Can People with Diabetes Eat Potatoes?

People with diabetes have long been told to avoid potatoes because of their high glycemic index (GI) value, however, scientific evidence is building that counters this notion and supports the inclusion of potatoes in a diabetic-friendly diet.

New research provides even further insight: a first of its kind study, funded by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education (APRE), suggests that incorporating potatoes into a healthy diet can be a safe choice for people with diabetes. The data shows that adults with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) who ate a mixed evening meal with skinless potatoes had a lower overnight blood glucose response compared to a meal with low-GI basmati rice.1

The study reveals how important factors, such as the time-of-day potatoes are eaten, how they’re prepared, and what they’re eaten with, can impact the blood sugar response of people with T2DM. Here are two things you need to know about this new research:

  1. All meals with potatoes had beneficial results on overnight blood sugar management. Eating a mixed evening meal with boiled, roasted, or boiled, cooled and reheated skinless potatoes resulted in a lower single-day overnight blood glucose response as measured by a continuous glucose monitor compared to a meal with low-GI basmati rice.
  2. A food’s GI value does not always predict a person’s glycemic response and should not be used to determine the healthfulness of a food. No significant differences in blood glucose response were observed immediately after eating a single evening mixed meal with low-GI basmati rice or potatoes that were roasted or boiled.

The study’s authors conclude that foods with a purported high-GI value, like potatoes, do not need to be avoided by people with diabetes based on GI alone when consumed as part of a mixed evening meal.

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