Saying no to Potatoes

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potatoe.gifGrowing up, there wasn’t a day that went by when my family didn’t eat potatoes for dinner. Mashed, fried, boiled or baked, they were a staple to our midwestern diet. I now try to stay away from the food because it has the same effect on my blood sugar as candy. You see, though potatoes do have some healthful attributes, they also have a high glycemic index (GI), meaning their carbohydrate content is rapidly absorbed by the body and converted to glucose. Carbohydrate foods that breakdown quickly during digestion have the highest glycemic indexes. Their blood sugar response is fast and high. Carbohydrates that breakdown slowly, releasing glucose gradually into the blood stream, have low glycemic indexes.
Intestingly, a recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard University have linked potato consumption with diabetes risk:

In a long-term study of nearly 85,000 U.S. women, researchers at Harvard University found that those with the highest potato intake had a modestly elevated risk of developing type 2 diabetes. 

This is particularly problematic for overweight or sedentary adults – so lay off the taters and order a side salad instead of french fries. :-)