Hardly a day passes without any reports appearing about the seriousness of over weight and obesity which are spreading like wild fire, especially among the citizens in rich countries. It is indisputable that, as a scientific fact, one is bound to gain weight when input calories consumed through every day food exceeds the calorie output through physical efforts. The only disputable issue is how much a diet can contribute to the calories intake and what type of foods can be fattening. There are thousands of "advice" offered by knowledgeable as well as pseudo-experts putting the poor consumer in great dilemma regarding what should be taken or what should not be consumed. In one of the latest reports from the much respected Harward University, consumption of Potato has been linked to obesity and the massive data generated by its researchers through extensive field work seems to have clearly implicated this most liked root vegetable as enemy number one for people wishing to stay on the right side of the weighing scale!
"In a new report published in The New England Journal of Medicine, a team of Harvard researchers has revealed the results of a study of 120,877 people showing that 10 foods were found to be especially correlated with long-term changes in weight. Potato chips Among foods promoting weight gain, potato chips topped the list. The researchers' conclusion was that potatoes and extra kilos go together, so anyone seeking to shed weight should steer clear French fries and every other variety of the "spuds". From the study, a daily extra serving of potatoes, whether, boiled, fried, baked or mashed, could add up to five kilos over the course of four years. An additional serving of nuts, fruit or vegetables, on the other hand, will add up to weight loss. The scientists noted in their results that potatoes are very calorie dense, noting that it is best to cook potatoes so that the starchy goodness can be converted into glucose. A medium sized pack of potato chips contains about 300 calories, 15 grammes of fat and 45 grammes of carbohydrates. Even the relatively medium baked potato has about 160 calories, less than a gramme of fat and and about 37 grammes of carbohydrates".
A bigger question that needs to be answered is which carbohydrate-rich food can be safe if Potato is "undesirable"? Practically all cereals and tubers are rich sources of carbohydrates and how can they be safer than Potato? Of course there is lot of logic in advising against gorging on fried Potato preparations or products baked with lot of fat but to say even boiled Potato can be dangerous may be hard to swallow. Ultimately consumers must understand that any food, irrespective of its composition, if over-consumed, can definitely have the potential to add up to the body weight over a period of time and moderation should be the guiding spirit while food is consumed, in stead of getting scared of any particular food.