Are you a potato lover? Then we have bad news for you. Everyone knows that chips are extremely bad for your health but now expert are warning that eating potato in any form – baked, boiled or as mash – increases the risk of high blood pressure.
According to research, involving more than 187,000 American men and women, conducted by experts from Harvard Medical School, eating potatoes four times a week increases the risk of blood pressure or hypertension by as much as 11%.
Four servings of French fries raises risk by 17%, surprisingly, but chips have no such effect. However, it doesn’t mean chips are good for you, remember that their consumption raises other health risks. The scientists believe that the starch in potatoes is to blame for hypertension and various blood sugar problems.
As potatoes have a high glycaemic index, these starchy carbohydrates rapidly transform into sugars in the body, triggering a sharp rise in blood sugar levels. Besides, the scientists didn’t measure people’s salt intake, which could have significantly affected their findings.
However, not all experts agree with the findings Victoria Taylor, a senior dietician at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This type of study can only show an association, not cause and effect. We cannot therefore conclude that potatoes cause high blood pressure and we cannot explain the cause of the effects seen in the study among higher consumers of potatoes.
Although a higher consumption of potatoes, such as mashed potatoes or french fries, was associated with high blood pressure, it is still possible that other factors in the diet or lifestyle are also affecting the results, especially as both the blood pressure and food frequency were self-reported.”