By: April Carson
As surprising as it may sound, potatoes can actually be beneficial to those who are looking to lose weight. This is because they are a great source of complex carbohydrates which provide long-lasting energy and help keep you full for longer periods of time. This delicious starch just might be a secret weapon when trying to lose weight with little effort.
A recent study conducted by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has found that potatoes are actually quite nutrient-dense and could play a big role in maintaining a healthy diet.
Scientists have recently discovered that the root vegetable once thought to contribute to type 2 diabetes, might not be so bad after all. The carbs in potatoes could actually help people with insulin resistance regulate their blood sugar levels better than other starchy foods like rice or pasta.
The researchers found that eating a lot of potatoes can help you lose weight because they are low calorie but very filling.
According to Candida Rebello, a professor and co-author of the study, people will generally eat the same amount of food until they feel satiated regardless of how many calories are in that food. Therefore, by eating heavier foods that have fewer calories, you can reduce your calorie consumption easily.
The study comprised of 36 individuals ranging from 18 to 60 years old who were considered overweight, obese, or had insulin resistance. The diets given included high amounts of fruits and vegetables; 40% was substituted with beans, peas, or potatoes instead of the typical American meat consumption.
Researchers wanted to know if beans really were a diabetes superfood, as many doctors have proclaimed.
The most notable element of our study was not that we lessened the amount of food served, but that we decreased the calories by adding potatoes," Rebello went on to say. "We designed each person's meal according to their individual calorific requirements, yet substituting some meat for potato left participants feeling fuller sooner. They often didn't finish their meals as a result."
Not only are potatoes packed with essential nutrients like vitamins C and B6, potassium, magnesium, folate and fiber, but they also boast antioxidants.
After boiling the potatoes with their skin still intact, we let them sit in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours so that they would absorb more fiber. "We then served these spuds during lunch and dinner in dishes like mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, wedges, salad and scalloped potato casserole."
After analyzing the nutrient content of different foods, scientists found that potatoes are just as healthy as beans and peas. According to Rebello, “We demonstrated that contrary to common belief, potatoes do not negatively impact blood glucose levels. In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight.”
The study's publication in the Journal of Medical Food challenges contemporary dietary beliefs surrounding potatoes. In addition to weight loss, potatoes are an inexpensive source of vitamins, minerals and fiber. They contain more potassium than bananas and provide a number of essential nutrients like iron.
“As the professor continued, she explained that people generally do not adhere to a diet they find unpalatable or repetitive. The meal plans we offered showed that there can be many different options for those looking to eat healthy without having to stick to dietary monotony.”
Although they cannot live on potatoes alone, carb lovers do not need to avoid them altogether. In fact, "fairy inexpensive" potatoes can be included in many everyday meals.
The lead investigator of the study, Dr. John Kirwan, used it as an opportunity to research the connection between food and diabetes/obesity. He stated that there is still more to learn about "complex disease" and how we can solve it effectively.
“Obesity is a disease that we are fighting on three fronts: research to understand how and why our bodies react the way they do, individual responses to diet and physical activity, as well policy-level discussions and community programs," he said. "Our goal is to bring this research into strategies that our local and global communities can use to live healthier lives."
Dr. Kirwan's research found that potatoes have a positive effect on weight loss goals when eaten in moderation. He noted that the starch and fiber in potatoes helps to slow digestion, which can reduce hunger and promote feelings of fullness for longer periods of time. Furthermore, consuming potatoes provides essential vitamins and minerals, such as potassium and Vitamin C, which are important for overall health.
When discussing how to incorporate potatoes into a healthy diet, Dr. Kirwan suggested control portion size, selecting low-fat cooking methods when preparing potatoes, and pairing with other nutrient-rich foods such as lean proteins or vegetables. He also noted that it is important to be mindful of the calories and sodium that may be added when seasoning potatoes or when eating potatoes in prepared dishes.
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About the Blogger:
April Carson is the daughter of Billy Carson. She received her bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Jacksonville University, where she was also on the Women's Basketball team. She now has a successful clothing company that specializes in organic baby clothes and other items. Take a look at their most popular fall fashions on bossbabymav.com
To read more of April's blogs, check out her website! She publishes new blogs on a daily basis, including the most helpful mommy advice and baby care tips! Follow on IG @bossbabymav
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