Study Claims Pregnant Mothers Should Avoid Eating Potatoes, But Why?

January 15, 2016  |  

Avoid Eating Potatoes


The latest study conducted by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and Harvard University claims expectant mothers should not eat potatoes because it can cause gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes causes pregnant women to develop high blood glucose levels, especially if they are overweight, older than 25 or of a certain ethnicity (African American, Asian American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander).  Interestingly, more than 90 percent of the women who participated in this study racially identified as white.

The study, which was published in the British Medical Journal, monitored the eating habits of 15,000 women over ten years. After completing their daily food diaries, 854 of the participants were diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The women who developed the disease consumed more potatoes before they became pregnant, however, the study claims the severity of their diabetes was not recorded. In their conclusion, the study states: “Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is a common complication of pregnancy characterized by glucose intolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. GDM is not only associated with adverse perinatal outcomes, it is also related to increased long-term cardiometabolic risk in both mothers and their offspring. Previous studies have found that a diet with a higher glycemic index is related to higher plasma glucose.”

In order to avoid being diagnosed with the disease, the study notes pregnant women should have a varied diet of beans and grains, instead. Reason being, those food choices have low glycemic indexes, along with vegetables; unlike potatoes that have high glycemic levels that made blood sugar increase.

Interestingly enough, The Today Show investigated more about the women who participated in the study and found they were not only overweight prior to the start of the study but they also smoked. The media outlet noted: “The study found that after adjusting for age and other dietary and non-dietary factors, total potato consumption still had an effect on the relative risk of gestational diabetes, including nearly double the risk for women who ate at least, five servings of potatoes per week.”

When asked about the study’s results, Rachel Berman, registered dietitian and Director of Health at told Mashable: “The bottom line is: be smart about your portions, choose a variety of high fiber foods, and be mindful about how your food is prepared. Potatoes are nutrient-dense with beneficial vitamins and minerals but often are found in fried or chip form.”

Unfortunately for some women, foods like potatoes, help them with nausea symptoms they experience while pregnant.

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