Researchers: high blood pressure due to high potato consumption?

Too much potatoes raise blood pressure
The potato is one of the most popular foods in Germany. If you suffer from high blood pressure, you should rather limit consumption. A study indicated that increased potato consumption can increase blood pressure.

Do potatoes raise blood pressure and can they even lead to hypertension? In their study, scientists from Brigham and Womens Hospital tried to find out what effects potato consumption has on our blood pressure. The scientists published their results in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Risk of hypertension increased by eleven percent
Potatoes have been part of the diet of many people for a long time. The tubers are inexpensive and tasty. But are potatoes healthy too, or do they even harm our health? Scientists were now trying to answer this question and found that people who consumed potatoes at least four times a week were 11% more likely to develop hypertension.

In addition, the researchers found that replacing a daily serving of potatoes (whether cooked, fried, or mashed potatoes) with a serving of vegetables reduced our risk of hypertension by about seven percent.

Study examined the data from 187,000 subjects
Potatoes are a paradox because, on the one hand, they contain a high level of potassium, which as a mineral leads to low blood pressure, and, on the other hand, they have a high glycemic index, which causes our blood pressure to rise quickly when consumed, the authors of the study explained. So far, however, no studies have been carried out into the effects of long-term consumption of potatoes on our health.

The researchers had analyzed data from more than twenty years for their study. During this time, over 187,000 men and women were examined. None of the participants had elevated blood pressure at the start of the study, explains lead author Dr. Lea Borgi from Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston. The subjects had to use questionnaires to describe how often they consumed certain foods every four years. Potatoes were classified into three different categories: French fries, potato chips, and normal potatoes that were either cooked, baked or pureed, adds Dr. Borgi added.

Study finds no increased risk of hypertension from potato chips
Eating large quantities of potatoes, whether cooked, baked, mashed or as French fries, could be associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension, the experts say. This applied to both women and men.

Interestingly enough, the doctors could not establish a connection between the consumption of potato chips and the risk of hypertension. However, one limitation of the study was that all participants had to determine and record their own blood pressure and potato consumption. For example, the test subjects were able to forget what they had eaten or did not document their food precisely enough, the experts explain. In principle, however, the results are clear evidence of the connection between potato consumption and blood pressure. (sb, as)

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