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 Continue reading