What are the Side Effects of Eating Potatoes?


According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), potatoes are the leading vegetable crop consumed by Americans and fourth most common and essential food crop consumed globally, after wheat, rice, and corn. So it’s not surprise that there are a host of side effects as a result of eating potatoes.

It’s because these tuberous crops are rich in dietary fiber, vitamin C & B6, potassium, niacin, copper, manganese, phosphorus, and pantothenic acid. While potatoes contain a wealth of health benefits, they might also cause some potential adverse effects in some individuals. It is; therefore, best to understand these effects so that you can make the right dietary decisions for a better healthy living.

What are the side effects of eating potatoes?

High Blood Pressure

You are advised to consume unpeeled potatoes, because peeled ones have a high Glycemic Index (GI) that can easily make your blood glucose and insulin to shoot up very fast. Eating such potatoes on their own or
in large quantities (typically four or more servings a week), has been proven to increase the potential risk of poor appetite control, blood sugar imbalances, type 2 diabetes and other diabetes problems.

An American study published in BMJ claims that potato chips and French fries are also high-glycemic and thus carry an increased risk of hypertension, too. Researchers suggest that replacing one serving of potatoes with low glycemic index foods, such as low-fat milk and whole grains can help control the blood sugar
imbalances more effectively. Also, always try to make sure that only about a quarter of your plate contains starchy foods.

Weight Gain

One disadvantage of blood sugar levels getting out of line is that, it causes people to experience hunger between meals. Unfortunately, this often than not leads to overeating and, consequently, adding more weight. A major concern is for those that love preparing potatoes using butter, cheese, sour cream, and bacon.
These are basically high-fat icings that add quite a significant amount of fat to your diet, and this can not only result in the accumulation of high cholesterol in the body but also weight gain in the long term. Eating fried potatoes and potato chips carry the same risk too as these foods are high in fats as well as calories.

A dietary habits and weight gain research study, which was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in June 2011, established that participants put on an average weight of 3.35 lbs within a span of 4 years. The study involved 120,877 women and men who were not obese at baseline. The evaluation at the 4-year interval revealed that the weight change recorded was most strongly as a result of intake of potatoes, potato chips, unprocessed fatty meats, processed meats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Gastrointestinal Effects

As the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse has it, rice is the only starch food that does not stimulate gas during digestion. Potatoes, especially the sweet potatoes, have a type of sugar known as mannitol and which belongs to the polyol family. Some people are generally more sensitive to polyol and, therefore, prone to abdominal bloating, flatulence, and gas pain.

You’ll also want to do away with eating high-fat potato dishes, or just simply avoid eating or overeating potatoes as they put you at the risk of experiencing the same effects.

If you experience the above gastrointestinal symptoms for an extended period of time, then you should consider consulting a doctor right away to help determine the source of your problem. Alternatively, you can seek advice from a professional dietitian and try to prevent the affects of potatoes by looking into a over the counter remedies.

Inflammation and Joint pain

For many decades now, a lot of people believe that eating nightshade vegetables such as tomatoes, white potatoes, and peppers — increases the risk of inflammation and joint pain.

According to “Prescription for Dietary Wellness” by Phyllis Balch, a certified and leading nutritional counselor, these effects may worsen if people consume unripe potatoes or improperly stored potatoes.

Why? Well, these potatoes contain high amounts of glycoalkaloids, which are natural inflammatory substances. The glycoalkaloids can have the ability to permeabilize membranes containing cholesterol, and lead to disruption of the epithelial barrier integrity. This might adversely affect the intestine as well as aggravate the Inflammatory Bowel Disease

There you have it! Don’t hesitate to seek guidance from your medical provider or dietitian if potatoes seem to upset your system.