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Love Potatoes and Still Lose Weight!

If you thought that you had to take potatoes off the menu to lose weight, then think again!

According to new research, you can still eat your beloved spuds and not dampen your weight loss efforts.

Healthy Potatoes

potatoes and weight lossThe study carried out by researchers at the University of California on 86 people divided into three groups who were tested to investigate the results of eating a modified glycemic index, calorie reduced diet that included potatoes over a three month period.

The researchers found that there was no difference in the amount of weight lost between the groups who were allowed up to five to seven servings of potatoes per week.

It's All About How You Cook Them

But is it not true that eating potatoes makes you gain weight?

The short answer is that as long as you cook them the right way, they can be a healthy addition to any meal and they won't make you get any bigger. That's assuming you are careful with the size of the portions and use common sense in how much of them you eat.

The trick is to make sure you prepare, cook and serve your potatoes the right way. That means no frying (chips/fries) or saute, or adding high calorie sauces to them. You need to keep things much more simple with potatoes.

You can boil potatoes in water and not add anything (except maybe some fresh chopped mint or other herb) for a healthy addition to a meal as long as you keep the portions to a reasonable size. However, a jacket potato (skin on) baked in the oven (or microwave) is the really healthy way to eat them.

Made in this way, a medium sized jacket spud contains around only 110 calories, is higher in potassium than a banana, high in dietary fiber and also contains almost half your daily vitamin C content. It is also free of fat, sodium and cholesterol.

What's Wrong with Frying Potatoes?

Unfortunately for many people who love their fries, frying potatoes in oil actually changes their composition from healthy to unhealthy (in simple terms). Without diving into the science side of things, it's enough to know that when fried at high temperatures, the starch in a potato reacts with the oil releasing sugars and changing the once benign tuber to an unhealthy compound that the body has more trouble digesting.

When fried in vegetable oils such as canola, corn, cottonseed, sunflower or soybean (these are commonly used frying oils in the US), some toxic aldehyde generation occurs along with the conversion into trans fats. These fats are known to be associated with obesity.

In addition, using vegetable oils increases the intake of omega-6 fatty acids, which is considered bad when out of balance with omega-3 intake, which it all too often is. So there's are a few very good reasons to not fry your potatoes (or anything else for that matter) in vegetable oils.

It is far better to boil or to bake potatoes in the oven to maintain their many healthy properties.

So go ahead and enjoy a good old fashioned potato every once in a while because they are good for you and your good health!


Posted on Thu, 14 Oct 2010 in News | 0 Comments

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