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Study: Eating Potatoes Linked to Gestational Diabetes

People usually think that diabetes is linked to eating sweets, however, a study revealed that eating potatoes can be linked to diabetes among pregnant women.

Take Laurie Finberg, a pregnant mother who went to the doctor because of a health concern. She never expected that she will be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. What was even more shocking was the cause of her disease.

potatoes and diabetes
Eating 5 to 6 servings of potatoes weekly increases the risk of gestational diabetes among pregnant women.
Photo Credit: Parent Herald

Laurie was a completely healthy woman. However, after the diagnosis, she discovered that potatoes were to blame for the high sugar levels in her blood. A food she had never thought twice about consuming before or during her pregnancy, was now the cause of this pregnancy-induced diabetes.

I had a pretty balanced healthy diet, before I was pregnant. Yeah, potatoes are part of my diet.

A study by the National Institutes of Health revealed that eating potatoes before pregnancy could be linked to gestational diabetes. Based on the study, women who consume 5 or more servings of potatoes every week had a 62% increased risk of gestational diabetes, compared to women who consumed only one serving of potato per week (21 %).

Starch from potatoes is quickly absorbed and causes a sharp rise in blood sugar. This produces stress on the pancreas to produce insulin which eventually causes Type 2 and gestational diabetes.

According to Dr. Aldo Palmieri, a researcher, potatoes raise blood sugar in people more than any other food. He says that mothers should eat potatoes in moderation or replace two of those usual servings with another vegetable like whole grains or legumes to decrease the chances of developing gestational diabetes.

However, the researchers of the study pointed out that eating potatoes does not necessarily cause gestational diabetes, and although there is a definite correlation, more research is still needed.

What is Gestational Diabetes?

Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes that affects 9% of pregnant women. Women who have elevated levels of blood sugar during pregnancy are said to have gestational diabetes. Being diagnosed with this form of diabetes does not mean that a woman had diabetes before pregnancy, and it also does not mean that she will have diabetes after she gives birth. However, the baby can be hurt if gestational diabetes is not controlled. It is necessary to consult a physician and seek advice from a registered dietitian when an expectant mother has been diagnosed with this type of diabetes.

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