Demonized and loved in equal parts. We talk about the potatoa very nutritious tuber that, although it was first cultivated more than 8,000 years ago in southern Peru, did not reach the European continent in 1537.
We are undoubtedly before one of the most versatile foods cocina mediterraneansince it can be served boiled, fried, as a garnish, in a salad, puree…
And that, in addition, it has innumerable benefits for our body, as is also the case with other tubers of the same family, such as sweet potatoes and cassava.
However, a new study from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana (USA) refutes one of the most widely held beliefs: that it is the enemy of healthy diets and that it increases the risk of type 2 diabetes.
‘QUEEN’ OF VITAMIN C
As explained by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation (FEN), it is a staple food and nutrient source, such as vitamin C. But “a considerable part of it can be lost during the cooking process. To preserve their content, it is advisable to steam or bake them (wrapped in aluminum foil)”.
The amount of vitamin C it provides is equivalent to 46% of the recommended intakes for men and women aged 20 to 39 with moderate physical activity.
“In the composition of the potato, it is worth noting the carbohydrate content, mainly in the form of starch and a small proportion as glucose, fructose and sucrose.”
And, despite what many may think, it is not particularly caloric if eaten raw: 88 calories per 100 grams. “Potato provides minerals such as potassium. This contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and muscles.
“THEY DO NOT HAVE A NEGATIVE IMPACT ON HEALTH”
Research published in the ‘Journal of Medicinal Food’and led by Candida Rebelloa professor at Pennington Biomedical, has analyzed 36 participants between 18 and 60 years old with overweightobesity or insulin resistance.
The diet, controlled by experts, included foods such as meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and, of course, potatoes. And as a result, as the specialist emphasizes, “we show that, contrary to common belief, potatoes do not have a negative impact on blood glucose levels.” In fact, the research highlights, “people who participated in our study lost weight.”
The way potatoes were included in the diet, boiled, “to maximize their fiber content (2 grams per 100).” And for this, they were boiled with the skin on and then refrigerated for 12 to 24 hours.
“Each participant’s meal was tailored to their caloric needs, and a majority felt fuller, faster, and often didn’t even finish their meal.”
This is due to its high content of carbohydrates complexes, which make potatoes one of the most satiating foods and which can help you lose weight, you eat less quantity without having to go hungry.
A “FAIRLY ECONOMIC” FOOD TO INCORPORATE INTO THE DIET
The potato is a tuber that, according to this research, should not be eliminated from a balanced and healthy diet, it is very economical, but it should be incorporated into our diet in a certain way.
It should be consumed, if you want to maintain an optimal weight, boiled and, above all, without removing the skinsince it is where it contains the greatest amount of vitamin C.
This food “promotes weight loss in individuals with insulin resistance” and helps regulate blood glucose levels. It also provides carotenoids, with violaxanthin, antheraxanthin, and lutein being the most abundant, while neoxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and b-carotenes.
It has nothing to do with the properties, for example, of bagged potato chips. This is emphasized by the Spanish Nutrition Foundation. “Commercial chips usually contain a lot of salt, so moderate and occasional consumption of this food should be done, especially in people who follow low-sodium diets.”
And with a higher caloric intake, since when fried it absorbs a greater amount of fat. In any case, you should opt for those that are fried in olive oil or seed oil such as sunflower, “because of their unsaturated fatty acid content.”