Potato can help you control weight

Extract Rich With Polyphenols Is Magic Ingredient

You may be blaming your love for potato as the cause of your bulging waistline.

But, scientists now say the humble vegetable that is a dietician’s nightmare can actually help you cut a few kilos, terming it “the miracle ingredient to fight obesity“.

Extracts of Irish potatoes, rich in polyphenols has been found to reduce weight gain from a diet that is high in fat and refined carbohydrates, according to scientists at McGill University.

potatoThe results of their recent study were so surprising that the investigators repeated the experiment just to be sure.

Investigators fed mice an obesity-inducing diet for 10 weeks. The results soon appeared on the scale: mice that started out weighing on average 25grams put on about 16grams. However, mice that consumed the same diet but with a potato extract gained much less weight: only seven more grams.The benefits of the extract are due to its high concentration of polyphenols, a beneficial component from the fruits and vegetables.

“We were astonished by the results,“ said professor Luis Agellon, one of the study’s authors. “We thought this can’t be right ­ in fact, we ran the experiment again using a different batch of extract prepared from potatoes grown in another season, just to be certain.“

According to this study , potato extracts could be a solution for preventing both obesity and type 2 diabetes. “The daily dose of extract comes from 30 potatoes, but of course we don’t advise anyone to eat 30 potatoes a day,“ says Stan Kubow, principal author of the study , “as that would be an enormous number of calories.“

What the investigators envisage instead is making the extract available as a dietary supplement or simply as a cooking ingredient to be added in the kitchen.

Popular for its carbohydrate content, the potato is also a source of polyphenols. “In the famous French diet, considered to be very healthy , potatoes ­ not red wine ­ are the primary source of polyphenols,“ says Kubow. “Potatoes have the advantage of being cheap, and they’re part of the basic diet in many countries,“ Kubow explains.“We chose a cultivated variety that is consumed in Canada and especially rich in polyphenols.“

Although humans and mice metabolize foods in similar ways, clinical trials are absolutely necessary to validate beneficial effects among humans.