A small, pilot study suggests that a couple of servings of potatoes per day can lower blood pressure as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain, researchers said.
The golf ball-sized potatoes used in the study were microwaved, which Vinson called a "benign" cooking method that doesn't add fat or calories or destroy healthy substances in potatoes.
Lona Sandon, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, said she wasn't surprised about the study results, noting that potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, which is known to help control blood pressure.
"Potatoes are a pretty healthy staple food. Sandon noted that the study's small size made it difficult to draw solid conclusions and said that the skin of purple potatoes likely contains more of certain blood pressure-lowering antioxidants than those of white potatoes.
The purple potatoes used in the study are becoming increasingly available in supermarkets and specialty food stores, Vinson said.