Recent research has shown that potatoes, a very traditional part of the American diet, might increase the risk for high blood pressure if they are excessively consumed.
It was established that if you have potatoes on your menu four or five times a week, it is enough to become vulnerable to a high blood pressure. The highest level of risk is given by the fried potatoes, with a 17 percentage, whereas boiled, mashed or baked ones have 11 percent risk.
According to Dr. Lea Borgi, lead researcher of the renal division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, the study must continue to determine what is the exact risk of hypertension and other diseases.
Still, other dietitians believe that not potatoes are to blame for this situation but the add-ons people use when they cook, such as bacon bits and sour cream.
During the study, Borgi and her colleagues observed more than 187,000 men and women who participated in three large U.S. studies for over 20 years. Throughout the study, they filled out various questionnaires about their diet. Plus, at the beginning of the survey, no one had high blood pressure.
Compared with other vegetables, potatoes have a high glycemic index which can provoke an increase in blood sugar. This index measures the way carbohydrates raise blood sugar. According to Borgi, this study did not establish that potatoes are the source of high blood pressure, only that they might seem to be related to an increased risk.
However, scientists advised people to replace one meal a day of potatoes with a vegetable-based one. This way, the risk of high blood pressure might drop off. Another nutrition expert stated that instead of blaming the potatoes, we should focus on reducing all the fixings that we put on top of them.
According to a senior clinical nutritionist at New York University Medical Center, Samantha Heller, this study might ruin the potato’s reputation which is already poor. She underlined that blood pressure issues existed long before humans based their diets on potatoes.
Plus, she stated that it is the way we eat the potatoes that makes us vulnerable to all sorts of diseases. These vegetables are an excellent source of minerals, fiber, potassium, energy and vitamin C. The fact that most Americans eat the potatoes with a lot of salt, cooked in butter or loaded with bacon bits, cheese, and sour cream makes them possibly dangerous.
Her best solution would be for people to watch portions and eat baked potatoes with salsa or mashed potatoes with soy milk, nonfat milk, olive oil and combined with other herbs and vegetables such as spinach and garlic.