While previous research has said eating potatoes can increase the likelihood of developing Type 2 diabetes, but a new study has found while they won’t reduce the incidence they also don’t have a negative impact, a Dec. 4 news release said.
Research done at the Edith Cowan University (ECU) discovered health issues associated with potatoes may actually be due to how people are preparing them and what they’re eating them with. More than 54,000 people reported their dietary intake for the long-term Danish Diet, Cancer and Health study, the release said.
In a recent analysis of the study by Nicola Bondonno from ECU’s Nutrition and Health Innovation Research Institute, found people who consumed the most vegetables were 21 per cent less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who consumed the least amount of vegetables.
“In Denmark, people consume potatoes prepared in many different ways; in our study, we could distinguish between the different preparation methods,” Pratik Pokharel, a PhD candidate who worked on the study, said in the release. “When we separated boiled potatoes from mashed potatoes, fries or crisps, boiled potatoes were no longer associated with a higher risk of diabetes: they had a null effect.”
Pokharel added that they found the people who ate the most potatoes also butter, red meat and soft drinks, foods which are known to increase the risk of Type 2 diabetes.
“When you account for that, boiled potatoes are no longer associated with diabetes. It’s only fries and mashed potatoes, the latter likely because it is usually made with butter, cream and the like,” he said.
Pokharel said findings from the study indicate vegetables could play a key role in reducing Type 2 diabetes, as people who ate a lot of leafy greens and cruciferous vegies such as spinach, lettuce, broccoli and cauliflower had a significantly lower risk of developing the condition.
People should be advised to increase their vegetable intake — and they could include potatoes, so long as they left out some of the unhealthy extras such as butter, cream and oil, Pokharel added.
The study’s findings were published in Diabetes Care.