Potato is an edible stem vegetable belonging to perennial nightshade “Solanum Tuberosum”. It is the fourth-largest food crop and is consumed worldwide. Potatoes provide many health and beauty benefits due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and dietary fibers, etc. However, eat potatoes in moderation as there are some side effects of eating too many potatoes.
Side Effects of Eating Too Many Potatoes
Some major side effects of eating too many potatoes are as follows.
(1) Potatoes And Weight Management
Potatoes are infamous for causing obesity, and all people are doing their best to avoid potatoes from their diet.
If you are on a weight loss journey, eating potatoes may help or harm your goal depending on how they are treated and consumed.
They are low in calories ( 77 calories per 100 grams), free of fat and cholesterol, and contain dietary fibers and protein.
Dietary fibers and protein provide stomach satiety and control overeating, a major cause of obesity.
Baked or boiled potatoes can safely be eaten in moderation without worrying about weight gain.
Often potatoes became a cause of concern when added butter, salt, ghee, or oil is added to them during preparation.
Carbohydrates in potatoes may increase weight gain risk when consumed too much.
(2) Potatoes And Digestive Health
Potatoes improve our digestive health as vitamin C, and other antioxidant compounds protect our digestive system from free radical damage.
It reduces the risk of colon cancer, abdominal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and intestinal cancer.
The laxative properties of dietary fibers in potatoes improve bowel movement and relieve constipation and other gastrointestinal problems like abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and flatulence, etc.
Despite this advantage, consume potatoes in moderation as too much fiber may cause indigestion, diarrhea, intestinal gas, intestinal blockage, and poor absorption of nutrients.
In some individuals, starch present in potatoes may cause gastrointestinal problems like stomach discomfort, abdominal pain, and intestinal gas.Source-Pixabay.com
(3) Potatoes And Hypertension
Hypertension or high blood pressure is a common health problem that affects millions around the world and is a leading cause of cardiovascular and other health problems.
Potatoes contain potassium, a natural vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels improves blood circulation, and provides relief from hypertension.
Eat potatoes in moderation as too much potassium may drop our blood pressure below the normal level, and cause dizziness, fainting, nausea, dehydration, poor concentration, blurred vision, and pale skin, etc.
If you take blood pressure medication, consult with your doctor before eating potatoes to ensure there is no food-drug interference.
(4) Increased Risk of Pancreatic And Colorectal Cancer
Vitamin C, vitamin E, and other antioxidant compounds in potatoes protect our cells and tissues from free radical damage and reduces the risk of various cancers.
Free radicals are unstabilized ions that stabilize by stealing electrons from neighboring molecules, and doing so causes oxidative damage to them.
However, too many antioxidants may increase the risk of several cancers.
At a moderate level, antioxidants target the cancer cells, but at a high level, they may target the healthy cells around them.
(5) Potatoes And Blood Sugar
Potatoes have a high glycemic index of 78, and rapidly release sugar into the bloodstream.
It causes a sudden spike in blood sugar levels and elevates our blood sugar levels.
Carbohydrates in potatoes break down into glucose and increase the sugar levels in the bloodstream.
Eat potatoes in moderation as otherwise, they may elevate blood sugar below the healthy levels, and cause excessive thirst, headaches, trouble concentrating, blurred vision, frequent urination, exhaustion, weight loss, nerve damage, chronic constipation, and damage to eyes, blood vessels, and kidneys.
If you take medication for high blood sugar, eat potatoes only after consulting with your doctor as potatoes may interfere with blood sugar medication.
(6) Interaction With Medications
Moderate consumption of potatoes provides many health benefits due to the abundance of essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other relevant compounds.
However, potatoes may interact with medication for dissolving blood clots ( Thrombolytic Drugs) and may increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
If you are on such medication, eat potatoes only after consulting with your doctor and as per the doctor’s recommendation.
Individuals who take blood pressure and diabetic medication, should also be cautious of eating potatoes and have a word with their doctor before eating potatoes to ensure there is no food-drug interference risk.
(7) Eating Potatoes During Pregnancy
Potatoes contain several essential compounds like calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin B, vitamin B6, carbohydrates, protein, and, dietary fibers, etc.
These compounds play an important role in maintaining a healthy pregnancy.
Vitamin C and other antioxidant compounds protect the fetus from free radical damage.
Potassium improves blood circulation and keeps blood pressure under control.
Vitamin B6 helps with the development of the brain and nervous system of the fetus.
However, there are some points of concern.
Because of their high glycemic index, potatoes may increase blood sugar levels during pregnancy and worsen gestational diabetes.
It may interfere with thrombolytic drugs, and increase the risk of bleeding and bruising.
Toxic compounds like alpha-Chaconine and alpha-Solanine in green potatoes are dangerous for fetus development and increase the risk of spina-bifida. Green potatoes may increase the risk of type-1 diabetes in children.
For these contradictory reasons, pregnant and nursing mothers should eat potatoes only after consulting with their doctor.
The information contained in the post is for general purpose only and shouldn’t be considered as medical advice or as an alternative to medical advice. Although I’ve tried my best to keep the information contained in this post as accurate and updated as possible, I make no guarantee of the accurateness of the same.
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Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.