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Eating potatoes can actually help people lose weight

“In addition, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to incorporate into a diet.”

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By Gwyn Wright via SWNS

Eating potatoes can actually help people lose weight, according to a new study.

Scientists say spuds are in fact are packed with important nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet.

The starchy staples have been linked to an increased risk of type two diabetes and people with insulin resistance have been told to avoid them but the new findings suggest they do not in fact raise that risk.

Researchers in the US have found people tend to feel full once they have consumed a certain amount of food, regardless of the calorific content of it.

Potatoes help fill a plate with food which may otherwise be much higher in calories, which in turn helps people shed the pounds.

“People tend to eat the same weight of food regardless of calorie content in order to feel full," said the study’s co-investigator Professor Candida Rebello from Pennington Biomedical Research Center .

“By eating foods with a heavier weight that are low in calories, you can easily reduce the number of calories you consume.

“The key aspect of our study is that we did not reduce the portion size of meals but lowered their caloric content by including potatoes.

“Each participant’s meal was tailored to their personalized calorific needs, yet by replacing some meat content with potato, participants found themselves fuller, quicker, and often did not even finish their meal.

“In effect, you can lose weight with little effort.”

For the study, researchers recruited 36 people who were overweight or had obesity or insulin resistance.

Insulin resistance refers to a condition where the body’s cells do not respond well to insulin and sugar does not enter cells to make energy.

It is linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and type two diabetes.

The participants, who were between 18 and 60 years old, were given diets that included either beans, peas, and meat or fish, or white potatoes with meat or fish.

Both diets were high in fruit and vegetable content and substituted an estimated 40 per cent of typical meat consumption with either beans and peas or potatoes.

Earlier studies have found eating beans and peas improves blood sugar levels in people with newly diagnosed type two diabetes.

The potatoes were boiled with their skins on and then put in the fridge for between 12 and 24 hours to increase their fiber content.

Potatoes were incorporated into the main lunch and dinner courses such as shepherd’s pie and creamy shrimp and potatoes, and served with sides such as mashed potatoes, oven-roasted potato wedges, potato salad, and scalloped potatoes.

When the team compared the potato and bean and pea-based diets, they found them both to be equally healthy.

“We demonstrated that contrary to common belief, potatoes do not negatively impact blood glucose levels," Rebello said.

“In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight.

“People typically do not stick with a diet they don’t like or isn’t varied enough.

“The meal plans provided a variety of dishes, and we showed that a healthy eating plan can have varied options for individuals striving to eat healthy.

“In addition, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to incorporate into a diet.”

“Obesity is an incredibly complex disease that we are tackling on three different fronts: research that looks at how and why our bodies react the way they do, research that looks at individual responses to diet and physical activity, and policy-level discussions and community programs that bring our research into strategies our local and global communities can use to live healthier lives," said the study’s principal investigator Dr. John Kirwan, who is Executive Director of Pennington Biomedical Research Center.

“These new data on the impact of potatoes on our metabolism is an exciting addition to the arsenal of evidence we have to do just that.”

The findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

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