Research Category: Healthy Dietary Patterns

Lower nocturnal blood glucose response to a potato-based mixed evening meal compared to rice in individuals with type 2 diabetes

Guidelines for reducing postprandial blood glucose concentrations include avoiding high glycemic index (GI) foods, such as white potatoes. However, GI testing is often undertaken in the morning with foods consumed in isolation by non-clinical cohorts. We investigated the impact of potato preparation and consumption as part of a mixed-evening meal on postprandial and nocturnal glycemic responses, and postprandial insulin response, in individuals with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM).  In a randomized, cross-over design, 24 males and females (age 58.3 ± 9.3 y; BMI: 31.7 ± 6.8 kg/m2) with T2DM (diet or metformin controlled) completed four experimental trials after consuming a standardized breakfast (25% daily energy intake (EI)) and lunch (35% EI). Dinner (40% EI) was consumed at 1800 h being either: 1) boiled potato (BOIL); 2) roasted potato (ROAST); 3) boiled potato cooled for 24 h (COOLED); or 4) basmati rice (CONTROL). Each meal contained 50% carbohydrate, 30% fat and 20% protein. Blood samples were collected prior to, immediately post meal and at 30-min intervals for a further 120 min. A continuous glucose monitor was worn to assess nocturnal interstitial glucose concentrations. No differences were detected in postprandial venous glucose area under the curve (iAUC) between CONTROL and all three potato conditions. Postprandial insulin iAUC was greater following COOLED compared to CONTROL (P = 0.003; 95% CI: 18.9-111.72 miU/mL). No significant differences between CONTROL and BOIL or ROAST were detected for postprandial insulin concentrations. All potato meals resulted in lower nocturnal glucose AUC than CONTROL (P < 0.001; 95% CI 4.15-15.67 mmol/L x h). Compared to an isoenergetic rice meal, boiled, roasted or boiled then cooled potato-based meals were not associated with unfavourable postprandial glucose responses or nocturnal glycemic control, and can be considered suitable for individuals with T2DM when consumed as part of a mixed-evening meal.

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

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.

Chilled Potatoes Decrease Postprandial Glucose, Insulin, and Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Peptide Compared to Boiled Potatoes in Females with Elevated Fasting Glucose and Insulin

Resistant starch (RS) has been shown to improve postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity in adults with metabolic syndrome. RS is found naturally in potatoes, where the amount varies based on cooking method and serving temperature. Thirty females with a mean BMI of 32.8 ± 3.7 kg/m2, fasting glucose of 110.5 mg/dL, and insulin of 10.3 µIU/L, completed this randomized, crossover study. A quantity of 250 g of boiled (low RS) and baked then chilled (high RS) russet potatoes were consumed on two separate occasions. Glycemic (glucose and insulin) and incretin response, subjective satiety, and dietary intake were measured. Results showed that the chilled potato elicited significant reductions at 15 and 30 min in glucose (4.8% and 9.2%), insulin (25.8% and 22.6%), and glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP) (41.1% and 37.6%), respectively. The area under the curve for insulin and GIP were significantly lower after the chilled potato, but no differences were seen in glucose, glucagon-like peptide-1, and peptide YY, or overall subjective satiety. A higher carbohydrate and glycemic index but lower fat diet was consumed 48-hours following the chilled potato than the boiled potato. This study demonstrates that consuming chilled potatoes higher in RS can positively impact the glycemic response in females with elevated fasting glucose and insulin.

White Potatoes, Human Health, and Dietary Guidance

The white potato is a concentrated source of carbohydrate, dietary fiber, and resistant starch and continues to be the staple food of choice for many cultures. The white potato is also a concentrated source of vitamin C and potassium. Two of the nutrients in white potatoes, dietary fiber and potassium, have been designated as nutrients of concern in the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Potatoes are often maligned in nutrition circles because of their suspected link to obesity, and popular potato foods often contain more fat calories than carbohydrate calories. Some food guides do not include potatoes in the vegetable group because of their association with high-fat diets. However, potatoes should be included in the vegetable group because they contribute critical nutrients. All white vegetables, including white potatoes, provide nutrients needed in the diet and deserve a prominent position in food guides.

Health-Promoting Components of Fruits and Vegetables in the Diet

Regular consumption of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other plant foods has been negatively correlated with the risk of the development of chronic diseases. There is a huge gap between the average consumption of fruits and vegetables in Americans and the amount recommended by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The key is to encourage consumers to increase the total amount to 9 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables in all forms available. Fresh, processed fruits and vegetables including frozen and canned, cooked, 100% fruit juices and 100% vegetable juices, as well as dry fruits are all considered as servings of fruits and vegetables per day. A wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other plant foods provide a range of nutrients and different bioactive compounds including phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Potatoes serve as one of the low-fat foods with unique nutrients and phytochemical profiles, particularly rich in vitamin C, vitamin B-6, potassium, manganese, and dietary fibers. Potatoes provide 25% of vegetable phenolics in the American diet, the largest contributors among the 27 vegetables commonly consumed in the United States, including flavonoids (quercetin and kaempferol), phenolic acids (chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid), and carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). More and more evidence suggests that the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other plant foods are attributed to the synergy or interactions of bioactive compounds and other nutrients in whole foods. Therefore, consumers should obtain their nutrients, antioxidants, bioactive compounds, and phytochemicals from a balanced diet with a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other plant foods for optimal nutrition, health, and well-being, not from dietary supplements.

Magnesium in Disease Prevention and Overall Health

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral and the second most abundant intracellular divalent cation and has been recognized as a cofactor for >300 metabolic reactions in the body. Some of the processes in which magnesium is a cofactor include, but are not limited to, protein synthesis, cellular energy production and storage, reproduction, DNA and RNA synthesis, and stabilizing mitochondrial membranes. Magnesium also plays a critical role in nerve transmission, cardiac excitability, neuromuscular conduction, muscular contraction, vasomotor tone, blood pressure, and glucose and insulin metabolism. Because of magnesium’s many functions within the body, it plays a major role in disease prevention and overall health. Low levels of magnesium have been associated with a number of chronic diseases including migraine headaches, Alzheimer’s disease, cerebrovascular accident (stroke), hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Good food sources of magnesium include unrefined (whole) grains, spinach, nuts, legumes, and white potatoes (tubers). This review presents recent research in the areas of magnesium and chronic disease, with the goal of emphasizing magnesium’s role in disease prevention and overall health.

Potassium and Health

Potassium was identified as a shortfall nutrient by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 Advisory Committee. The committee concluded that there was a moderate body of evidence of the association between potassium intake and blood pressure reduction in adults, which in turn influences the risk of stroke and coronary heart disease. Evidence is also accumulating of the protective effect of adequate dietary potassium on age-related bone loss and reduction of kidney stones. These benefits depend on organic anions associated with potassium as occurs in foods such as fruits and vegetables, in contrast to similar blood pressure-lowering benefits of potassium chloride. Benefits to blood pressure and bone health may occur at levels below current recommendations for potassium intake, especially from diet, but dose-response trials are needed to confirm this. Nevertheless, intakes considerably above current levels are needed for optimal health, and studies evaluating small increases in fruit and vegetable intake on bone and heart outcomes for short periods have had disappointing results. In modern societies, Western diets have led to a decrease in potassium intake with reduced consumption of fruits and vegetables with a concomitant increase in sodium consumption through increased consumption of processed foods. Consumption of white vegetables is associated with decreased risk of stroke, possibly related to their high potassium content. Potatoes are the highest source of dietary potassium, but the addition of salt should be limited. Low potassium-to-sodium intake ratios are more strongly related to cardiovascular disease risk than either nutrient alone. This relationship deserves further attention for multiple target tissue endpoints.

White Vegetables: Glycemia and Satiety

The objective of this review is to discuss the effect of white vegetable consumption on glycemia, satiety, and food intake. White vegetables is a term used to refer to vegetables that are white or near white in color and include potatoes, cauliflowers, turnips, onions, parsnips, white corn, kohlrabi, and mushrooms (technically fungi but generally considered a vegetable). They vary greatly in their contribution to the energy and nutrient content of the diet and glycemia and satiety. As with other foods, the glycemic effect of many white vegetables has been measured. The results illustrate that interpretation of the semiquantitative comparative ratings of white vegetables as derived by the glycemic index must be context dependent. As illustrated by using the potato as an example, the glycemic index of white vegetables can be misleading if not interpreted in the context of the overall contribution that the white vegetable makes to the carbohydrate and nutrient composition of the diet and their functionality in satiety and metabolic control within usual meals. It is concluded that application of the glycemic index in isolation to judge the role of white vegetables in the diet and, specifically in the case of potato as consumed in ad libitum meals, has led to premature and possibly counterproductive dietary guidance.

Carbohydrates, Dietary Fiber, and Resistant Starch in White Vegetables: Links to Health Outcomes

Vegetables are universally promoted as healthy. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that you make half of your plate fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are diverse plants that vary greatly in energy content and nutrients. Vegetables supply carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and resistant starch in the diet, all of which have been linked to positive health outcomes. Fiber lowers the incidence of cardiovascular disease and obesity. In this paper, the important role of white vegetables in the human diet is described, with a focus on the dietary fiber and resistant starch content of white vegetables. Misguided efforts to reduce consumption of white vegetables will lower intakes of dietary fiber and resistant starch, nutrients already in short supply in our diets.

Innovations in Food Chemistry and Processing to Enhance the Nutrient Profile of the White Potato in All Forms

Potatoes can be an important part of a balanced diet because they are an excellent source of many nutrients, including nutrients that are commonly underconsumed (dietary fiber and potassium). Despite the existence of many positive nutrients in potatoes, the popular press has recently aligned potatoes, and particularly fried potatoes, with an unhealthy diet. This article examines the nutritional content of potatoes and how these nutrients are affected by cooking and other food-processing operations. In addition, it examines how the nutritional content of potatoes is altered by cooking methods and how fried potatoes can have wide variations in fat content depending on the cooking method. Finally, the potential of new food-processing technologies to improve the nutritional content of cooked potatoes is evaluated.