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     Potatoes good for your heart
    A new scientific review suggests that eating potatoes may be good for your heart.

    The review, published online this week in the Annals of Medicine, says that not only do potatoes provide several key nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, and dietary fiber, but they may also help lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

    Dr. Carla McGill, a nutrition scientist and Principal at Healthy Science Communications in Florida, is one of the three authors of the report. She said the review makes a significant contribution to the body of science on the potential impact of potatoes on heart health and diabetes.

    “This is a review of papers published in the scientific literature and is the first to investigate the role of potatoes and potato components in cardiometabolic health,” she said.

    The study, entitled “The Role of Potatoes and Potato Components in Cardiometabolic Health: A Review”, looked at the impact of potato consumption on several key health measures including blood pressure, cholesterol, inflammation, glycemic response, body weight and other risk factors for both heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

    It found that potatoes and potato components have been shown to have favorable impacts on several risk factors for heart health and diabetes in both animals and humans.

    “Potatoes contain nutrients that contribute to a dietary pattern that can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health, including potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, niacin, and vitamin B6,” said Dr. McGill, adding that we may not be getting enough of some of those nutrients in our current diets.

    However, she said that the role of potatoes in managing body weight is less clear. “Studies that report associations cannot directly link potatoes or French fries to increased body weight. Often in those types of studies the impact on body weight may be influenced by other foods that potatoes are grouped with. To really understand the impact of potato consumption on body weight or any other health-related factor, controlled human studies are needed.”

    Dr. McGill says she wouldn’t advise anyone to change their eating habits based on current research, but that it is clear that potatoes are an important source of key nutrients and can contribute to a healthy heart.

    “Hopefully, we will see more human trials in the future that can further help clarify the role of potatoes as part of a heart healthy diet.”

    The review was funded in part by McCain Foods.

    Source: McCain Foods