Sunday, 17 January 2016

Potatoes and Diabetes - The pendulum swings again

I first heard of the problems high potato consumption caused for diabetics 35 years ago, although it is more than 200 years since the first recorded medical advice for diabetics to avoid potatoes.

In my blog post of 9 Nov 2015, "Diabetes doctors are the worst food nazis" I noted that many decades ago, diabetics were advised to seriously restrict their intake that particular "vegetable"

Then along came the Glycaemic Index scientists who provided more insight into one of the reasons why potato consumption causes problems.

Without any evidence, their advice was overturned by the puritanical zealots of the low-fat fad diet, who said potatoes were OK as long as you didn't smother them in sour cream or butter.

The Moderationists said potatoes were OK in moderation, whatever that means. It didn't change anything because every patient can rationalize in some way why their current consumption is "moderate". Nearly everyone knows people who eat more than them.

The Australian Government promoted Plate Model says a quarter of your dinner plate should be carbohydrate. Not even Mr Creosote would complain that a quarter of a large plate of mashed potato was too small a serving.

How much mashed potato do successful older Type 1 diabetics eat on sedentary days? Ask your doctor why the medical profession can't give you an answer to this question.

BMJ 2016;352:h6898