Harvard Medical School slams spuds

Harvard Medical School slams spuds

Potatoes are a possible cause of high blood pressure, according to medical research published this week

Eating four or more servings of mashed, baked or boiled potatoes each week has been linked to an 11 per cent increased risk of high blood pressure in women, according to the study published in the British Medical Journal.

Chips are even worse: four or more servings of fries per week will give a 17 per cent greater risk of high blood pressure.

The higher glycaemic index (GI) of potatoes releases energy more quickly causing blood sugar to soar according to the research by the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts.

The researchers associated high-GI meals with dysfunction of cells in the body, oxidative stress, and inflammation which are “all potentially important mechanisms in the development of hypertension (high blood pressure).”

High blood pressure is often deadly but symptomless and affects one in three adults in the UK.

It is a major cause of premature death and disability, linked with stroke, heart disease, vascular dementia and chronic kidney disease.

But Tom Sanders, emeritus professor of nutrition and dietetics, at King’s College London, spoke up for spuds: “Potatoes make an important contribution to the intake of vitamin C and potassium. The vitamin C and potassium content is best retained when the potatoes are baked or boiled with skins on.”

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