A new study says that potatoes might be dangerous for pregnant women, increasing their risk to develop pregnancy diabetes.
Potatoes are the favorite vegetable in the Western world. We eat it fried, baked, boiled, smashed, chips and we use it in a wide range of cooked dishes. Most people are aware of the fact that it’s not very good in diets or that it is unhealthy when fried, which is usually blamed on the huge amount of oil used in the process.
But this new study shows that potatoes might be dangerous for pregnant women in a totally new way. According to the researchers, women who eat more potatoes before they got pregnant have an increased risk to develop pregnancy diabetes than women who eat them rarely.
Pregnancy diabetes appears when they have too much sugar or glucose in their blood. It is a serious condition which could lead to premature birth or even miscarriage.
According to Dr. Cuilin Zhang, who lead the research, women who ate two to four cups of potatoes a week before getting pregnant have 27 percent more chances to develop pregnancy diabetes than women who ate less of the vegetable. For women who had more than five cups of potatoes a week the risk increased to 50 percent, besides other risk factors including obesity.
Despite the fact that potatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium and fiber, they also contain huge amounts of simple carbohydrates that get into the bloodstream very fast. One cup of potatoes can increase the blood sugar of a person to a lever similar to that given by a can of cola.
Pregnancy diabetes is dangerous as it can harm the baby but it can also lead to post-pregnancy type-2 diabetes in the mother as high levels of blood sugar can increase insulin resistance. Another risk factor to increased insulin resistance is the oil used to fry the potatoes.
Zhang says that the message resulted from their study is that women should consume potatoes with moderation. According to her, one cup per week is not harmful but that should not be exceeded if you intent to get pregnant.
However, the study has limitations. Almost all participants were white and healthy women with a steady income so it is unknown if the results would be the same for other populations. Besides that, all of the data was self-reported so a lot of details are lacking from the investigation. In conclusion, further research is needed on the subject.
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