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Higher potato intake associated with hypertension risk

The aim of three US prospective longitudinal cohort studies was to determine whether a higher intake of baked or boiled potatoes, French fries or chips and mashed potatoes was associated with incidence of hypertension.

Participants were 62,175 women in Nurses’ Health Study, 88,475 women in Nurses’ Health Study II and 36,803 men in Health Professionals Follow-up Study who did not have hypertension at baseline.

The results show that four or more servings a week of such potatoes is significantly associated with an increased risk of hypertension. This may be because of the high glycaemic load associated with potatoes.

The rise in blood glucose following a high glycaemic load meal is associated with endothelial dysfunction, oxidative stress and inflammation – all important mechanisms in the development of hypertension.

The researchers concluded that replacing one serving a day of potatoes with non-starchy vegetables was associated with a decreased risk of hypertension.

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