A new study demonstrates that people can eat potatoes and still lose weight." Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and Weight Loss in Free-Living Individuals: Practical Implications" is now available through free access from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the official publication of the American College of Nutrition and a publication from Routledge.

The study, a collaborative effort between the University of California at Davis and the Illinois Institute of Technology, sought to gain a better understanding of the role of and the in weight loss when potatoes are included in the diet.  "Some people have questioned the role of potatoes in a weight loss regimen because of the vegetable's designation as a food," explained Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman, PhD, the lead investigator of the study. "However, the results of this study confirm what health professionals and nutrition experts have said for years: it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups, rather, it is reducing calories that count," said Burton-Freeman.

Ninety overweight men and women were randomly assigned to one of three groups: (1) reduced calorie/high GI, (2) reduced calorie/low GI, (3) with no calorie or GI restrictions.  All three groups were provided potatoes, healthful recipes and instructions to consume 5-7 servings of potatoes per week. At the end of the 12-week study period, the researchers found that all three groups had lost weight and there was no significant difference in weight loss between the groups.  

"There is no evidence that , when prepared in a healthful manner, contribute to weight gain.  In fact, we are seeing that they can be part of a program," said Burton-Freeman. 

Interestingly, even the control group reduced their caloric intake and lost weight despite not being provided with a specific calorie restriction. "The fact that all groups, even the control group, lost weight is a curious finding and provides cause for future research," said co-investigator Dr. Tissa Kappagoda, MD, PhD. The study results are good news for potato lovers and any consumer who craves the satisfaction of wholesome yet healthy meal options.  One medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

More information: "Potatoes, Glycemic Index, and Weight Loss in Free-Living Individuals: Practical Implications." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 10 Oct 2014 DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.875441

Journal information: Journal of the American College of Nutrition

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