If you’re trying to control your blood pressure (BP) without drugs, you’ll want to avoid one popular food that can instantly undo all of your hard work.
Of course, most conventional doctors will advise you to cut salt out of your diet (which in actuality, won’t have that much of an effect on your BP). But I bet they won’t warn you about a certain side dish that can seriously sideline your BP — and your overall health.
I’m talking about potatoes. And no matter how you eat them, they can seriously mess with your metabolism.
The problems with potatoes
The first problem with potatoes is that they’re undeniably delicious. That’s why people eat them by the boatload.
Imagine piling 110 pounds of potatoes on your kitchen table. That might sound like a lifetime supply of spuds. But shockingly, that’s the amount of potatoes the average American eats every year.
Of course, many of those potatoes are consumed as chips, which we also eat at an alarming rate: more than 4 pounds per year per person. Altogether, that adds up to a shocking 1.5 billion pounds of potato chips!
And this excessive potato consumption undoubtedly contributes to the rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Which brings us to the second problem with potatoes: starch.
Potatoes are simple carbohydrates. In other words, they’re loaded with starch. That means your blood sugar spikes like crazy when you eat an order of fries, a baked potato, or a side of hash browns. And that spike can result in two very unhealthy outcomes: weight gain and increased diabetes risk.
And to those two we can add a third: Every time potato consumption sends your metabolism reeling, it imposes an unhealthy effect on your blood pressure.
The potassium contradiction
Diabetes and excess body weight increase your risk of heart disease. But the greatest heart disease risk by far is high blood pressure. And when the three risks come together in generous daily helpings of potatoes, your heart is at grave risk.
This is why Dr. Fred Pescatore refers to potatoes as “the popular food that’s poisoning your heart” in his Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol.
That may sound extreme — until you look at the evidence.
Dr. Pescatore points to a cautionary study conducted by Harvard Medical School shortly after the U.S. government included potatoes in healthy meals programs. After all, your heart requires potassium to function properly, and potatoes contain plenty of potassium. So in theory, potatoes should be good for your heart.
The Harvard team analyzed 20 years of health data (including dietary intake) for more than 187,000 people. The results:
- Those who ate four or more servings of potatoes each week had a significantly higher risk of developing hypertension compared to those who ate less than a single potato serving every month.
- Hypertension risk was 11 percent higher for those who ate baked, boiled, or mashed potatoes.
- And risk was 17 percent higher for those who regularly ate French fries.
That last result doesn’t surprise Dr. Pescatore. He acknowledges that potatoes “aren’t devoid of nutrition — though French fries and potato chips come pretty close.”
The most dubious “vegetable”
Dr. Pescatore notes that so-called “experts” claim that we shouldn’t single out one food as a culprit for poor health. But in the case of potatoes, he strongly disagrees.
He explains why: “Despite the sad tendency to designate potatoes as a vegetable, your body doesn’t see them that way. Biologically, they’re pure starch — higher in sugar and carbs than just about any other actual vegetable you could be eating instead.
“But leave it to the U.S. government to throw science to the wind and categorize white potatoes alongside fruits and vegetables — simply because they contain a generous dose of potassium. Though, clearly, not enough to counter their harmful effects on blood pressure.”
Dr. Pescatore’s bottom line on this topic is simple. Potassium is important in maintaining proper blood pressure, but you can get all the potassium you need from green leafy vegetables and a good multivitamin supplement.
No potatoes necessary.
But of course, potatoes aren’t the only dietary choice that can harm your heart. And there are many foods and specific nutrients that can help you regulate blood pressure, manage blood sugar, and strengthen your heart with every meal. You can learn all of the specifics in Dr. Pescatore’s Ultimate Heart-Protection Protocol. Click here to enroll today, or to further explore the benefits of this unique online resource.
“Potato Fun Facts” Northern Plains Potato Growers Association, 2018. (nppga.org/consumers/funfacts.php)
“Potato intake and incidence of hypertension: results from three prospective US cohort studies” BMJ 2016; 353: i2351. doi.org/10.1136/bmj.i2351