Eat Spuds, Gain Pudge

July 7, 2011

What the hell, Denise Austin!

All this time you’ve been selling me the idea that Idaho potatoes are good for me:

And then I had to find out from Harvard University that all you’ve been selling me are lies.

Lies!

I haven’t done a health post in a while, but I thought this new study was worth mentioning.

Tell me– Do you love your spuds?

That’s a silly question. Of course you love potatoes. What’s not to love?

However, I (along with almost every other human being I know) know that potatoes that have been fried, mashed with butter, or turned into a chip aren’t good for me.

And I do a (pretty) good job of only eating these foods on occasion, as a treat.

Or at least only on the weekends.

At the very least, not every day.

Usually.

Oh who am I kidding. I freaking love potatoes in every form and eat them all the time.

But, french fries and buttery mashed potatoes aside, I have always been under the assumption that a potato, a plain, unaltered potato, was a healthy addition to a well-rounded diet.

I mean, it’s from the earth. Mother Nature created it. Not to mention, the good ‘ol spud is a certified “heart healthy” food by the American Heart Association.

Seems to me like this should be one hell of a super food, eh?

Alas, all tasty, seemingly good-for-you foods usually crash and burn. (That is, depending how much “weight” you want to put into this study.)

According to a new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine has found that an individual who eats an extra serving of potatoes each day will gain more weight than if they consumed an extra 12-ounce sugary drink or extra helping of red or processed meats.

Say it isn’t so!

Here’s the breakdown: In general, the participants in the study gained an average of 0.8 pounds per year. However, those who regularly ate potatoes gained more.

Those who ate an extra serving of french fries every day added an average of 3.4 pounds to their total weight over 4 years.

Potato chips added 1.7 pounds.

And any potato in non-chip form contributed 1.3 pounds.

Now, I know this doesn’t seem like a lot, and to many, it isn’t worth giving up the starchy goodness of this diet staple.

But when you add up the weight gain over 20 years, even the seemingly innocent 0.8 pounds balloon to a whopping 16 extra pounds you have to carry around.

Add the extra weight you’ll gain from your potato-laden diet and you’ll be heaving around much more than you are today.

OK. I got that.

Extra potatoes = more fat on your bones year over year.

Not exactly mind-blowing, if you ask me.

Potatoes are starchy, fairly high in calories for a veggie, and are almost never eaten in their natural state. And you mean to tell me that they are going to make me gain weight?

No offense Harvard, but even I, with my unassuming 4-year degree from a liberal arts college, could have told you that.

So, do we need to give up potatoes in an effort to reach healthy diet nirvana?

No.

I mean, in all honesty, who eats an extra serving of french fries, potato chips, or any form of potato for that matter, every single day?

If I had to hazard a guess, I’d say probably not too many people.

And if you are, chances are your diet isn’t all that healthy anyway, potato-gorging habits aside.

So, in all honesty, I’m not sold on this study. To me, it seems kind of like common sense.

But, hey, maybe after reading this, it will help deter you the next time you’re eyeing the all-you-can-eat baked potato bar at your favorite restaurant.

Maybe just knowing these facts will help you clean up your diet a little, and maybe next time you order a Friday night burger, you’ll order a side salad instead of steak fries.

Maybe.

Or maybe not. Maybe, if you’re like me, you’ll find room in your diet for a little spud-goodness.

But anyway, that’s all I have to say about that.

Check in next time for my firsthand account on the trials and tribulations of wearing pocket-less pants.

Until then 🙂

Advertisements

One Response to “Eat Spuds, Gain Pudge”

  1. DAD Says:

    Just reading this post, I think I lost a few pounds. Only thing is, everything I eat seems to be a “well rounded” diet for me!! See you Sat.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: