Potato pangs

  • 14/04/2006

Potato pangs eating potatoes can increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to a recent study.

Researchers led by Thomas L Halton of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, usa, analysed data recorded over 20 years on 84,555 women, aged 34 to 59 years with no history of chronic disease. The women were enrolled in the Nurses' Health Study.

During the study, 4,496 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. After adjustment for age and other factors, potato and French fry consumption were both positively associated with risk for type 2 diabetes. This association was more pronounced when potatoes were substituted for whole grains. The findings were published in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (Vol 83, No 2).

These data support a potential benefit from limiting the consumption of these foods in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes, the authors of the study conclude. "Substitution of these sources of carbohydrate with lower glycemic (containing sugar), high-fibre forms of carbohydrates, such as whole grains, should be encouraged.