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Protein-rich diet for weight loss: Potatoes are not as bad as you think

Next time you cook potatoes, don’t peel off the skin.

If you're on diet you should avoid potatoes' this is not entirely true. In fact, researchers say potatoes contain high-quality proteins that can help promote weight loss and help build muscle strength.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : June 24, 2020 12:06 PM IST

Several studies suggest that increasing your protein intake can help in weight loss and increasing muscle mass and strength. Eating protein-rich foods can make you feel full and satisfied for hours after eating. Protein also help boost metabolism and suppress hunger by reducing the levels of hunger hormone, and thus accelerate weight loss process. Because of these reasons, many dieticians recommend protein-rich diet for losing extra kilos and preventing muscle loss during weight loss. When we say protein-rich foods, you may think about dairy products, chicken, eggs, etc. No doubt these are great sources of proteins, but have you ever thought of potatoes or aloo?

Potatoes are usually considered an enemy by those who are on a weight loss journey. But researchers from the McMaster University say potatoes can promote weight loss and help build muscle strength. According to them, potatoes, which is usually regarded as a starchy vegetable, contain high-quality proteins, though in small quantity. The findings of their study appeared in the journal 'Nutrients'.

Looking for plant-based proteins? Try potatoes

For their study, the McMaster University researchers roped in young women in their early twenties. While one group consumed diets containing protein at the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 0.8 grams of protein/per kilogram/day, the other group was given additional potato protein, doubling their intake of the RDA to 1.6g/kg/d. Surprisingly, women who consumed the additional potato protein showed increased rate of protein growth in muscles.

This shows that the recommended daily allowance of protein is inadequate to support maintenance of muscle in these young women, the researchers said. Also, the researchers noted that their study provides evidence that the quality of proteins from plants can support muscle.

Today, many people are moving away from animal-based proteins and switching to plant-based substitutes. If you're one of them, potatoes can be an excellent choice.

Eating potatoes make you fat: It's a myth

Most people consider potato as a carb laden food, which can make us gain weight. But this is not entirely true. In fact, potatoes can prove to be very beneficial to your health, if eaten the right way and pay attention to the calorie count. Wait! Don't open that packet of chips. We're talking about the vegetable without the oil.

Potatoes are not inherently bad, but when they are smothered in cheese, mashed with mayo and deep-fried, it loses its good properties. Here are some benefits of potatoes and how to include a healthier preparation of potatoes in your diet:

Good for high blood pressure patients

Next time you cook potatoes, don't peel off the skin. The potato skin is rich in potassium, which can help in lowering blood pressure. Bake the vegetable to get the maximum benefit. Experts say one large potato baked with the skin on, contains at least 1,600mg of potassium, which is nearly half the recommended amount for a day.

Boosts your immunity

Potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, which is essential for your immunity system. One medium-sized potato can provide 45 per cent of your daily requirement of vitamin C. Studies have also shown that having adequate amounts of vitamin C can stop the secretion of stress hormones and keep stress away.

Improves digestion and keeps heart healthy

Thanks to the fibre content in its skin, potatoes can help in keeping your heart healthy and boosts digestion. Contrary to what many people think, potatoes are fat-free, sodium-free and low in sugar. For your information one medium-sized potato contains just about 1g of sugar. But if you're going to fry the vegetable, and add loads of unhealthy fat and salt, it will turn into a bad diet food.

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