Dieters have long been told to avoid foods high in carbohydrates.
But now scientists say that potatoes may be the secret to losing weight.
People tend to eat the same weight of food at meals to feel full, regardless of how many calories it contains, according to the researchers.
So whoever adds the dense vegetables to their plate fills up and therefore does not look for other foods that may be more caloric.
Those who add potatoes to their plate fill up faster and therefore don’t reach for other foods that may contain more calories, the researchers said.
How should a balanced diet be?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grain, according to the NHS.
• Eat at least five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruits and vegetables count
• Base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber a day: This is the same as eating all of the following: five servings of fruits and vegetables, two whole grain crackers, two thick slices of whole wheat bread, and one large baked potato with skin.
• Have some dairy products or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks), choosing options that are lower in fat and sugar.
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other protein (including two servings of fish a week, one of which should be fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and eat them in small amounts
• Drink six to eight cups/glasses of water a day
• Adults should have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Potatoes contain around 80 calories per 100g, more than double that of other vegetables, such as carrots and broccoli.
But it contains up to half the calories of bread, pasta and rice.
The researchers did not give the green light to eat French fries and French fries, which are deep-fried, a cooking method that reduces the nutritional value of potatoes.
Study co-author Professor Candida Rebello, a dietitian at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said: “People tend to eat the same weight of food regardless of caloric content in order to feel full.”
‘By eating heavier weight foods that are low in calories, you can easily reduce the number of calories you consume.
“The key aspect of our study is that we did not reduce the portion sizes of the meals, but rather reduced their caloric content by including potatoes.
“Each participant’s meal was tailored to their personalized caloric needs, but by replacing some of the meat content with potatoes, participants felt fuller, faster, and often didn’t even finish their meal.
‘Indeed, you can lose weight with little effort.’
Potatoes have a reputation for causing weight gain, which can lead to type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
They are considered a less healthy food, even though they are a root vegetable, a type of tuber.
But because the weight of food is a cue that affects how much food people eat, the researchers believed that those who eat low-energy-dense foods, meaning they contain few calories per gram, would feel fuller. faster.
They also believed that, if properly prepared (not eaten as chips, for example), potatoes could have the same health benefits as legumes, which are known to control blood glucose levels.
The researchers recruited 36 people between the ages of 18 and 60 who were overweight, obese, or insulin resistant, when the body struggles to absorb glucose from the blood.
For the eight-week study, all participants ate 85g of meat or fish at lunch and dinner, with 57g of potatoes or 57g of cooked legumes with bread, rice or pasta.
Both diets were high in fruits and vegetables, and the volunteers substituted 40 percent of their usual meat intake for their assigned vegetable side dishes.
Those who ate potatoes boiled them with the skin still on, then refrigerated them for 12 to 24 hours; the chilling process increased their fiber content and reduced the blood glucose response that potatoes typically trigger.
Potatoes were incorporated into lunch and dinner, with sides such as mash, oven-roasted wedges, and potato salad and meals including shepherd’s pie.
The results, published in the Medicinal Food Magazinesuggest that the diets contained the same health benefits regardless of whether people ate potatoes or legumes.
Those who ate potatoes lost 12.8 pounds (5.8 kg), on average, while those who ate beans lost 8.8 pounds (4 kg), on average.
And both groups saw improvements in their insulin resistance.
Professor Rebello said: ‘We show that, contrary to common belief, potatoes do not have a negative impact on blood glucose levels.
“In fact, the people who participated in our study lost weight.”
He added: “People don’t normally eat a diet they don’t like or that isn’t varied enough.
‘The meal plans provided a variety of dishes and we demonstrated that a healthy eating plan can have varied options for people who strive to eat healthy.
“Plus, potatoes are a fairly inexpensive vegetable to add to your diet.”