(Mirror Daily, United States) According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal potato consumption leads to an increased risk of gestational diabetes. It seems that women who have had an increased consumption of potatoes before pregnancy are at a higher risk of developing this type of diabetes which during pregnancy leads to hypertension and pre-eclampsia and puts the fetus at risk.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which the level of glucose or the level of sugar in the blood is increased due to the fact that the body cannot produce sufficient insulin or because the cells of the body do not respond properly to insulin. Some of the symptoms of diabetes include fatigue and frequent urination. During pregnancy diabetes increases the risk of miscarriage, still birth and premature labor.
The study is based on more than 21.000pregnancies, among which 854 included cases of gestational diabetes. The research team tried to find possible risk factors such as age, obesity, history if diabetes and general diet. The study lasted for ten years, from 1991 to 2001. Every four years during this period of 10 years the participants were required to answer questions regarding these factors, including information about their potato consumption. The findings indicate that those participants who ate more mashed, baked potatoes and chips had more chances of developing gestational diabetes.
Overall the participants who ate two to four servings of potatoes per week had 27 percent increased chances of developing diabetes. Moreover, those women who consumed more than five portions a week showed 50 percent increased cancer of developing gestational diabetes.
It was also noted that women can lower the risk of gestational diabetes by 9 to 12 percent if they replace the potato portions in their diet with vegetables and whole grains, which should be consumed at least twice a week.
There is no official limit to the carbohydrate consumption so far and there is no clear evidence about the harm of potato consumption so as to warn women against it. In fact health practitioners from the United Kingdom are of the opinion that one third of the daily food intake should consist of potatoes since people are in need of foods with starch such as potatoes.
Michael Heard, Consultant Gynaecologist from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, drew the conclusion that pregnant women should not be alarmed by this study. According to him a balanced diet is the best way to ensure a healthy pregnancy.
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