Expert on 'ideal' way to cook potatoes to avoid weight gain

Cooking with potatoes
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We all love a spud, but are they good for you? Too often it feels like chips, fries and crisps give the humble food a bad name.

Yet think again. While discussing anti-inflammatory diets on the Doctor’s Kitchen podcast, Dr Nitu Bajekal held a lot of praise for potatoes in particular.

The starchy vegetable often falls into a grey area for those looking to lose weight or start their journey to a healthier lifestyle. This particularly because of versions like fries, crisps and other methods of cooking the grain that have ladled it with unhealthy additives.

Instead, Dr Bajekal revealed people can still get their potato fix in a far healthier way simply by changing how they cook their potatoes. A self-proclaimed “lazy cook”, the expert assured she wouldn’t be sharing recipes that would have listeners standing over the stove for hours but rather leaving the potatoes to rest while they tackle other things in their busy lives.

She explained to podcast host Dr Rupy Aujla: “I want people to eat starchy vegetables like potatoes with skin. Potatoes are a great source of nutrition and helps to keep you full. Ideally you want to cook your potatoes, put them in the fridge and then reheat them.

“That increases the resistant starch and when you increase the resistant starch your blood sugar levels don’t spike. I also want you to have sweet potatoes and yams and other tubers.”

The Senior Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist advocated for a mixed and varied diet particularly for people with hormonal disorders or conditions. Dr Bajekal encouraged people to “inch towards a whole food plant-based diet”.

She highlighted that this is not strictly a vegan diet. And she encouraged listeners to give themselves allowances and leeways to have a cheeky takeaway every now so they don’t associate the diet with simply being miserable and hungry.

When it comes to shifting to any different lifestyle or diet, the doctor urged people not to make a quick and dramatic shift overnight. Instead she recommended listeners give themselves “three to six months” to properly, and healthily, transition.