Although potatoes are a nutrient-rich vegetable, they are often singled out as a food to limit. In fact, despite the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommendation to increase fruit and vegetable consumption, some health experts still recommend limiting or avoiding eating potatoes due to concerns that they may increase cardiometabolic risk.
However, a newly published study in the Journal of Nutritional Science finds that advice may be unwarranted. Researchers at Boston University examined the influence of potatoes as part of overall diet and lifestyle patterns on cardiometabolic disease risk. They found no change in cardiometabolic risk factors associated with intake of either fried or non-fried potatoes in adults from the long-running Framingham Heart Study.
“In this study, we looked at the effects of higher intakes of potatoes on blood pressure, lipids, and glucose and we found that after accounting for other dietary and lifestyle factors, there was no increased risk of cardiometabolic disorders associated with potato consumption,” said lead study investigator Lynn L. Moore, DSc, MPH, associate professor of Medicine at the Boston University Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine.
“In fact, we found that those in the highest potato intake category consumed 25% more total fruits and vegetables than those in the lower potato intake group. As a result, these participants who consumed more potatoes were more likely to meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines.”
Data from 2,523 offspring of the Framingham Heart Study, 30 years of age and older, were included in this prospective cohort study that began in 1971.
This research was supported by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE). APRE had no influence on the study design, conduct, execution, or data analysis after approving the initial proposal for funding.