Are potatoes good or bad for us

Dr. Walter Willet, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition, Harvard University writes:

"Potatoes are a great way to survive a famine. My grandparents survived the Depression on potatoes. But in a contemporary, sedentary society, potatoes are unhealthy, with a very big glycemic load. We've seen in our studies that higher potato consumption is related to a risk of diabetes. They are very rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream-more than eating pure sugar: sugar is only half glucose when it's broken down, potatoes are 100 percent glucose. There's not very much in terms of redeemable nutritional value that you get for the calories. Unless you are extremely lean and extremely active, you can't tolerate them. If you really like potatoes, you can have them in moderation now and then, but the trouble is that a big mountain of potatoes on your plate twice a day is how many people eat."
"Actually, careful studies have shown, demonstrated that you get a bigger rise in blood sugar after eating potatoes, a baked potato, say, than you do from eating pure table sugar."

One of the few positive qualities of potatoes is they have a high satiety level, however in my opinion the negatives far out weigh the positives. If you eat potatoes make them an occasional food, rather than a daily food, keep portion sizes low and donít count potatoes towards your daily vegetable intake.

Blake Graham, BSc (Honours), AACNEM
Clinical Nutritionist
Perth, Western Australia
Phone/Email: See Contact page
*Non-Perth residents may enquire about phone consultations.

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