Women who eat potatoes more than five times a week face a 50 percent higher risk of developing diabetes during their pregnancy, according to a study recently published in the British Medical Journal.
The study, which studied the medical records for more than 15,000 women between 1991 and 2001, found that women who ate between two and four servings of any kind of potato dish had a 27 percent greater risk of developing gestational diabetes, while women who more than five weekly servings increased their risk by 50 percent.
Importantly, expectant mothers who substituted two servings of potatoes per week for other vegetables or whole grains were able to reduce their risk of developing the condition by nine to 12 percent.
“This study does not prove that eating potatoes before pregnancy will increase a woman's risk developing gestational diabetes, but it does highlight a potential association between the two,” Dr. Emily Burns, a researcher at Diabetes UK, told the BBC. “However, as the researchers acknowledge, these results need to be investigated in a controlled trial setting before we can know more. What we do know is that women can significantly reduce their risk of developing gestational diabetes by managing their weight through eating a healthy, balanced diet and keeping active.”