Weight And The Great Potato Debate
By Brenna Fisher, Contributing Writer |
Years ago I never had any issue with potatoes. Why would I? They are delicious, versatile and filling. Then I overhauled my diet to lose weight for my wedding. One of the foods my new diet plan banned was the potato (in all forms). It wasn't forever, just for the first several weeks, but in that time I learned to live without potatoes, and now I treat them as a special indulgence. But how did I get here? Aren't potatoes vegetables?
According to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, extra helpings of potatoes leads to weight gain. Over the course of four years, participants in the study who consumed an extra serving of potatoes gained about 1.3 pounds. In the case of extra potato chips, that number was 1.7 pounds. However, potatoes weren't the only culprits. Researchers examined the effects of adding daily servings of different dietary components ranging from meat and potatoes to vegetables and yogurt. Sugary beverages and unprocessed red meats added about a pound each within a four-year period. The good news is that additional servings of other foods lead to weight loss. Fruits lead to minus 0.5 pounds and yogurt was responsible for a loss of .82 pounds. So if I eat a potato with a piece of fruit and yogurt, do they cancel each other out? Who knows?
The news still has everyone up in arms about one of America's most beloved foods. The U.S. Potato Board even released a statement last week defending the nutrient-dense vegetable that is high in potassium and vitamin C. And I say fight the good fight. Maybe we could live with potatoes harmoniously if we could just live without butter-