Pre-pregnancy potato consumption ups risk of diabetes during pregnancy

Gestational diabetes — which occurs during pregnancy — can negatively affect both mother and child.

By: IANS | New York | Published: January 14, 2016 6:11:51 pm
Women, resist those tempting fries if you are trying for a baby. (Source: Thinkstock Images)

Women who eat more potatoes before pregnancy may be at a higher risk of gestational diabetes — the form that occurs during pregnancy — compared to women who consume fewer potatoes, a new study says.

Gestational diabetes is a common pregnancy complication that causes high blood sugar levels in the mother. The disorder can lead to future health problems for both mother and child.


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The researchers from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Harvard University evaluated more than 15,000 women — from 1991 to 2001 — who had no history of illness before pregnancy and had no gestational diabetes before.

Every four years, the women filled out a questionnaire on the kinds of food they had eaten during the previous year. For potatoes, the women were asked if they had consumed baked, boiled, mashed potatoes, fries or potato chips.

The researchers found that women who ate more potatoes had a higher risk of gestational diabetes. They suggested that substituting potatoes with other vegetables, legumes or whole grains may help lower gestational diabetes risk.

The findings appeared in The BMJ — formerly the British Medical Journal.

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