Eating potatoes can be good for you if they are “prepared in a healthy way”, new research demonstrates.

A study by Edith Cowan University has debunked previous findings that say potatoes are bad for your health and increases your risk of developing complications, such as type 2 diabetes.

Roughly 54,000 participants took part in the experiment by self-reporting their daily food intake to outline how often they consume potatoes.

The findings show that the participants who regularly eat vegetables were 21% less at risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who rarely consume vegetables.

According to the scientists, potatoes do not prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, but they do not have a negative impact.

Researcher Pokharel said: “In previous studies, potatoes have been positively linked to incidence of diabetes, regardless of how they’re prepared – but we found that’s not true.

“In Denmark, people consume potatoes prepared in many different ways; in our study, we could distinguish between the different preparation methods.”

He added: “When we separated boiled potatoes from mashed potatoes, fries or crisps, boiled potatoes were no longer associated with a higher risk of diabetes: they had a null effect.

“In our study, people who ate the most potatoes also consumed more butter, red meat and soft drinks – foods known to increase your risk of type 2 diabetes.”

He evaluated: “When you account for that, boiled potatoes are no longer associated with diabetes.

“It’s only fries and mashed potatoes, the latter likely because it is usually made with butter, cream and the like.”

The vegetables that can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes are spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce, the study has reported.

“The finding that vegetables lower diabetes risk is crucial for public health recommendations, and we shouldn’t ignore it. Regarding potatoes, we can’t say they have a benefit in terms of type 2 diabetes, but they also aren’t bad if prepared in a healthy way,” said Pratik.

He added: “We should separate potatoes and other vegetables in regard to messaging about disease prevention but replacing refined grains such as white rice and pasta with potatoes can improve your diet quality because of fibre and other nutrients found in potatoes.

“Potatoes have fibre and nutrients, which are good for you. People talk about carbs being bad, but it’s more about the type of carbs you’re having; compared to something like white rice, boiled potatoes are a good quality of carbohydrate. But just take care how you prepare them: don’t eat fries, or mash with extras in it all the time.”

He concluded: “Just boil them and eat them like other greens or other foods – and you don’t need to have it with red meat all the time.”

The study has been published in the journal Diabetes Care.

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