Baked potatoes AREN’T as healthy as you think – with 19 teaspoons of sugar (TWICE as much as a can of Coke)
It’s a go-to “healthy” snack, but it turns out the humble spud could be the reason you’re NOT losing weight. That’s because baked potatoes are packed with sugar – on average 19 teaspoons, that’s more than TWICE the sugar in a can of Coke.
Dr Xand van Tulleken, who hosts The Truth About Carbs on BBC One, told The Sun it’s likely to surprise many Brits, who are convinced baked pots are a healthy option.
There’s around 19 teaspoons of sugar in an average jacket spud, he reveals on the show, compared to the seven in a can of Coke.
But he warned, it’s important to take that in context.
“Baked potatoes are still a better choice, than say two slices of white bread, or any processed carbs” he told The Sun. “It still has more fibre, and more nutritional value.”
But he said falling into the trap of believing it is a “healthy” option, is why many people may struggle to shift excess weight.
Dr Xand said it’s a particular problem for the one in ten adults who struggle with their blood sugar levels, and the hundreds of thousands of people with un-diagnosed type 2 diabetes.
“Clearly if you’re eating chips everyday, then switching to a baked potato is going to be better for you,” Dr Xand explained.
“But if you’re someone who thinks baked potatoes are a healthy lunch, it might be better to think about the alternatives, like sweet potato.
“It’s better for you because it’s less likely to spike your blood sugar levels and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
“Pile your plate with more greens, fats and proteins, and fewer starchy carbs.
“And if you need something beige, stick with sweet potatoes or more wholegrains – foods that are lower GI, that aren’t going to send your blood sugar levels sky high suddenly.”
It’s the sudden spike and subsequent crash in blood sugar levels that leave you feeling hungry, soon after a meal – and can lead to over-eating and snacking.
Simple Swaps to help you shed pounds
DR Xand told The Sun dieters don’t have to ditch all their favourite foods, to lose weight.
Rather, it’s about making simple swaps that can help you shed pounds faster.
As part of his investigations into carbs, he spends time with a GP in Liverpool who’s helped seven patients shed weight.
The dieters were all put on a “smart carb” plan, swapping their regular processed carbs for healthier options.
“I am not easily impressed when it comes to diet stuff like this,” Dr Xand told The Sun.
“But this was really amazing.
“Two weeks without cutting calories, without altering their diets in unsustainable ways, all improved their weight and their diabetes too.
“One patient’s blood sugar levels meant he was almost considered to be in remission from type 2 diabetes.”
The group tried various simple swaps, including:
- baked potatoes for sweet potatoes
- white rice for cauliflower rice
- white bread for rye or wholegrain loaves
- digestive cheesecake base for nuts
- regular muffins for courgette muffins
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