When It Comes to Your Heart, Potatoes Pack a One-Two Punch

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 Diet & Nutrition News
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10 More Reasons to Love Your Favorite Vegetable

DENVER, May 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to fighting cardiovascular disease, a nutrient-dense diet rich in

fruits and vegetables is one of the most important weapons to bring into the battle. The potato, a vegetable you already know and love, contains several key nutrients.

  1. Potassium: Skin-on potatoes rank highest for potassium content among the 20 top-selling fruits and vegetables. In fact, they have more potassium than a banana! Research suggests that diets rich in potassium and low in sodium can reduce the risk of hypertension and stroke.
  2. Sodium: And since we're on the topic of sodium, did you know that potatoes are naturally sodium-free? Diets low in sodium may reduce the high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).
  3. Vitamin C: Potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C (45% of the Daily Value (DV)—that's more than one medium tomato (40% DV) or sweet potato (30% DV). Although the research is not conclusive, observational studies indicate that higher vitamin C intake is associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular diseases.2,3,4
  4. Fiber: One wholesome, satisfying potato contributes 2 grams of fiber to the diet, 8% of the DV. A recent review of the scientific literature found that consumption of dietary fiber may be  associated with a reduce risk of CVD.5
  5. Resistant Starch (RS): RS is found naturally in potatoes and is a type of carbohydrate that is "resistant" to digestion by human digestive enzymes, just like dietary fiber. Research shows that RS can reduce blood lipid levels. Like high blood pressure, elevated blood lipid levels are a risk factor for CVD.6
  6. Saturated Fat: Fresh potatoes have zero saturated fat. While many factors affect heart disease, diets low in saturated fat may reduce the risk of this disease. 
  7. Trans Fats: Fresh potatoes have zero trans fats. The American Heart Association recommends diets low in trans fats as there is a link between trans fat intake and CVD.
  8. Antioxidants: The types and amounts of antioxidants in potatoes are determined largely by the variety. Pigmented potatoes appear to have the highest antioxidant capacity. Research indicates that diets rich in antioxidants are protective against CVD.7
  9. Protein: Not only do potatoes contribute 3 grams of protein to the diet; but, they contain all 9 of the essential amino acids. Diets that are higher in vegetable proteins (vs animal proteins) are associated with a reduced risk of CVD.
  10. B6 and Folate: Potatoes are a good source of vitamins B6 and a source of folate. Inadequate intakes of these two B vitamins (along with B12) have been associated with an increased risk of CVD.

And with so many fresh and delicious ways to enjoy potatoes, it's easy to dig into their healthy side. For more nutrition information and healthful recipe ideas, visit www.PotatoGoodness.com.

About Potatoes USAPotatoes USA (formerly the United States Potato Board) is the nation's potato marketing and research organization. Based in Denver, Colorado, Potatoes USA represents more than 2,500 potato growers and handlers across the country. Potatoes USA was established in 1971 by a group of potato growers to promote the benefits of eating potatoes. Today, as the largest vegetable commodity board, Potatoes USA is proud to be recognized as an innovator in the produce industry and dedicated to positioning potatoes as a nutrition powerhouse—truly, goodness unearthed.   

References:1. Heart Health: McGill CR, Kurlich AC, Davignon J.  The role of potatoes and potato components in cardiometabolic health: a review. Ann Med. 2013 Nov;45(7):467-73. doi: 10.3109/07853890.2013.813633. 2. Padayatty SJ, Katz A, Wang Y, Eck P, Kwon O, Lee JH, Chen S, Corpe C, Dutta A, Dutta SK, et al. Vitamin C as an antioxidant: evaluation of its role in disease prevention. J Am Coll Nutr 2003;22:18–35.3. Oudemnas-van Straaten HM, Spoelstra-de Man AM, de Waard MC. Vitamin C revisited. Crit Care. 2014 Aug 6;18(4):460. doi: 10.1186/s13054-014-0460-x.4. Ashor AW, et al.  Effect of vitamin C on endothelial function in health and disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. Atherosclerosis. 2014 Jul;235(1):9-20. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2014.04.004.5. Fiber:  Wu Y, et al. Association between dietary fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease: A meta-analysis. Clin Nutr. 2015 Aug;34(4):603-11. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2014.05.009. 6. Resistant Starch: Sajilata MG,  Singhal RS, Kulkarni PR.  Resistant starch: A review. Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety. 2006;5:1-7.7. AOX: Lovat C, Nassar AM, Kubow S, Li XQ, Donnelly DJ. Metabolic Biosynthesis of Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) Antioxidants and Implications for Human Health. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2015 Feb 12:0. [Epub ahead of print]


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