No, Potatoes Don’t Cause High Blood Pressure.

PotatoesAreHealthy2

Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C, potassium, minerals, fiber, and resistance starch (if cooled). Eat potatoes.

This new epidemiological study (not a clinical trial):

Potato Intake And Incidence Of Hypertension: Results From Three Prospective Us Cohort Studies

Said:

Conclusion: Higher intake of baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes and French fries was independently and prospectively associated with an increased risk of developing hypertension in three large cohorts of adult men and women.

Who are they kidding? Not you. You know that large populations of people have subsisted on diets high in potatoes for millenia. High blood pressure is a recent phenomenon, especially in developed countries, as I’ve written.

The reason this study found a potato-hypertension association:

As with any observational study, our findings could be explained by residual confounding; for example, potatoes are often consumed with salt and added fat (such as butter or margarine). The increased sodium content could explain the association of boiled/baked potatoes with hypertension.

Butter, margarine, sour cream, bacon bits, melted cheese. Show me the person who eats plain boiled potatoes. Show me.

They also tried to say that potatoes cause postprandial hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) because they have a lot of easily digested carbohydrate (assuming those potatoes weren’t cooled. Recall that potatoes contain a lot of resistant starch, carbohydrate that never gets absorbed and so never gets to increase your blood glucose). And hyperglycemia creates an inflammatory state in the bloodstream which can raise blood pressure. People with diabetes often have high blood pressure.

But! As you know, hyperglycemia is caused by insulin resistance, not by eating carbohydrates. If you are healthy, any carbohydrate you eat is cleared from the bloodstream because your cells are sensitive to insulin and will soak it right up!

High fat diets have been linked to insulin resistance. Once you have insulin resistance, any carb you eat is going to hang around in your bloodstream. They didn’t control for insulin resistance. Not many people in this country eat a low-fat diet, something around 15% fat. Most people eat at least twice that. It’s why we have such a problem with diabetes and prediabetes. People who ate traditional low-fat, starch-rich diets … Okinawans, Cubans, Mayans, Africans … didn’t have high rates of diabetes or high blood pressure.

One thought on “No, Potatoes Don’t Cause High Blood Pressure.

  1. Bix Post author

    High fat diets and insulin resistance are so prevalent in this country that people just assume eating carbohydrates will raise their blood glucose, and it does. That just doesn’t happen in a healthy, insulin sensitive person.

    Reply

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