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Study Finds Steamed/Baked Potatoes Associated With Better Diet Quality Than Refined Grains

Potatoes have gained a bad reputation because they are high in starch. However, they are also high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A new study suggests that potatoes do not increase the risk of cardiometabolic risk more than refined grains, and may improve diet quality.

Participants in the study included 50 healthy adults with an average age of 40. Participants underwent two dietary interventions, separated by a 2-week washout period. One dietary intervention included a steamed or baked potato side dish consumed daily with a main meal. The other diet included a refined grain side dish of equal calories and carbohydrates consumed with a main meal daily. Lipids, markers of glycemic control, blood pressure, weight, and pulse wave velocity were evaluated at baseline and at the end of each diet period.

No significant differences between the two diets were found in lipid levels, fasting glucose levels, blood pressure, or arterial stiffness. However, following the potato diet, potassium and fiber intake were significantly higher. Healthy Eating Index scores were also higher following the potato diet.

The study was conducted by researchers from Penn State. It was published online ahead of print on Janaury 22, 2020 in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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