI diets and body fat or diabetes. In any case, the GI of potatoes and other foods depends on many factors, including how they’re cooked and what they’re eaten with. And not all varieties have such a high GI. Russet potatoes do, for example, but red potatoes rank moderately. Moreover, it’s hard to separate the effects of potatoes from those of other foods in a typical Western diet. That is, the undesirable associations seen in some studies could be due to the meat, refined grains, sugars and trans Continue reading >>
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Why Do Potatoes Raise Blood Glucose More Than Sugar?
It can be surprising to find out that potatoes are generally high on the glycemic index (GI), which rates how much certain foods raise your blood glucose. After all, it's a staple in diets throughout the world because potatoes are an affordable and nutritious vegetable. Plus, most people associate blood sugar with foods that contain sugar. How is it that a potato has a higher GI than white sugar? It's all about the starch and how it converts to glucose in your body. However, not all potatoes are created equal and there are ways to lower their impact on your blood glucose. You may still be able to enjoy a few potatoes here and there, you'll just want to keep your servings in check. Too often, glucose is associated with sweetness and regular white potatoes are not a food that's generally considered sweet. Potatoes are almost all starch, though, and that starch is made up of long strings of glucose. Since the starch in potatoes is rapidly digested, the glycemic index of potatoes can be almost as high as that of glucose alone. The glycemic index of glucose is 100 points where potatoes are usually listed as being in the high 80s or low 90s. Sucrose (table sugar), on the other hand, has a GI of 59 and is a disaccharide (two sugar) molecule. It is made up of one glucose molecule and one fructose molecule joined together. Fructose is processed differently in your body than glucose, and it doesn't affect your blood sugar as much. However, fructose causes problems of its own when you eat too much of it. With that, it's fair to say that an ounce of carbohydrate from potatoes has twice the glucose as sugar. When you think of it that way, it's only logical that potatoes would raise blood glucose more. There are many varieties of potatoes and it would not be accurate to say that eve Continue reading >>
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Do Potatoes Cause Diabetes?
Are potatoes dangerous? Do potatoes cause diabetes? You might think so if you followed the headlines. In 2006, the media was full of reports making these claims, some of which are still being made today. All of this attention was based on the results of a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.1 The prospective study followed 84,555 women in the famed Nurses’ Health Study. At the start, the women, aged 34–59 years, had no history of chronic disease, and completed a validated food frequency questionnaire. These women were then followed for 20 years with repeated assessments of their diet. The study concluded, “Our findings suggest a modest positive association between the consumption of potatoes and the risk of type 2 diabetes in women. This association was more pronounced when potatoes were substituted for whole grains.” So, let’s take a closer look at the study and see how accurate these claims are, and where the truth really lies. Specifically, we will look at five key points. Are all potatoes equal? Or “When is a potato not a potato?” In the study, participants were asked how often, on average, in the previous year, they had consumed potatoes. The options they were given to choose from were either: a) One baked or one cup mashed potato b) 4 ounces of french-fried potatoes These were the only two choices the subjects could pick from. So, while these may represent how potatoes are often consumed here in America, they do not account for any differences in how the potatoes were prepared and served. And mashed potatoes were counted in with baked potatoes, which are two completely different forms of preparing potatoes. In America, whether it is at home or in restaurants, most all mashed potatoes are made with milk and butter and/or marg Continue reading >>
Potato Consumption And Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three Prospective Cohort Studies
OBJECTIVE We aimed to elucidate whether potato consumption is associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS We analyzed data in three cohorts consisting of U.S. male and female health professionals without diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer at baseline: 70,773 women from the Nurses’ Health Study (1984–2010), 87,739 women from Nurses’ Health Study II (1991–2011), and 40,669 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (1986–2010). Potato consumption was assessed quadrennially using validated food frequency questionnaires (FFQs), and we calculated 4-year change in potato consumption from consecutive FFQs. Self-reported T2D diagnosis was confirmed using a validated supplementary questionnaire. RESULTS During 3,988,007 person-years of follow-up, 15,362 new cases of T2D were identified. Higher consumption of total potatoes (including baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes and french fries) was significantly associated with an elevated risk for T2D: the pooled hazard ratio (HR) of T2D compared with <1 serving/week was 1.07 (95% CI 0.97–1.18) for 2–4 servings/week and 1.33 (95% CI 1.17–1.52) for ≥7 servings/week after adjustment for demographic, lifestyle, and dietary factors. In addition, the pooled HRs of T2D for every 3 servings/week were 1.04 (95% CI 1.01–1.08) for baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes, and 1.19 (95% CI 1.13–1.25) for french fries. We further estimated that the HR of T2D was 0.88 (95% CI 0.84–0.91) for replacing 3 servings/week of total potatoes with the same amount of whole grains. Last, in comparison with stable potato consumption, every 3-servings/week increment of potato consumption in 4 years was associated with a 4% (95% CI 0–8%) higher T2D risk. CONCLUSIONS Greater consumption of Continue reading >>
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Problem Foods: Can Diabetics Eat Potatoes?
Can people with diabetes eat potatoes? The answer is yes, and even more resounding when you have some info in your back pocket. Potatoes come in every form imaginable—from chips to potato salad, from fries to baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. Some forms are obviously more nutritious than others. And all can have varying effects on blood sugar. Here are some recommendations: Sweet potatoes and yams are good choices on the potato spectrum as they have a lower glycemic index and glycemic load than a regular baked russet potato, therefore affecting blood glucose less. Small red potatoes with the skin can also be a good choice. The skin provides fiber, which slows digestion and absorption. And small, whole potatoes may be easier to portion control. Serve a few on your plate as opposed to a whole baked potato or scoop of mashed potatoes. Try to limit fried potatoes and potato chips, choosing roasted, baked or broiled instead. Be aware of portion size. The plate method is an easy way to manage this: about ¼ of your plate should come from starchy foods and only the depth of a deck of cards. It might not be the potato itself wreaking havoc on blood sugar, but instead the portion of potatoes if it is more than about ¾ to 1 cup. Many, many years ago, nurses, dietitians, and diabetes educators were instructed to teach their patients with diabetes to eat certain foods and not eat others. But in more modern times, the belief and teaching method is based on making healthy food choices, understanding portion sizes, and learning the best times to eat in order to manage diabetes. This method of not having to eliminate foods from the diet is supported by the American Diabetes Association and the American Association of Diabetes Educators. Blood glucose control and food choice Continue reading >>
Potato Nutrition 5 Common Potato Myths Debunked
Potato Nutrition 5 Common Potato Myths Debunked If you're like most people, you may be on the fence about whether potatoes are actually good for you. Understanding potato nutrition has become overly complex, and unfortunately the truth about these starchy vegetables has become overly complicated. Riddled with such claims as potatoes are too high in carbohydrate or potatoes have a high glycemic index, it has become downright confusing to determine whether potatoes are worth keeping in your diet, or whether they belong in your trash can. In this post, well address 5 common potato myths and get to the bottom of potato nutrition so that you know the truth. Spoiler alert: potatoes are extremely good for you. Myth #1: Potatoes Are High in Carbohydrates and Will Spike Your Blood Glucose If you believe any of these statements, then its not your fault. Since the advent of the Atkins diet, America has been fed a host of anti-carbohydrate propaganda. Carbohydrates are a fuel for all tissues in your body Your brain runs off of glucose for 99.99% of your life Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your muscles, for use during exercise Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in your liver, to provide your brain with a drip-feed of glucose 24 hours a day Carbohydrates are converted into fat, but at a terribly slow and inefficient pace in the human body (2) Take a look at the nutrition facts label shown here for a medium white potato (3): A single medium white potato contains about 150 calories A single medium white potato contains about 40g of carbohydrate A single medium white potato contains about 5 grams of protein A single medium white potato contains almost no fat Many people with diabetes will pass up white potatoes, sweet potatoes and yams because they are high in carbohydrates, Continue reading >>
Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Diabetics?
Diabetics have to keep a close eye on their diets, in order to manage carbohydrates and limit their impact on blood glucose and insulin levels. That means high-carbohydrate foods can be problematic, but some, such as sweet potatoes, offer substantial nutritional benefits to offset their impact on blood sugar. Deciding how much or how often you can consume them is an individual decision, but sweet potatoes can certainly find a place in a diabetic meal plan. Carbs in Sweet Potatoes Any discussion of food and diabetes management should begin with the American Diabetes Association's recommendation, which is to count the grams of carbohydrates you eat in a day. The number of carbs you need is calculated based on your body weight and activity levels, but as a rule the ADA suggests aiming for a range of 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal, although some people may require fewer for optimal blood sugar control. By that reckoning, sweet potatoes pose a challenge: One large baked sweet potato provides over 37 grams of carbs, which represents most of your allowance for that meal. By that measure, incorporating a sweet potato can sharply limit what else goes onto your plate. It's Not as Bad as it Looks That being said, there are a couple of reasons sweet potatoes might not throw your meal plan off balance. First, a large sweet potato is a substantial quantity, and if you're diabetic your meal plan probably calls for a serving of no more than 1/3 cup mashed or one small potato. This brings down your total carbohydrates to a much more manageable 12 grams for a small baked sweet potato, or a shade over 19 grams for 1/3 cup boiled, mashed sweet potato. Those figures are still high, but easier to incorporate into your daily total. Also, a large portion of those total carbohydrates Continue reading >>
Can Baked Potatoes Spike My Blood Sugar?
Baked potatoes are known to send your blood sugar into an uproar because of their high carbohydrate content. But not all potatoes have that effect. Some baked spuds are low on the glycemic index, causing minimal glucose elevations. Whether or not you eat your steamy side with the skin on makes a difference. Peeling your potato makes it digest quicker, causing a bigger effect on your blood sugar. Video of the Day The glycemic index, or GI, is a scoring system for foods containing carbohydrates. High-GI foods, with a score high than 70, cause your blood sugar to spike quickly. Medium-glycemic foods rank at 55 to 70 on the scale and have modest effects on blood sugar. Ideally, the majority of the foods you eat should be low on the glycemic index and have a rate of less than 55. These low-GI foods raise your blood sugar slightly over a longer period of time. Russet and White Potatoes Russet potatoes are some of the worst offenders when it comes to upping your blood sugar. A baked russet has an average GI rank of 85. If you eat the skin, it falls a bit lower, whereas peeling the skin away makes it as high as 111. Baked white potatoes tend to fall at around 50 on the glycemic scale, although you have to leave the skin on when you eat them. Otherwise your low-glycemic baked tater can be closer to 100, making it highly likely to make your blood sugar surge. Rather than your usual starchy spud, opt for a baked sweet potato. A cooked sweet potato can be as low as 44 on the scale. Although if you don’t eat the skin, that low-GI sweet potato is more likely to elevate your blood sugar, because the score can go up to 78. Or you can opt for a yam instead. Yams have an average GI of just 37, with the skin on or off, meaning they’ll have little effect on blood sugar. Most of the ing Continue reading >>
Potatoes And Rice: Linked To Diabetes And Obesity?
Do potatoes and rice increase your risk of type 2 diabetes? Find out from Ms Peggy Tan, Dietitian at Tiong Bahru Community Health Centre. Potatoes Can eating potatoes make you fat? Both potatoes and rice are complex carbohydrates and if eaten in moderation will not make you fat. They can, however, cause weight gain if they are cooked with butter, margarine, cream or any other fatty substance, instead of just boiled in water. The cooking method used can significantly increase the calorie value of both rice and potato. For instance, a 5-ounce (142g) portion of hash browns, cooked in oil or butter, has 375 calories, while a 5-ounce (142g) portion of French fries has 435 calories. Potato chips that have been deep-fried have more than five times the number of calories than a boiled potato. Similarly, rice that is fried or cooked with fat, such as chicken rice or nasi biryani, will have higher calories than steamed rice. The choice of portion sizes can also lead to weight gain. Excess calories will add up if you double the portions or indulge in high-calorie potato and rice preparations daily, instead of having them as an occasional treat. In addition, the lack of physical activity can also exacerbate weight gain. Can eating rice and potatoes raise your risk of type 2 diabetes? Most varieties of rice and potatoes are high glycemic index carbohydrates and have been linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes. That is because these starchy carbohydrates are quickly broken down into glucose and absorbed into the bloodstream, which can cause blood sugar and insulin levels to rise. However, the evidence against rice and potatoes is not conclusive. Some studies have found a link between these foods and diabetes, while others have not. Since both rice and potatoes have many nu Continue reading >>
Top 10 Worst Diet Choices If You Have Diabetes
If you have diabetes, in many ways your diet is your medicine. As diabetes educators, we help patients understand what food and beverage choices are best to avoid. When foods are high in carbohydrates, fat and sodium, they increase your risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, weight gain, heart disease and uncontrolled sugar . Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy Sweetened drinks. These include regular pop/soda, fruit punches and iced teas. These are loaded with sugar and calories, and they usually have little or no nutritional value. Instead, try infusing plain water with different berries and fruits so you can enjoy the natural sweetness. “Designer” or specialty coffee drinks – including frappuccinos or cappuccinos. That “once a day special treat” can add up to lots of extra sugar, calories and saturated fat. Instead, go for straight java, either black, with artificial sweetener or a small splash of skim milk. Whole milk. It has too much fat, which can lead to weight gain. Switch to 2 percent, 1 percent – or even better: skim milk. Keep in mind that one cup of skim milk has 12 grams of carbohydrates. If you don’t like milk or are lactose intolerant, you can drink almond milk, rice milk or soy milk instead—but remember to get the low sugar varieties. Hot dogs. These grilled little favorites are still high in saturated fat and sodium—yes, that even includes turkey dogs! Try to avoid them or eat them only occasionally. Packaged lunch meats. These are also high in saturated fat and sodium. Check your deli for low sodium meats—or better yet use sliced meat that you’ve roasted at home to make your sandwic Continue reading >>
11 Superfoods For Your Diabetes Diet
Getty Images What to Eat to Beat Type 2 Diabetes What makes a food “super”? When it comes to type 2 diabetes, it’s not just about foods that pack lots of nutrients. For a diabetes-friendly diet, you also need foods that will help keep your blood sugar levels in check. “Look for items that contain healthy fats and are high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber,” says Sue McLaughlin, RD, a certified diabetes educator at Burgess Health Center in Onawa, Iowa. It’s also crucial to eat a wide variety of foods to make sure you’re getting a healthy mix of phytochemicals and essential fatty acids. Add these 11 superfoods to your grocery cart to keep your diet diabetes-friendly. Continue reading >>
Eating Potatoes Raises Type 2 Risk
For people with diabetes, eating potatoes can raise blood glucose levels more than some other sources of carbohydrate because they are so quickly absorbed. A recent study says downing the spuds may also raise the risk of developing type 2 diabetes , though it didnt prove cause and effect. Among more than 200,000 adults followed over three decades, those who ate at least seven weekly servings of potatoesbaked, boiled, mashed, or friedhad a 33 percent greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate less than a serving per week. French fries raised the risk the most. The good news: Replacing three weekly servings of potatoes with three servings of whole grains cut the diabetes risk by 12 percent. Give it a go by eating one slice of whole grain bread or a half cup of oatmeal instead of a whole potato or a medium serving of hash browns. Source: Diabetes Care, published online Dec. 17, 2015 Interested in more information about healthy living with diabetes? Click here to subscribe to Diabetes Forecast magazine. Continue reading >>
Five Diabetes Myths, Busted
David Kendall, M.D., is the chief scientific and medical officer of the The American Diabetes Association. The group’s 71st Scientific Sessions begin Friday in San Diego, California, with presentations of the latest research, treatment recommendations and advances toward a cure for diabetes. Each year diabetes accounts for more deaths than breast cancer and AIDS combined. While diabetes (both type 1 and type 2) is ever more manageable because of advances in medication, a better understanding of blood glucose monitoring and new technologies for delivering insulin, uncontrolled or undiagnosed diabetes still remains the leading cause of blindness in adults, kidney failure and amputation. There are many myths about diabetes - myths that can do much harm. Many believe that diabetes is “just a touch of sugar,” or only something we develop in later life. Although diabetes is manageable, the diabetes epidemic continues to grow; every 17 seconds someone is diagnosed with diabetes and at the current rate, one in three people in the U.S. will have diabetes by the year 2050. Knowing the facts (and your own risk) can help all of us fight the misconceptions associated with this awful disease and ultimately stop diabetes. So take a minute to learn the facts about diabetes. The more we know, the better equipped we are to detect, prevent and treat diabetes and its deadly complications. 1) Myth: Diabetes is really no big deal. Fact: As I’ve already noted, diabetes causes more deaths a year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. The risk of heart problems is more than twice as high in people with diabetes and two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke. Uncontrolled diabetes also leads to a host of other complications. 2) Myth: Eating too much sugar cause Continue reading >>
Mashed Potatoes On A Diabetic Diet
According to the North Carolina Potato Association, the average adult consumes about one potato each day, and potatoes are the second most consumed food in America after dairy products. A side of mashed potatoes with a meal may be an American staple, but if you have diabetes, you may be concerned about the carbohydrate content of this popular side dish. You can include mashed potatoes as part of your diabetic diet, and preparation and serving size will help you keep your blood sugar under control. Video of the Day Carbohydrates and Mashed Potatoes Diabetes occurs when your body cannot effectively control your blood sugar levels. Carbohydrates affect blood sugar, so the American Diabetes Association's meal plan recommends that people with diabetes limit their carbohydrate intake to 45 percent of their total calories, or 45 to 60 grams of carbohydrates per meal. Fruit, vegetables, grains, breads and added sugar all contribute to the carbohydrate total of your meal. One cup of mashed potatoes prepared with whole milk provides 174 calories and 37 grams of carbohydrates, between 62 and 82 percent of the total carbohydrates recommended for an entire meal. Mashed potatoes also rate high on the glycemic index, a tool that measures a food's impact on blood sugar levels. Unprocessed, high-fiber foods, such as whole grains and most fruits and vegetables, tend to be low-glycemic foods because fiber slows the rate of blood sugar increase. Processing and cooking often increases the glycemic index of foods. High-glycemic foods have a rating of 70 or above. The University of Sydney’s glycemic index database reports that mashed potatoes have a glycemic index of 83. Instant mashed potatoes have a glycemic index of 87, according to Harvard Health Publications. If you follow the glycemic Continue reading >>
Is It Safe For Diabetics To Eat Potatoes?
Despite being the most popular vegetable in the United States, potatoes have fallen out of favour somewhat with nutritionists over the last few decades due to a relatively low nutrient density and high levels of quickly absorbed carbohydrates. Many diabetics avoid potatoes altogether for fear of exacerbating their condition. Fortunately the news is not all bad when it comes to diabetes and potatoes and most diabetics can include a modest level of potatoes in their diet. The main reason diabetics are cautious when it comes to potatoes is their very high glycemic index (GI) value. The glycemic index is important for diabetics because it is a measure of the impact a particular food has on blood glucose levels once it has been digested. Eating large amounts of foods with high GI values results in a large increase in blood sugar levels which would normally result in a corresponding rise in insulin to bring blood sugar levels back to a normal level within a few hours. Because diabetics have an impaired insulin response, blood sugar levels can remain very high for quite some time leading to the typical symptoms of diabetes such as excessive thirst, frequent urination, tiredness, and nerve problems. Potatoes have a GI value that ranges from 65 to 80 which is considered high. By comparison table sugar (sucrose) has a GI of 63, white bread has a GI of 71, wholemeal bread a GI of 60, and brown rice a GI of 55. Interestingly the method of cooking and variety of potato can affect the GI value of potatoes greatly. Newer potatoes tend to have lower GI values than older potatoes. Waxy potato varieties such as Red Norland, Yellow Finn, and Red Pontiac have lower GI values than floury potato varieties such as Russet Burbank and Norgold Russet. A 2005 study published in The Journal of the Continue reading >>