Is It Safe for Diabetics to Eat Potatoes?

| February 25, 2021
Is It Safe for Diabetics to Eat Potatoes

Potatoes are a vegetable that everyone enjoys eating. Be it fried, baked, boiled, steamed, or mashed potatoes, and it is the most loved and popular food in a person’s diet. Potatoes are highly abundant in vitamin B and potassium. The skin of the potato is known to be a great source of fiber. But you must have heard this quite often that a diabetic person should avoid or limit the consumption of potatoes.

If you have diabetics and want to know, is it safe for diabetics to eat potatoes, then you have come to the right place looking for an answer.

People with diabetics must have heard many misconceptions about what they should consume and what they shouldn’t consume. Many people think that when you have diabetes, you should avoid the consumption of potatoes entirely as it contains carbs.

But that is not true, diabetic people can have potatoes in any form, but it is necessary to know that after consuming potatoes, what happens to your body and what changes your body goes through. You should be aware of how many portion sizes of potatoes are safe to consume and what impact it has on your blood sugar levels.

Let us find out below; is it safe for diabetics to eat potatoes:

#1. Effects of Consuming Potatoes on Blood Sugar
  • Potatoes boost your blood sugar levels inside the body, just like every other food that includes carbs.
  • While consuming potatoes, your body ends up breaking down the carbs into simple sugars that pass through the bloodstream.
  • This process eventually leads to a spike in blood sugar levels.
  • The body releases hormone called insulin to carry these sugars to the cells that provide energy.
  • For people with diabetes, the same process lacks effect.
  • Rather than removing the sugar from the blood and inside the cells, it keeps circulating and thus keeps the blood sugar levels higher for a long time.
  • Keeping the possible risks in mind, eating high-carb food / large portions is not advised for people with diabetes.
  • A bad case of diabetes is often said to be the cause of problems like heart failure, stroke, kidney diseases, nerve damage, vision loss, and many other such diseases.

It is usually advised for people with diabetes to limit their carb intake, Keeping it down to 20-50gms/day to a moderate amount of 100-150gms/day. A doctor will help choose a better plan keeping in mind your dietary preference and your diabetes limitations.

#2. Carbs in Potatoes
  • Baked- 13.1 gms
  • Raw- 11.8 gms
  • Deep-fried- 36.5 gms
  • Microwaved- 18.2 gms
  • Microwaved- 18.2 gms
  • Boiled- 15.7 gms
  • Oven-Baked fries- 17.8 gms

In high carb food like potato, the content of carbs can vary depending upon the type of method you use for cooking.

Here’s a list showing you the carb content in a potato, depending on its state of preparation:

  • Baked- 13.1 gms
  • Raw- 11.8 gms
  • Deep-fried- 36.5 gms
  • Microwaved- 18.2 gms
  • Boiled- 15.7 gms
  • Oven-Baked fries- 17.8 gms
#3. GI and GL of Potatoes
  • GI or Glycemic index measures how capable the food is of raising blood sugar.
  • The foods containing a GI higher than 70 are known as high GI foods, which can raise blood sugar levels comparatively faster.
  • Foods with a GI of less than 56 classifies as low.
  • Medium to high GI is the range where potatoes fall.
  • GL or Glycemic load considers the portion size or the method of cooking because GI alone is not the best representation of food’s impact on sugar levels.
#4. Risks from Consuming Potatoes
  • If you have diabetes and are worried about consuming potatoes, you should know that it is safe to eat potatoes even if you have diabetes.
  • But you should know how much potatoes to consume and what type of potatoes you can consume.
  • People with type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of consuming potatoes and has harmful effects on people who are already suffering from diabetes.
Do You Know?

According to researchers, in every three or four servings of boiled, baked, or mashed potatoes per week, there was at least a five percent increase in risk for type 2 diabetes. Risk increases by 20 percent in french fries. Also, fried potatoes carry a very high level of unhealthy fats, leading to increased blood pressure and lowers HDL that leads to abnormal weight gain and obesity. All of the above risks links to heart diseases. Even potato chips are unsafe for your health.

  • People who already have diabetes or hereditary diabetes are at high risk of heart diseases.
  • Fried potatoes also contain high calories that lead to abnormal weight gain.
  • People with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight to help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of heart-related complexities.
  • So the most necessary potato dish to avoid during diabetes would be potato fries, potato chips, and potatoes mixed with high amounts of fat.
Some Healthy Alternative for Potatoes:

You can consume potatoes if you wish to have them, but you need to limit or reduce the intake of potatoes when you have diabetes. You can also choose a healthier alternative option for potatoes just if you are planning to avoid eating potatoes. Make sure the alternative food options are high in fiber, have low GI and GL, and have lower carbs. Some of these foods are:

#1. Consume Cauliflower
  • Cauliflower is an excellent vegetable to consume during diabetes, and it is also a great alternative option for potatoes.
  • Cauliflowers are extremely low in carbs, which makes it a great food option for people who consume a low-carb food diet.
  • You can also eat cauliflowers the same way as potatoes, such as roasted, boiled, and steamed.
#2. Have Taro
  • Taro is also a great alternative option for potatoes, and it holds a GL of only four and is low in carbs.
  • Slice the taro thinly, bake it with little oil and consume it as this is a healthy method to eat taro.
#3. Eat Pumpkin and Squash
  • Pumpkin and squash are both a healthy alternative as it contains low carbs and has a low or medium GI and a low GL.
  • You can consume pumpkin and squash baked or mashed, just like how you like your potatoes.
#4. Consume Sweet Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes are enjoyed and loved by many people.
  • Now people with diabetes don’t have to worry as these can also be consumed by them.
  • Sweet potato has a low GI in comparison to some white potatoes. They are also highly rich in vitamin A.
#5. Eat Plenty of Carrots and Parsnips
  • Both have low carbs and have low GI AND GL, making them safe to consume during diabetes.
  • Carrots and parsnips are a healthy alternative option instead of potatoes.
When to See a Doctor:

You should visit a doctor if you want to know more about whether it is safe for diabetics to eat potatoes. You can speak to a dietician, health care provider, and diabetes educator if you face trouble with regulating your blood sugar levels. Make sure you visit a doctor after every interval and get your diabetes level checked.

In conclusion, your diet deeply affects your blood sugar levels as what you consume determines your health status. You need to check on what you consume daily as well as check your diet intake. Eat on time, and eat healthy to keep your blood sugar levels under control. I hope your doubts are solved, and you got the answer to all your queries.