Potatoes are the fourth most consumed crop in the world, behind rice, wheat and corn, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, now a days there is no dearth of articles and videos that talk about only the risks associated with eating potatoes. In this article we’ll see what evidence based information is available globally, either in favor of or against eating potatoes, that can help us determining whether to eat or not to eat potatoes.
A study published in 2017 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who ate fried potatoes twice a week saw an increased risk of death. The study examined potato intake in 4,400 people between the ages of 45 and 79. By the end of the eight-year study, 236 people had died. Researchers found that those who ate fried potatoes — French fries, hash browns, home fries and more — were more than twice as likely to have died. However the test didn’t include other methods of eating potatoes like boiled or baked and without butter. As per National Potato Council in 2014, Americans consumed 112.1 pounds of potatoes per person out of which, just 33.5 pounds were fresh potatoes and the remaining 78.5 pounds were processed. Majority of the processed potatoes were eaten in no other form than French fries, as per US Department of Agriculture.
This website looks to be completely against the consumption of potatoes.
In India also if you enter into any Pizza or Burger serving fast food joint, french fries and potato wedges are available every where. People buy them and eat a lot joyfully even if they’re not cheap. Children are especially fond of it.
Some data is given below that shows how good potatoes themselves are, but become risky after butter or cream is added or deep fried in oil.
Nutritional composition of Potato and some other staple foods:
Fat calories in popular Potato foods:
Comparison of amino acid levels in potato and selected grains with recommended IOM amino acid pattern:
Read this if you’re interested to read an in depth research report on potatoes.
Potassium which is supposed to reduce the risk of high blood pressure and stroke is present in abundance in potatoes. On page 13 It claims that a study done on a small group of hypertensive people concluded that consumption of potatoes in a healthy way actually helped to reduce their blood pressure. However the study needs to be done on a larger group of diverse cases to confirm.
It also claims that another study on potatoes consumed in healthy way aided in weight reduction, refer to page 15 of the above document.
In the Indian subcontinent potatoes, mashed potatoes to be specific is considered as a ‘comfort food’. It means when you’re not fully healthy or recovering from an ailment when your gut health isn’t at its peak, this is one food that’s mild for the gut and gives a soothing effect.
This website here looks like a complete fan of potatoes. It lists many interesting health benefits associated with potatoes.
Conclusion: Potatoes are filled with nutrients and amino acids and low in calories than many staple foods; however avoid eating them fried or mashed with a lot of butter or oil. As always, moderation is the key. Overdoing anything can be bad.
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