Carb lovers rejoice! This delectable starch, long a guilty pleasure, just might be a secret weapon when trying to “lose weight with little effort.”
Researchers have discovered the surprising health benefit of potatoes — as it turns out, these spuds are incredibly nutrient-dense and could be a crucial “part of a healthy diet,” according to a new study by researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The root vegetable has long been snubbed as too starchy for people with insulin resistance, and was once thought of as a contributor to type two diabetes. But the tater’s bad rap might be rectified now that scientists claim it can be part of the ideal diet.
Because the starch is low calorie but very filling, researchers found that filling a plate full of potatoes can contribute to a shrinking waistline.
The study included 36 people between the ages of 18 and 60 who were overweight, obese or had insulin resistance. Participants were given two different diets, both high in fruits and veggies and swapped 40% of the typical American meat consumption with beans, peas or potatoes.
“The key aspect of our study is that we did not reduce the portion size of meals but lowered their caloric content by including potatoes,” Rebello continued. “Each participant’s meal was tailored to their personalized calorific needs, yet by replacing some meat content with potato, participants found themselves fuller, quicker, and often did not even finish their meal.”
Rebello’s buzz quote: “In effect, you can lose weight with little effort.”
Potatoes contain Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, potassium, magnesium, folate and fiber, which all promote health, and have also been found to have antioxidants.
The potatoes were boiled — with the skins left on — then placed in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours to maximize their fiber. The spuds were then included in lunch and dinner for the participants in the form of mashed potatoes, shepherd’s pie, wedges, salad and scalloped.
Upon nutrient comparison, scientists discovered potatoes were just as healthy as beans and peas.
“We demonstrated that contrary to common belief, potatoes do not negatively impact blood glucose levels,” Rebello stated. “In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight.”
The study, which was published in the Journal of Medical Food, confirmed that people can still maintain a healthy diet and indulge in some potatoes, challenging what was previously believed about the once-damned starch.
Obviously carb lovers can’t only chow down on potatoes, but foregoing them altogether also isn’t necessary. In fact, potatoes are “fairy inexpensive” and are easily incorporated into everyday meals.