A new study suggests that eating any type of potato be it mashed, baked, fried, boiled and so on may result in high blood pressure later on. Experts also found that the presumably healthy baked potatoes are nearly as harmful as French-fried potatoes when it comes to high blood pressure.
Study authors claim that you only need to indulge in your favorite potato-based meal four times a week to develop high blood pressure. Experts explained that French fries involve other health risks since they are soaked in more fat.
Scientists at Harvard Medical School found that any type of potatoes could do us harm. And the sole culprit behind health problems may be the starch.
The research team thinks that the starchy carbohydrates are broken down into sugars within the body which can lead to spikes in blood sugar levels. This could later result in diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
During the study, experts sifted through data on 187,000 people who were tracked by large U.S. surveys for about two decades. The study also revealed that women are more likely to develop high blood pressure than men.
But regardless of sex, four or more servings of potatoes upped the risk of high blood pressure by 11 percent. By contrast people who ate four or more serving of French fries every week had a 17 percent higher risk of blood pressure troubles.
Study authors also found that swapping one potato serving with a healthy veggie reduced risk of high blood pressure by 7 percent.
Scientists believe that it would be better for governments to stop calling potatoes a ‘vegetable’ in their public health advice. Plus, potatoes should be removed from federal food programs since they represent a public health issue.
On the other hand, not all nutritionists hailed the study. Academics at the University of New South Wales criticized the latest research for focusing on a specific dietary food rather than taking into account the whole dietary pattern.
Critics said that this may be why we see so many conflicting studies about specific food items in the media. Victoria Taylor of the British Heart Foundation, who was not involved in the study, noted that the recent research found a relationship between potatoes and risk of high blood pressure, not a cause and effect link.
Taylor added that other diet and lifestyle factors could contribute to the development of hypertension in people that eat potatoes four or more times a week. Plus, the latest study has its limitations since the data analyzed was mainly based on self-reports.
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