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According to the latest study, potato consumption increases blood pressure. Spuds are almost a national vegetable, which means that the popular food can be found on nearly every American table. However, scientists are advising people to think twice before indulging with some mashed, baked, or fried goodies.
Lea Borgi, a doctor at the Boston’s Women Hospital, has concluded that potato consumption increases blood pressure. Some nutritionists disagree with the results arguing that the spuds themselves are not to be blamed, but rather the bacon, sour cream, and other additional add-ons that people put on the potatoes.
According to the paper that was published in the BMJ journal, baked, mashed, or boiled potatoes can increase the blood pressure of an individual with up to 11 percent and fried spuds spike up the pressure with 17 percent. To the surprise of many, potato chips consumption was not linked to hypertension.
In order to reach these conclusions, Borgi, and her team followed the health status of over 187,000 individuals who participated in three studies in the United States for a period of 20 years. Along the years, the volunteers were asked to fill out questionnaires about their lifestyle and diet. Only those that were not suspected of having blood pressure issues were invited to join the study.
Potatoes have a high glycemic index; that means that they trigger a spike in blood sugar when they are ingested. This might explain the link between potato consumption and hypertension. Borgi was keen on mentioning that her analysis only showed a correlation between the two rather than a cause and effect relationship.
The researchers mention in the study that if a potato is associated with a non-starchy vegetable like artichoke, asparagus, beans, corn, and bean sprouts, then the risk of developing hypertension lowers.
However, apart from containing high amounts of starch, which causes sudden spikes in blood sugar, potatoes also contain plenty of potassium. This led the US government to include the vegetables in the healthy meals program.
“Our findings have potentially important public ramifications, as they don’t support the health benefits of including potatoes in government food programs,” Borgi declared.
Several nutritionists do not agree with the theory that potato consumption increases blood pressure. They argue that the study is too broad and that in the majority of cases high blood pressure is a consequence of the fixings poured on top of the potatoes, not the vegetables themselves.
Image source: Wikipedia