Blame The Spuds
A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that daily servings of any potato products are strongly associated with weight gain.
This is just the latest example of spuds being under the gun. Earlier this month, the USDA demanded that potatoes be cut from school lunches, stating that amounts of saturated fat, sugar and sodium in school meals must be lowered, while whole grains, fruits and vegetables need to be increased.
You Can’t Eat Just One
The study found that ‘taters of any kind can add up to to gaining 1.3 pounds over the course of four years.
Why is this? Unfortunately, Lay’s Potato Chips might have it right: it’s hard to eat just one.
According Walter Willett, one of the authors of the study, processed potato products like French fries and potato chips are designed to make us overeat. When cooked, potatoes rapidly break down into sugar, which is quickly absorbed into the blood. It’s removed rapidly by the action of insulin, “and in a few hours, we’re hungry again.”
Fighting In The Name Of Potatoes
In response, the United States Potato Board came out with a press release stating that the study “perpetuates unfortunate myths and misconceptions about the potato” and that “singling out the potato as a cause of weight gain is misleading and contrary to existing research.”
The press release went on to say that a potato, at 110 calories per serving, has more potassium than a banana (620g) and is half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent).
The Center For Science In The Public Interest seems to agree. The group recently ranked sweet potatoes as the absolute best vegetable you can eat. It’s chock-full of carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber.