Bad News for Pregnant Women Who Crave Fries & Other Potato Goodness

Long russet potato

Once you're pregnant, there's a pretty good chance you'll have to give up some guilty pleasures you love, especially in the food and wine departments. One thing, however, you might want to add to your list before the bun is in the oven is a popular starch that yields so many tasty edibles. Researchers believe pregnant hopefuls shouldn't eat too many potatoes, in effort to prevent gestational diabetes.


As you would expect, the same advice also goes for when you are pregnant.

Experts at the National Institutes of Health's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and Harvard University followed over 15,000 women during a span of a decade and monitored their food consumption -- including potatoes. There were 21,693 pregnancies during that time frame, with 854 reports of Mom having gestational diabetes.

Gestational diabetes are specific to expectant mothers, and affect about 200,000 or five percent of pregnancies each year. Researchers note that when a woman is pregnant, insulin resistance can occur, thus creating a rise in Mom's glucose that can cause the disease. Given potatoes can spike your blood sugar levels (if consumed too often), doctors recommend pregnant women reduce their intake in order to lower their risk of gestational diabetes.

More from The Stir: How Gestational Diabetes Affects Your Pregnancy & Baby

Hoping to provide expectant mothers with an alternative -- that's not high on the glycemic index -- researchers involved with the study recommend moms-to-be swap out at least two servings of potatoes each week for things like leafy green veggies, whole grain edibles, and legumes.

Pregnant women who made these changes to their diet, ultimately reducing their weekly intake of potatoes, were able to lower their risk of gestational diabetes by nine to 12 percent.

At the end of the day, moderation is key.


Image via Quang Ho/Shutterstock

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