Research just released by the University of California, Davis and the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology demonstrates that people can include potatoes in their diet and still lose weight.
"The results of this study confirm what health professionals and nutrition experts have said for years; when it comes to weight loss, it is not about eliminating a certain food or food groups, rather, it is reducing calories that count," said lead researcher Dr. Britt Burton-Freeman.
"There is no evidence that potatoes, when prepared in a healthful manner, contribute to weight gain. In fact, we are seeing that they can be part of a weight loss program," he added.
Researchers studied 86 overweight men and women over the course of 12 weeks to measure the effects of a reduced-calorie modified glycemic index diet with the addition of potatoes. The subjects were randomly assigned to three groups and each had a diet that included five to seven servings of potatoes per week. The results indicated that all three groups lost weight.
One medium-size (5.3 ounce) skin-on potato contains just 110 calories per serving, boasts more potassium (620g) than a banana, provides almost half the daily value of vitamin C (45 percent), and contains no fat, sodium or cholesterol.
"For the last few years the humble spud has been vilified in respect to its weight management properties. Now we realize that it should be glorified for its role in healthy weight loss," said Kathleen Triou, vice president of domestic marketing for the United States Potato Board (USPB).
This research was presented at the Obesity Society's 28th Annual Scientific Meeting October 8-12, 2010.