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13th Jan 2016

Pregnant? Take it easy on the potatoes (sorry)

Katie Mythen-Lynch

We would never attempt to come between a pregnant woman and a bag of chips, but according to a new study, it could be smart to limit your potato consumption while you’re expecting. 

According to a ten-year Harvard Medical School study of more than 21,000 pregnancies, women who enjoyed between two and four servings of potato every week were 27 per cent more likely to develop diabetes in pregnancy.

While the researchers explained that the study does not suggest the diabetes is caused by potato consumption, it did show that women who consumed more than five servings per week had a 50 per cent increased risk.

According to the study, published in the British Medical Journal, one serving is a single baked potato, 237ml of mashed potatoes or a 113g portion of chips. The researchers commented:

“Though potatoes are rich in vitamin C, potassium, dietary fibre and some phytochemicals, unlike other vegetables they can have detrimental effects on glucose metabolism because they contain large amounts of rapidly absorbable starch.”

The experts recommend trading some of your weekly potato intake for a serving of beans, legumes or other vegetables. Women who made this substitution for two servings per week reduced their risk of diabetes by up to 12 per cent.