Comment on Muraki et al. Potato Consumption and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Results From Three Prospective Cohort Studies. Diabetes Care 2016;39:376–384
In their excellent article, Muraki et al. (1) reported that a greater consumption of potatoes, especially french fries, was associated with a higher type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk, independent of BMI and other risk factors. Similarly, in another very recent interesting article, Bao et al. (2) observed that higher levels of potato consumption before pregnancy were associated with greater risk of gestational diabetes mellitus and that substitution of potatoes with other kind of vegetables, legumes, or whole-grain foods might lower the risk. Whether (or not) potatoes should be included in the vegetable food group as suggested by the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (3) and the U.S. national food guide (called “MyPlate”) (4) is a controversial point. I consider potatoes as “cereals and tubers” as recommended by the Mediterranean diet (5) and the U.K. national food guide (the “Eatwell plate”) (6). Undeniably, french fries are considered a tasty and enjoyable food mainly by adolescents and teenagers, but, as supposed by Muraki et al. (1), they could be an indicator of a low-quality diet. Moreover, what is the authors' point of view with respect to the acrylamide content of potato chips? Temperature heating dangerously increases acrylamide content, resulting in several harmful health effects including neurotoxicity, reproductive toxicity, carcinogenicity, genotoxicity, and mutagenicity. It is supposed that french fries and potato chips contribute to a significant proportion of the average daily intake of acrylamide because acrylamide precursors asparagine, glucose, and fructose are present in tubers. So, acrylamide mitigation strategy focused on developing potato cultivars with low reducing sugars has been proposed to be an effective and sufficient approach for minimizing the acrylamide-forming potential of french fry potato processing (7). Another solution may be air frying, proposed as an alternative to deep fat frying. In air frying, potato sections are essentially heated in hot air containing fine oil droplets, with a substantially lower level of fat being absorbed by the french fries (8). Furthermore, their content of altered fatty acids, degradation products from the frying oil, and dietary advanced glycation end products that are generated during the frying process make me think that they maintain few potato features and acquire a similarity to unhealthy food, which has previously been implicated in the development of insulin resistance and T2D (9). So, in light of the potential clinical relevance of the published data, it would be appreciated if Muraki et al. could comment, since not only potato starch should be considered responsible for the observed higher T2D risk, as mentioned above.
Duality of Interest. No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.
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