The potato's stereotype as a fattening food for health-conscious folks to avoid is getting another revision today as scientists report that just a couple servings of spuds a day reduces blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain.
Scientists reported on the research, done on a group of overweight people with high blood pressure, at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), being held here this week.
But don't reach for the catsup, vinegar or mayonnaise. The research was not done with French fries, America's favorite potato, but with potatoes cooked without oil in a microwave oven. Although researchers used purple potatoes, they believe that red-skin potatoes and white potatoes may have similar effects.
"The potato, more than perhaps any other vegetable, has an undeserved bad reputation that has led many health-conscious people to ban them from their diet," said Joe Vinson, Ph.D., who headed the research. "Mention ‘potato' and people think ‘fattening, high-carbs, empty calories'. In reality, when prepared without frying and served without butter, margarine or sour cream, one potato has only 110 calories and dozens of healthful phytochemicals and vitamins. We hope our research helps to remake the potato's popular nutritional image."