Eating Potatoes Has One Surprising Health Benefit – But There's A Catch

We wouldn't rush to your local chippy just yet.
We'll take the lot
Thomas Winz via Getty Images
We'll take the lot

Let’s be real, potatoes have a bit of a bad reputation – they don’t count as one of your five-a-day and we’re often pushed to alternatives as a side.

Well have we got news for you, potato naysayers – eating potatoes actually has one key health benefit.

Yup, a group of researchers have discovered that those of us who eat potatoes have a 21% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who don’t eat many vegetables on a daily basis.

But before you get ready to roast those potatoes in your cupboard or reach for a packet of potato waffles, there is a bit of a catch.

The potatoes have to be served boiled, with no additional butter or salt – so potatoes are great for your diabetes risk, as long as you eat them in truly the most boring way possible.

Pratik Pokharel, a Ph.D. candidate at Edith Cowan University (ECU), and one of the study’s authors explained: “When we separated boiled potatoes from mashed potatoes, fries or crisps, boiled potatoes were no longer associated with a higher risk of diabetes: they had a null effect.

“In previous studies, potatoes have been positively linked to the incidence of diabetes, regardless of how they’re prepared — but we found that’s not true.”

The data was based on the 54,000 Danish participants and revealed that those who had the lowest boiled potato intake also had a 9% higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

But why? Well, according to researchers it’s because those who ate more boiled potatoes also ate more vegetables in general – including healthy leafy green veggies such as spinach, broccoli and lettuce.

Pokaherel added: “In our study, people who ate the most potatoes also consumed more butter, red meat, and soft drink — foods are known to increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes.

“When you account for that, boiled potatoes are no longer associated with diabetes. It’s only fries and mashed potatoes, the latter likely because it is usually made with butter, cream, and the like.”

So, as long as you cut out everything that makes potatoes absolutely delicious, they’re great for your diabetics risk, because you’ll probably pair them with veggies to make them more interesting....thanks, we think?