Potatoes get a bad rap. Between potatoes' high carbohydrate count and how most of us prepare them (fried, buttered or highly salted in a chip), it's to be expected. But when prepared in a healthy way, spuds can be a super nutritious food. In fact, new research presented at the 242nd National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society has found that just a couple servings of potatoes a day reduces blood pressure without causing weight gain.
Researchers took 18 overweight and obese patients and had them eat six to eight small purple potatoes twice a day for a month. By the end of the study, the average diastolic blood pressure dropped by 4.3 percent and the systolic pressure decreased by 3.5 percent. Not one subject gained weight during the study. While the researchers studied just purple potatoes, they believe that red and white skin potatoes would do the same. Like other vegetables, potatoes contain phytochemicals, along with other vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body.
So how can you put this new info to good use in your healthy diet? Start eating potatoes! According to the researchers, the key is to microwave them. Frying and cooking them at high temperatures seems to destroy the healthy benefits.
Jennipher Walters is the CEO and co-founder of the healthy living websites FitBottomedGirls.com and FitBottomedMamas.com. A certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management coach and group exercise instructor, she also holds an MA in health journalism and regularly writes about all things fitness and wellness for various online publications.