Should diabetics completely stop eating potatoes? | The Times of India*

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01/7​Intake of vegetable/ potatoes has a role in diabetic cases: Danish study

A recent study by Danish researchers on the relationship between intake of vegetables/potatoes and incidence of type 2 diabetes found that those who had the highest total vegetable intake had 21% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.

Potatoes, a rich source of carbohydrates, are always shunned by diabetes patients upon discovering that they have an imbalanced blood sugar level.readmore

02/7​Preparation method of potato has an impact on diabetes

​Preparation method of potato has an impact on diabetes

“When considering different preparation methods, intake of potato fries/chips as well as boiled, roasted, and mashed potatoes was positively associated with incident type 2 diabetes,” the study has found and added that only mashed potatoes and potato fries/chips were statistically significant and positively associated with the metabolic health issue.

It also found that the association between boiled potatoes and diabetes was positive but was non-significant.

A total of 54,793 participants were involved in the study with 7,695 incidences of type 2 diabetes.readmore

03/7​”150-250 grams of vegetables per day”

​"150-250 grams of vegetables per day"

While the study found an inverse relationship between vegetable intake and type 2 diabetes, it found that this association “plateaued at a vegetable intake of 150–250 g/day”.

A 12–14% lower risk was observed for vegetable intake between 200 and 400 g/day.

“… the inverse association was steeper for lower intake, and no further decrease in risk was observed for total vegetable intake >250 g/day,” the researchers have concluded.readmore

04/7​”The answer to this question is a resounding yes!”

​"The answer to this question is a resounding yes!"

On whether diabetics should completely stop eating potatoes, Dr. Aishwarya Krishnamurthy, Consultant Endocrinology & Diabetes, Max Hospital Vaishali, says, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

“Potatoes are a versatile and well-loved vegetable that form an important part of several traditional Indian dishes. They are rich in potassium and B vitamins, and the skin is a great source of fiber,” says Dr Krishnamurthy and adds that those with diabetes should understand the effect they have on the blood glucose levels and the importance of portion size.

“Potatoes are a high carbohydrate food that can cause a spike in the blood glucose levels,” she adds.readmore

05/7​Aim for low glycemic index

​Aim for low glycemic index

“Certain varieties of potatoes have a lower glycemic index like Kufri Kuber, Kufri Khasigaro, Kufri Muthu, Kufri Naveen and Kufri Pushka, these can be preferred,” suggests the doctor.

“The method of cooking also impacts the effects, boiled vs fried potatoes have a lower carbohydrate load, similarly cooking potatoes with high fibre vegetables like greens (methi) or ladyfinger (bhindi) or with the skin on can reduce the overall glycemic index. One should also be mindful of the portion size to avoid excessive increase in glucose. Thus people with diabetes can relish this tasty vegetable while being mindful of the portion size and making some modifications in the style of consumption,” she recommends.readmore

06/7​”Method of cooking significantly impacts the post prandial blood glucose surge”

​"Method of cooking significantly impacts the post prandial blood glucose surge"

“Cooking alters the structure of the starch in the potatoes, affecting both the glycemic index and the glycemic load. Cooking raises the glycemic index of potatoes and the longer a potato is cooked the higher the glycemic index. However, cooling potatoes after cooking can increase the amount of resistant starch, which is a less digestible form of carbs and this helps to lower the GI by 25–28%,” explains Dr. Krishnamurthy.

“Frying potatoes in oil increases the net calorie consumption and total glycemic load. On the contrary, cooking potatoes with vinegar or lime or other high fibre vegetabes can reduce the glycemic index,” she adds.

“The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of the blood glucose-raising potential of a food item. Consumption of high-GI foods causes a sharp increase in postprandial blood glucose concentration that declines rapidly, whereas consumption of low-GI foods results in a lower blood glucose concentration that declines gradually,” the expert explains.readmore

07/7​The takeaway message

​The takeaway message

“The takeaway is that potato salad may be slightly better than french fries or hot baked potatoes if we are looking to avoid post meal increase in blood glucose levels. French fries also provide more calories and fat due to their cooking method,” the expert suggests on consumption of potatoes.

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