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Daily Intake of Non-Fried Potato Does Not Affect Markers of Glycemia and is Associated with Better Diet Quality Compared to Refined Grains: A Randomized, Crossover Study in Healthy Adults

Emily Johnston, Kristina Petersen and Penny Kris-Etherton


Epidemiologic studies suggest that consumption of potatoes is associated with increased risk of cardiometabolic diseases. However, few clinical trials have empirically tested these observational findings. The aim of this single-blind, randomized, crossover study was to evaluate the effect of daily potato consumption, compared to refined grains, on risk factors for cardiometabolic diseases. It was hypothesized that no difference in cardiometabolic endpoints would be detected between conditions, but diet quality would improve with potato consumption. Healthy participants on self-selected diets received one potato-based side dish or one refined grain-based side dish daily, for four weeks, separated by a minimum two-week break. Dishes were isocaloric, carbohydrate-matched, and prepared without excess saturated fat or sodium. Participants were instructed to consume the side-dish with a meal in place of carbohydrates habitually consumed. Lipids/lipoproteins, markers of glycemic control, blood pressure (BP), weight and pulse wave velocity (PWV) were measured at baseline and condition endpoints. Diet quality was calculated, based on 24-hour recalls, using the Healthy Eating Index (HEI)-2015. Fifty adults (female n=34; age: 40±13; BMI: 24.5±3.6 kg/m2) completed this study. No between-condition differences were detected for fasting plasma glucose (-0.97; mg/dL, 95% CI: -2.3, 0.35; p=0.15), the primary outcome, or any other outcomes. Compared with refined grains, the HEI-2015 score (3.5, 95%CI: 0.6, 6.4 p=0.01), potassium (547 mg, 95%CI: 331, 764, p<0.001) and fiber (2.4 g, 95% CI: 0.6, 4.2, p=0.01) were higher following the potato condition. Consuming non-fried potatoes resulted in higher diet quality, potassium and fiber intake, without adversely affecting cardiometabolic risk.

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  1. Johnston, E., Petersen, K., & Kris-Etherton, P. (n.d.). Daily intake of non-fried potato does not affect markers of glycemia and is associated with better diet quality compared to refined grains: A randomized, crossover study in healthy adults. British Journal of Nutrition, 1-29. doi:10.1017/S0007114520000252
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