A new survey has revealed that after sugar, carbohydrates such as potatoes are one of the first things that those keeping an eye on their weight cut out. Yet far from being the devil's food, a cooked new potato has only 26 calories and is packed with nutrients. Here we reveal the surprising health benefits of the humble spud.
A key to lasting weight loss is eating foods that make you feel full for longer, says Dr Jacquie Lavin, a weight-loss doctor for Slimming World.
'You should eat complex carbohydrates such as potatoes, rather than simple carbohydrates like sugar or biscuits which give a short energy boost followed by hunger pangs,' she says. 'In this way, potatoes can help you reduce binge-eating.'According to a study in the British Journal of Nutrition, potatoes are wrongly classified as high on the Glycemic Index, which ranks carbohydrates from one to 100 according to how quickly they are broken down during digestion into basic glucose. Pure glucose scores 100. The lower the rank, the longer it takes for the food to be absorbed, and the longer we feel satiated after eating it. This is why a diet of low GI foods is recommended to those wanting to lose weight.
However, the research revealed that the GI of potatoes varies depending on the type, where it is grown and the preparation methods. For example, the GI may be medium to low when potatoes are eaten cooled, rather than hot, and when boiled and consumed whole, rather than mashed.
Potatoes provide the body with an essential source of fuel and energy, which you need even when dieting. As a rich carbohydrate source, they help to fuel all reactions in the body which you need for movement, thinking, digestion and cellular renewal.