A new study should sound alarming bell for Indians. The researchers from Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Harvard Medical School in the US have found a link between potato consumption and hypertension. The researchers say eating four or more servings of baked,boiled, or mashed potatoes (as well as French fries) a week may increase your risk of high blood pressure. India is ranked as the third largest consumer of potatoes.
Go For Non-Starchy Vegetable
Researchers suggest that replacing one serving a day of potatoes with one serving of a non-starchy vegetable is associated with a lower risk of developing hypertension. Researchers followed over 185,000 men and women from three large US studies for over 21 years to arrive at the conclusion. Dietary intake, including the frequency of potato consumption, was assessed using a questionnaire.
Four Servings A Week Increase Risk
Hypertension was reported by participants, based on a diagnosis by health professional, researchers said. After taking into account several other risk factors for hypertension, researchers found that four or more servings a week of boiled,baked or mashed potatoes was associated with an increased risk of hypertension.
Potato Chips Not Risky
Strangely, consumption of potato chips was associated with no increased risk, researchers said. According to them, potatoes have a high glycaemic index compared with other vegetables, and can thus trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, which could be one explanation for the findings.
Nutrients In Potatoes
However, the nutritional value of potato is not in doubt. Studies say that potatoes are an excellent source of several nutrients, such as vitamin B6,vitamin C, pantothenic acid,potassium, niacin and dietary fibre. The protein in potatoes contains lysine, an essential amino acid generally absent in grains.
Nutritional Value of Potato (per 100g)