Potatoes may increase pregnancy diabetes risk: US researchers

By Staff Writer

Jan 18, 2016 04:59 AM EST

According to US researchers, consuming too many potatoes increases the risk of diabetes in pregnant women. The researchers have warned that the excess starch content in potatoes could stimulate gestational diabetics.

During their research, US scientists analysed the diets of over 15,000 women for more than 10 years to monitor if what they ate affected the development of gestational diabetes. Telegraph reported the study findings that women who ate one potato per week were 20 percent more expected to develop the condition, two to four portions increased the diabetes threat by 27 percent while five or more portions witnessed the chance of diabetes analysis rise by 50 percent.

But women who exchanged two servings of potatoes for beans, lentils or peas, more than a week, were up to 12 percent less anticipated to grow the condition.

According to Dr Cuilin Zhang, lead author of the research, in National Institutes of Health, Maryland, advanced pregnancy intake of potatoes was expressively linked with higher risk of gestational diabetes, even after regulation for other key risk factors.

"A previous study has shown a significant association between potato consumption and long-term weight gain in the general population," Dr Zhang added.

The researchers found that by substituting vegetables, whole grain foods and legumes for two servings of potatoes per week, they anticipated reductions in gestational diabetes risk.

Green vegetables, which are rich in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, have less starch and carbohydrate content. Moreover, whole grains are inferior on the glycemic index and have higher levels of healthful nutrients and micronutrients and minerals, Dr. Zhang told CBS News.

The scientists also found that the study was not intended to prove cause and effect, and the study's result don't prove that potato intake directly leads to gestational diabetes.

However, BBC said that according to UK experts proof is missing and that more people need to eat high starch content foods for fibre including fresh vegetables and fruits. The British Nutrition Foundation said that women should stick to a mixed diet and not be worried by the study.

"It's important to recognise that the main nutrition-related determinant of GDM is pre-pregnancy body weight where the risk far exceeds the level of risk reported in the paper from potato consumption," says Professor Judith Buttriss, Director General of the British Nutrition Foundation.

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