For most of us, potatoes are reminiscent of one and just one childhood food – aloo ka paratha. The aroma of those mouthwatering, butter-laden delights can only be described as homecoming. Fast forward to adulthood, and we’re bombarded with tales of how potatoes are starchy and can promote weight gain. Okay, we love busting food myths, and this one is our favourite.
The American College of Nutrition journal recently published a study that states that though potatoes have been eliminated from most low-carb diets, with dieters being asked to avoid them as sincerely as bread, they may not necessarily make your waistline bigger. On the contrary, potatoes could actually promote weight loss!
Focus On Healthy Preparations
The study required dieters to include potatoes in all their meals, and all of them lost weight, provided they minimised their total calorie consumption. According to the researchers, there isn’t any actual proof that potatoes might cause weight gain, especially if cooked healthily.
“Potatoes have a moderate glycemic index and do not raise the blood sugar level very high. Deep frying makes them fattening,” informs Avni Kaul, nutrition and wellness coach and founder of Nutri Activania, Delhi. So it is best to consider preparations like baked potatoes or oven-roasted potatoes.
Why It Works
Another study done at UK-based University of Leeds suggests that low-density foods that promote energy like rice, potatoes and pasta, have a greater role to play in minimising food cravings. According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Nicola Buckland, most people end up ditching their diets because hunger pangs kick in between meals. She adds that their research shows that consuming low energy density foods might help resolve that problem. Carrots are a great example of such foods. Approximately 100 calories are consumed if you eat 250 grams of carrots (this is equivalent to around 20 grams of chocolate!). But carrots are whole goods with greater volume and hence keep you fuller for longer. Potatoes fall in the same category and have a similar effect on your body.
How To Eat Potatoes For Weight Loss
“If the potatoes are boiled, baked, roasted or steamed, they can be eaten in place of roti, bread, pasta or rice, as part of a meal,” informs Kaul. She adds, “They are a source of complex carbohydrates and can hence be consumed by those on a weight loss plan. However, you need to be careful about the sauces you’re adding to your potatoes – stay away from rich additions like cheese and mayo.”
Potatoes have magnesium, iron, vitamin-C, potassium, fibre, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Kaul suggests eating your potatoes with the skin on because it has resistant starch. This allows for partial digestion and there is a lesser chance of the potato calories getting stored as fat.
She also suggests refraining from calorie counting, even if you’re on a weight loss diet. Potatoes provide a feeling of fullness and are hence help you lose weight without feeling hungry.