Dieters have long been told to avoid carb-heavy foods.
But now scientists say that the secret to losing weight may be potatoes.
According to researchers, people tend to eat the same weight of food for meals, so they feel full — regardless of the number of calories in it.
So people who add thick vegetables to their plate tend to get full and hence do not look for other food items which may be more caloric.
The researchers said that people who include potatoes in their plate tend to get full faster and hence do not seek out other foods that are loaded with more calories.
What should be a balanced diet?
According to the NHS, meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains.
• Eat at least five portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Base meal consisting of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber a day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following: five portions of fruits and vegetables, two whole grain biscuits, two thick slices of whole grain bread and one large baked potato with the skin on.
• have some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks) choose low fat and low sugar options
• Eat some beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (include two portions of fish each week, one of which should be oily)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in moderation
• Drink six to eight cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should eat less than 6 grams of salt and 20 grams of saturated fat a day for women or 30 grams for men
Potatoes contain about 80 calories per 100 grams – more than double that of other vegetables such as carrots and broccoli.
But it has up to half the calories of bread, pasta and rice.
The researchers didn’t give the green light to eating chips and crisps that are fried — a cooking method that reduces the nutritional value of potatoes.
Study co-author Professor Candida Rebello, a dietician at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said: ‘People tend to eat the same weight of food regardless of calorie content in order to feel full.
‘By eating heavy-weight foods that are low in calories, you can easily reduce the number of calories you consume.
‘The key aspect of our study is that we did not reduce the portion size of meals but reduced their calorie content by including potatoes.
‘Each participant’s diet was tailored to their individual caloric needs, yet by replacing some of the meat ingredients with potatoes, participants found themselves fuller, faster, and often did not finish their meals as well.
‘In fact, you can lose weight with little effort.’
Potatoes have a reputation for causing weight gain, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
They are considered a less healthy food, even though they are a tuber—a type of root vegetable.
But because food weight is one indicator that affects how much people eat, researchers believed that people who ate less energy-dense food – meaning it contained few calories per gram – were more likely to Will feel fuller faster.
He also believed that, if prepared well – for example not eaten as chips or crisps – potatoes could have the same health benefits as pulses, helping to lower blood sugar levels. known to control.
Researchers recruited 36 people aged 18 to 60 who were overweight, obese or had insulin resistance – when the body struggles to absorb glucose from the blood.
For the eight-week study, all participants ate 85 grams of meat or fish at lunch and dinner, with 57 grams of potatoes or 57 grams of cooked pulses with bread, rice or pasta.
Both diets were high in fruit and vegetables and the volunteers substituted 40 percent of their normal meat consumption for their allotted vegetable sides.
Potato eaters boil them with the skin on and then refrigerate them for 12 to 24 hours—the cooling process increases their fiber content and reduces the blood sugar response that potatoes typically trigger.
Potatoes were included at lunch and dinner, with meals including mash, oven-roasted wedges and potato salad, and shepherd’s pie.
The results, published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, suggest the diet has similar health benefits – regardless of whether people have potatoes or pulses.
The potato eaters lost an average of 5.8 kg (12.8 lbs), while the bean eaters lost an average of 4 kg (8.8 lbs).
And both groups saw improvements in their insulin resistance.
Professor Rebelo said: ‘We showed that contrary to popular belief, potatoes do not have a negative effect on blood glucose levels.
‘In fact, the individuals who participated in our study lost weight.’
She said: ‘People usually don’t stick to a diet they don’t like or don’t have enough variety.
‘The meal plans provided a wide variety of dishes, and we showed that a healthy eating plan can have a diverse range of options for individuals attempting to eat healthy.
‘Plus, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to include in the diet.’