If one would be planning to get pregnant, doctors advise against french fries, mashed potatoes or any other form of potato-related foods because potato consumption before pregnancy can lead to diabetes. The study which made this correlation between the vegetable and gestational diabetes engulfed over 15,000 female participants studied over the course of 10 years.
Out of the study group, 834 patients suffered from gestational diabetes, making researchers claim that if one would consume between two and four cups of potatoes per week, the risk of developing this form of diabetes increases by 27%. If the quantity of potatoes eaten exceeds the aforementioned amount, the risk increases exponentially, reaching 50% if one would consume five or more cups on a weekly basis.
The reason why scientists claim that potatoes can lead to diabetes stems from the vegetable’s chemical composition. Although it has high doses of beneficial compounds like vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, the potato has a significant amount of simple carbohydrates as well. The latter get broken down inside the patient’s system and raise blood sugar levels by a rather hefty amount.
If this is completely proven to be the case, it would be rather disconcerting for almost every person out there, because potatoes are one of the most popular vegetables on Earth. According to the study’s background information, over 35% of women eat potatoes in the months prior to them becoming pregnant.
Besides the effects of carbohydrates on insulin resistance levels, patients’ craving for potatoes in the form of French fries also contributes to the alleged onset of diabetes. This is due to the fact that the oils used for preparing French fries have an adverse effect on insulin resistance levels as well.
Gestational diabetes affects the newborn in a significant manner, creating low blood sugar levels, as well as problems when breathing. According to the US National Institutes of Health, newborns suffering from gestational diabetes have an elevated risk of premature death both before and soon after birth.
In order to circumvent the potatoes’ effect on insulin resistance levels, doctors advise people to replace at least two potato servings from their regular meals with other vegetables. By using whole grains or other vegetables, the risk gets lowered by an average of 9%, but this might differ from individual to individual.
But one has to take into account that this study is just a mere correlation, not a conclusive search for cause-and-effect. Because this study’s result is just an association between potatoes and diabetes, not being planned to prove cause-and-effect, the general public should take this finding with a pinch of salt. This is viable for almost every study out there because results differ by a significant margin from individual to individual.
Although researchers claim that potato consumption before pregnancy can lead to diabetes, in order for this to be proven in a more conclusive manner, further inquiries have to be made upon the subject. It’s all up to you if you want to keep eating potatoes before becoming pregnant or not even if you would be subjecting yourself to an alleged increase in risk.