The problem with potatoes

In the U.S., people eat an average of 126 pounds of potatoes per person each class. [ 1 ] however, potatoes don ’ metric ton count as a vegetable on Harvard ’ s Healthy Eating Plate because they are high in the type of carbohydrate that the consistency digests quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin to surge and then dip ( in scientific terms, they have a high glycemic load ) .

For model, a cup of potatoes has a similar effect on lineage sugar as a can of colon or a handful of jellify beans. [ 2, 3 ] The roller-coaster-like effect of a high dietary glycemic load can result in people feeling athirst again soon after eat, which may then lead to overeating. [ 4* ]
Over the long terminus, diets high in potatoes and similarly rapidly-digested, high carbohydrate foods can contribute to fleshiness, diabetes, and heart disease. [ 5-9 ]

 Potatoes seem to be a particular culprit for weight gain and diabetes:
A 2011 cogitation by Mozaffarian et alabama. that tracked the diet and life style habits of 120,000 men and women for up to 20 years looked at how humble food-choice changes contributed to weight gain over meter .

  • People who increased their consumption of French fries and baked or mashed potatoes gained more weight over time—an extra 3.4 and 1.3 pounds every four years, respectively. [7]
  • People who decreased their intake of these foods gained less weight, as did people who increased their intake of other vegetables.

A exchangeable long-run study found that high potato and french child intakes were linked to a greater hazard of diabetes in women, and that replacing potatoes with wholly grains could lower diabetes risk. [ 9 ]
Potatoes do contain important nutrients—vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin B6, to name a few. But the potato is not the only source of these nutrients, nor is it the best :

  • Broccoli, for example, has nearly nine times as much vitamin C as a potato.
  • White beans have about double the potassium.

 What to eat instead of potatoes?

  • Whole grains are an excellent choice, especially minimally processed grains such as brown rice and quinoa.
  • Beans can also stand in as a “starchy” side dish; they are high in fiber and protein, and cause less of a spike in blood sugar than processed grains.
  • If you’re looking for that mashed-potato texture, try this recipe that uses cauliflower instead.

If you want to swap fresh potatoes for white potatoes, you ’ ll placid need to go easy on the portions : Though gratifying potatoes are a rich reservoir of beta provitamin a, they have a eminent glycemic index and glycemic load —almost a high as that of a white potato. Most people don ’ metric ton feed sweetness potatoes in the lapp over-sized quantities as they do white potatoes, which is possibly why research studies haven ’ metric ton found sweetness potatoes to be a major perpetrator for fleshiness and diabetes .


1.  Service, U.E.R., U.S. Potato Statistics.Table 53: U.S. per capita utilization of potatoes. 2007.

2.  Halton, T.L., et al., Potato and french fry consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Am J Clin Nutr, 2006. 83(2): p. 284-90.
3.  The University of Sydney. The Glycemic Index Database. Accessed August 29, 2012.
4. Abete, I., et al., Obesity and the metabolic syndrome: role of different dietary macronutrient distribution patterns and specific nutritional components on weight loss and maintenance. Nutr Rev, 2010. 68(4): p. 214-31.
*Citation updated Feb. 2021: An earlier version of this page included an incorrect reference. 

5.  Chiu, C.J., et al., Informing food choices and health outcomes by use of the dietary glycemic index. Nutr Rev, 2011. 69(4): p. 231-42.
6.  Beulens, J.W., et al., High dietary glycemic load and glycemic index increase risk of cardiovascular disease among middle-aged women: a population-based follow-up study. J Am Coll Cardiol, 2007. 50(1): p. 14-21.
7 .  Mozaffarian, D., et al., Changes in diet and lifestyle and long-term weight gain in women and men. N Engl J Med, 2011. 364(25): p. 2392-404.

8 .  Barclay, A.W., et al., Glycemic index, glycemic load, and chronic disease risk–a meta-analysis of observational studies. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008. 87(3): p. 627-37.
9 .  Halton, T.L., et al., Low-carbohydrate-diet score and risk of type 2 diabetes in women. Am J Clin Nutr, 2008. 87(2): p. 339-46.
survive update Feb. 2021 to correct reference book 4. This foliate is presently under review .

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