Purple Potatoes Help Lower Blood Pressure?
September 2, 2011 by staff
Purple Potatoes Help Lower Blood Pressure?, French fries and chips may have given a bad reputation to potatoes, but new research is the humble potato – when cooked properly – can actually be good for the heart.
A small pilot study suggests that a couple of servings of potatoes per day can lower blood pressure as much as oatmeal without causing weights gain, researchers said.
Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton, Pa.,anlyzed 18 patients who consumed six to eight small purple potatoes twice a day for a month and found their systolic and diastolic blood pressure (the top and bottom number in a reading blood pressure) was reduced by 3.5 and 4.3 percent respectively.
Most patients were overweight or obese, and many were already taking medication for high blood pressure during the study, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was presented Wednesday at the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Denver. Experts say the research presented at scientific meetings is preliminary and has not been peer reviewed.
Vinson said that the potato could be a healthy food when they are in the form of French fries or chips, or covered with high fat, such as cheese and sour cream.
Dwellings, in particular, have high amounts of antioxidants, despite the red skin potatoes or white can have similar effects, he said.
The size of golf balls used in the study potatoes were cooked in the microwave, which Vinson called “benign” cooking method adds no calories or fat or destroy substances in potatoes.
“Everyone thought that potatoes were a starch and almost anything else,” Vinson said, explaining the reputation of poor nutritional potatoes. “I was surprised … A very large proportion (of participants) were taking medication and still had a drop in blood pressure.”
Lona Sandon, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, said he was not surprised by the findings, pointing out that potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which is known to help control blood pressure.
“I’m kind of glad to see someone say something good about the pope,” said Sandon, also an assistant professor of nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. “Potatoes are a staple healthy. Nutritionally low in fat, relatively low in calories and loaded with nutrition, particularly in the skin.”
Sandon said the study’s small size makes it difficult to draw firm conclusions, saying the purple skin of the potatoes probably contains more of certain lower blood pressure that the antioxidants in white potatoes.
“The skin is the key,” he said. “That’s where the nutrients are.”
The purple potatoes used in the study are increasingly available in supermarkets and specialty food shops, said Vinson.
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