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Potatoes may just be the ultimate weakness for those who simply can’t resist their unique texture and taste. Many carbohydrate conscious eaters try to steer away from the delicious earth apple. However, according to researchers at McGill University potatoes may help lose weight.
A recent study showed that an extract in Irish potatoes can reduce weight gain significantly, according to research. The potato extract has high concentrations of polyphenols, an element also found in many vegetables and fruits. Polyphenols are also known to act as antioxidants. They are said to protect cells and body chemicals against certain diseases.
Researchers studied mice on a diet to induce obesity for ten weeks. Results showed that the mice who received the potato extract, gained less weight than the mice who didn’t. Researchers, were very surprised by their findings, therefore, they performed the experiment for a second time using a different batch of potatoes grown in a different season. The study has been published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research journal.
The rate of obesity continues to climb in the U.S. and Canada. Obesity increases the risk of heart disease and many other diseases. Researchers also discovered an abstract in Irish potatoes that decrease body weight and improved glucose levels in a mouse that was part of the fat induced diet. So while helping with weight loss, potatoes could also be a solution to preventing obesity and type 2 diabetes.
The daily dose comes to about 30 potatoes. Therefore, investigators are interested in creating a dietary supplement or a cooking agent to be added to foods in the kitchen. The research team is hoping to receive a patent for the potato extract and is seeking partners in the food industry to help fund clinical trials. Potatoes are cheap to produce and are already a part of the basic diet. Mostly known for being high in carbohydrates, the white potato is also a good source of nutrients such as vitamin c and potassium. It is also a source of fiber and vitamin B6.
For some time now, many have considered red wine to be healthy due to the polyphenols. However, the new findings show that potatoes are the primary source of the extract and not wine. Blueberries are also a good source for the extract. Additional foods that are sources of polyphenols are apples (without skin), apple cider and juice, apricots, cranberries, black or red currants, blood oranges, dates, kiwi and lemon. Also, broccoli, celery, grape and cherry tomatoes, raw spinach, red cabbage and fennel. There are also many nuts high in polyphenols, such as almonds, cashews, chick peas, fava beans, dried beans and flax seeds.
Clinical trials will need to be performed to further research the effects of the study on humans. Researchers will need to discover the effective dose on men and women, since their metabolisms are very different. However, potatoes as a source to help lose weight is good news for many who have sworn off the vegetable due to the carbohydrate amount.
By Kelara Pumphrey