Meat and Potato Men Might Want to Watch Out

Some men are self-described “meat and potato” men.

While this might be an accurate description of what they like to eat, it’s not a healthy lifestyle, and it has nothing to do with the red meat that raises a man’s risk for heart disease.

It doesn’t matter how they’re prepared — broiled, baked, mashed or fried — potatoes have the potential to heighten your blood pressure. Studies indicate that eating four or more servings of potatoes per week has been linked to an increased blood pressure rate.

Your rate of developing high blood pressure is 11 percent higher when you eat boiled, baked or mashed spuds, while your chance is 17 percent higher when you eat fried potatoes.

Potato chips didn’t appear to increase a person’s risk, though. Who would have thought?

The high glycemic index rating of potatoes appears to form the connection between potatoes and high blood pressure, since foods high on the glycemic index raise blood pressure quickly. However, not all experts agree that this is the reason. One nutritionist states that the link between potatoes and high blood pressure comes from what you put on your potatoes. Potatoes themselves contain healthy nutrients, such as potassium, vitamin C, energy and fiber, but when you smother them in butter and sour cream or deep-fry them, the negatives of the fats outweighs the benefits of the potato.

Although the study doesn’t clearly point out a relationship between potatoes and high blood pressure, potatoes do have the potential to increase your risk. Although you don’t need to go on a low-carb diet to decrease your risk for hypertension, researchers are urging individuals to replace one serving of potatoes with a non-starchy vegetable such as broccoli to decrease the chances.

To combat the problem, it’s best to not only reduce your potato intake, but to also pay attention as to how the potatoes are prepared. Opt for spuds without salt and butter on them; instead, use salsa or seasonings for flavor. Live by the rule that only one-quarter of your plate should comprise starchy vegetables.