Chester J. Zelasko, Ph.D. |
April 3, 2008
A regular reader
recently asked me if an eating tip given out by the Biggest Loser website
was true. The tip said that eating hot potatoes raised blood sugar much
higher than eating cold potatoes; people concerned about blood sugar or
following a diet that focused on the Glycemic Index should avoid hot
potatoes. True or false?
The answer is both. In the study that was the basis for the tip, researchers
compared the blood sugar and insulin response from white bread to hot boiled
potatoes, cold potatoes, and cold potatoes mixed with a vinaigrette
dressing. The hot potatoes raised blood sugar more than the other two forms.
One of the reasons was that as the potatoes cooled, the starch content
rose--that blunted the glucose response when eaten. But the reason the tip
is irrelevant is that no one eats hot potatoes with nothing else. If you add
sour cream or butter or eat meat with the potato--any kind of fat or
protein--it will diminish the effect on blood sugar.
Potatoes with the skins are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Hot or cold, a medium baked potato is a healthy part of any meal.
Reference: Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Nov;59(11):1266-71.