Nov 20, 2012

Of Potatoes and Hypertension

potato harvest!
Potato Harvest
Who doesn't like potatoes? Raise your hands please.  I have yet to meet someone who hates it.  Potatoes are something of a comfort food for me, although I don't really eat it on a daily basis.  But when I do, I practically gorge it.   Many Filipino recipes incorporate potatoes and if you know me, I'm the first to dish out the potatoes from Menudo, Nilaga, Adobo and anything with potatoes.  

Remember on one of my previous articles, I have mentioned that we have certain cravings for certain foods and that we should not dismiss that as plain gluttony.  There is an underlying reason why our body craves certain foods.  As for me and potatoes, I don't know if it's just my body telling me it is good for me or that I am simply going gaga over it.  Whatever, I just love potatoes.

Small scale studies have shown promising results, based from my obsessive research on potatoes and the quest to disprove the bad rap it has earned.  From the study, there is a correlation associated with microwaved purple potatoes and lowering of blood pressure.  You can read the full articles from Science Daily and WebMD about this claim.  Just a gist of the study, it is found out that the participants, even those taking medication for hypertension had significant decrease in both systolic and diastolic readings.  I do hope they continue this study, using more test subjects from different ethnicity as well as testing the various types of potatoes available and also the other cooking or preparation methods as I am not sold out with microwaved  dishes but more of that on another article.  Also, I have not set eyes on purple potatoes yet and didn't know they exist before today.  With those other variables, that would probably make this initial study more conclusive.

From my research, I have also gathered that potatoes are actually packed with a lot of nutrients, contrary to the reputation that it is basically just all starch and fattening carbohydrates.  But even those do not deter a potato fiend like me hehehe.  And now, I have perfectly good excuses for not scrapping it from my diet.  These articles will shed some light to that resolve:

Potato, cheese and Speck
Potato, cheese and Speck


So, are potatoes good or bad for our health? About.com says it's all in the way we prepare potatoes.  I got to say that it is consistent with most sites I've read that potato chips and French fried potatoes are bad as well as those other things added that renders an otherwise healthy food into an unhealthy one.  Think of heavy dressings, sour cream, oil used to fry , and all those good tasting but nasty stuff.  I suppose I'll have no problem ditching the chips and the greasy fries.

My verdict?  For a hypertensive person like me, potatoes are good for my health, what with all those anti-oxidants such as flavonoids and ample amount of potassium, not to mention Vitamin C and B6 and a lot of other beneficial nutrients.  It's just that I need to learn how to prepare it best, preserving as much of those nutrients to get the maximum benefits and skipping the bad additives.

Care for a bowl of potato soup?  Yum!


62 comments:

  1. I love potato too, french fries is my comfort food. =)

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  2. potatoes are my family's favorite; my mom has a lot of recipe about potatoes

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  3. I love mojos. It's always in our menu list. Hehe


    Mommy Maye

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  4. Potatoes are also good for babies as their first food. My second eldest was a potato baby. However as my kids grew up, it seems they never get enough of potatoes .


    I must have done something good . lol.

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  5. We are the same. I love potato in dishes that I choose them first than the meat :D

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  6. i love potatoes too! baked potato with bacon bits & cheese rocks

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  7. I don't hate potato but I don't have eat it often.. Now that it has some good things with it, I'll definitely add it to mom's "to-buy" lists when she go the market every other day! :D

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  8. I love that too but I have to go easy on the toppings.

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  9. A fellow potato fiend hehehe

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  10. You sure did, sis! :-) By the way, have you already registered for the Milo Run?

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  11. Oh yes, I remember how I used to love Shakey's mojos but that's probably one way I will not have my potatoes anymore...cholesterol and all that hehehe...oh maybe just one or two lol!

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  12. Great! Share naman some of your recipes :-)

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  13. Fries, I really have to do away with. It's not healthy for my cholesterol level

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  14. I love potatoes too. I love them baked or mashed.

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  15. I actually thought that potatoes are rich in fats and carbohydrates and really fattening. Maybe because when I talk about potatoes, I usually refer to french fries. Hahaha. But I incorporate potatoes in most dishes that I cook especially adobo. I also love potato salad. Now that I know that potatoes are actually packed with so many nutrients, I guess I have to take this more often. Thanks for sharing this Aileen!

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  16. I believe that it really depends on how you prepare them if it will be bad or good for you. I love apples and potato salad.

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  17. Too bad I'm not really into potatoes, although I eat a slice or two. :)

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  18. My mom's favorite are French Fries and I love potato salad and also if with bacon bits and lots of cheese. Have to refer to this on how to cook potatoes!

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  19. I like potatoes, too. I think the key here is everything in moderation. It's all about a balance food lifestyle. :)

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  20. Yay for potatoes! I love potatoes too, and yes there are healthy ways of preparing it. Baked is good, but lay off on the butter, cheese, and other sinful toppings. hehe :)

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  21. Good to hear positive things about potatoes. Not good is that it's the "bad" stuff like potato chips, french fries, mojos that I like :) -JB

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  22. I usually eat french fries but lately I'm trying to avoid it because sabi nila eating french fries is like drinking cooking oil.

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  23. when i think of potatoes, it's always fries for me.. :)

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  24. I love potatoes, when fried. But if steamed, I don't know why, but I don't like the taste of it :(


    CE 11/20

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  25. I cook mashed potatoes once in a while and I know that what's in them are not so healthy, may butter na ,may milk pa. Plus the added carbs of the potatoes! After reading your article , I thought to myself, i will just bake them next time!

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  26. I also love potatoes, and can eat lots of it :-)

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  27. I am not a french fries lover, but if I do get one, I like the fries from McD (nagpromote pa hehe). I like potatoes on nilaga and menudo though and I love potato salad too. If fried, not too much, cuz the potatoes absorb all the grease and the salt

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  28. I love, love potatoes! Cannot really scrap it from my diet. They say the skin has more nutrients, is that true? My hubby is someone who detests potatoes. So we're so different in that aspect.

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  29. made me miss potato gratin suddenly... :-)

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  30. There are a lot of ways to enjoy potatoes. But aside from being part of main dishes, I like it simply boiled and dipped in ranch dressing (that's the one that's fattening though hehehe)

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  31. The flesh just under the skin is where there is high concentration of the nutrients. That's why some suggest to eat the skin as well because that is just a very thin layer. Sayang nutrients. :-)

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  32. I like it also ni nilaga. Hay I miss my mom's cooking

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  33. Yup! Baking seems to be one of the ways of preparing it that does not wash away much of the nutrients. I wonder if I could eat it raw...hmmm, not yet ready I guess :-)

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  34. That's true. Try squeezing those fries and see how much oil was absorbed.

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  35. I've learned to enjoy it boiled...I have to try the steamed potato naman. Boiling leaches out some of the nutrients kasi. Right, those chips and fries and mojos do taste great but unfortunately, those are the preparations that are also bad.

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  36. I guess we just have to practice a little restraint on those additives. :-)

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  37. I agree...it's all about balance and moderation. We can't be eating the same food everyday, no matter how much the nutrients it contains. Variety is good.

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  38. Yeah, sayang nga. I hope the USANA diet doesn't remove potatoes from their list of OK list because they said it's high glycemic food daw.

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  39. Oh, I love potatoes! I'm more into potato salad, mashed and hash browns. I'm happy to know that it's good for the health... well, minus the hash browns since it's deep fried. :) Thanks for sharing Aileen!

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  40. Not yet . I have filed for a vl but I am not sure if it was approve. Dec 9th will be a busy day. My mom will be with us, dinner treat for my daughter plus Convergys Xmas party in the evening and if my vl will not be approve work in the evening. How lucky can I get ?

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  41. Another informative post, thank you. I like potatoes. I never thought and will never think it's bad for my or even my daughter's health. Most of the time nga, ako umuubos ng potatoes sa ulam namin. Haha.

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  42. Sis, if you prepare it the right way, you will get the optimum nutrients the potato offers. Just go easy on the things you add on it.

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  43. Off-topic...the last time I visited your blog, I can't find the link to click for comments...I'll try to check again. :-)

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  44. I usually serve my potatoes boiled with a little margarine, salt and pepper. These marble potatoes are cooked in microwave for 3 minutes. :) Like you, I loooooove potatoes!

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  45. i love potatoes too! i love mashed potato, potato salad. baked potatoes, potatoes sa ulam. i love em. firstborn ko pinaglihi sa mashed potato. lol

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  46. I don't know about you guys, but potatoes are my favorite. My uncle makes the best potato salad ever and I'm his number 1 fan! Masarap na healthy pa. :)

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  47. i love potatoes! mushed potatoes, baked potatoes, potato salad and so much more.. except for french fries from fast food.. i feel fat whenever i eat some of those.. hihi

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  48. This is very informative post and I'm glad I got to read it. I agree, it's really how me preapre teh potato that makes the difference on how healthy the food is.

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  49. Like Krizza I also thought that potatoes are fattening. Now I know that it's in what we put on it and how we cook it is actually what's making us fat. Thanks for this info ai :)

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  50. my mom has hypertension.. I didn't know that potato is good for her health, all i know potato is rich in carbs and I often ask my nanay to minimize eating potato..:(

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  51. korek. so we should stop eating french fries from fast food chain. :)

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  52. Gven, potato contains potassium which is thought to have a correlation or interplay with sodium in our system. Potassium benefits hypertensive people but if your mom needs to cut out on carbs for other reasons, then she should do so. But don't take my word for it. It's best to consult her doctor or dietician for proper nutrition.

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  53. this is a nice write up about potatoes, since i avoid fried potatoes especially for my kids i would usually bake potatoes for them

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  54. Most fruits and vegetables are great for the body when taken in moderation. I am hypertensive too and I have to say even avocado (believed to be a no-no food for hypertensives) makes me feel good if I eat it once in a while. :)

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  55. I'm not a fan of potatoes but I enjoy eating it better with sauces from various dishes :)

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  56. First time I've heard of purple potatoes. Could it be the same as our kamote - sweet potato? You are right though that everyone loves potatoes. Now that you've mentioned that it's actually good for our health and not just yummy for the taste buds, I'll include baked potato in our meal tonight. :D

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  57. With potatoes, I like them in fries and chips. All the bad stuff. hmm.

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  58. with this latest information I've got from you I am considering of making mashed potato for noche buena...excited much..

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  59. Thanks for this potatoes trivia! More reason to eat more of that!

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  60. Potatoes are considered bad for the health when it is fried but if it is mashed or baked it's a good source of nutrients.

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  61. Yup, potatoes are very healthy and I always have it in my kitchen. :)

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  62. this is a nice trivia about potatoes. i love it too and it's one of the things i always buy in the grocery. my hubby always requests me to make potato salad eversince he tasted one at kenny rogers, hihi! so sometimes, we buy marble potatoes too. oh, this is also the first time i heard about purple potatoes!

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