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Almost as soon as carbohydrates became the enemy of dieters, potatoes went off the menu. But a new study out of Canada found that eating potatoes could be key to controlling weight gain.


Scientists from McGill University fed mice "an obesity-inducing diet” along with a potato extract rich in polyphnenols, an antioxidant that has been shown to have protective properties against cancer and heart disease .


After 10 weeks, the mice given the extract gained 7 grams, while the other group gained about 16 grams.


“The daily dose of extract comes from 30 potatoes, but of course we don’t advise anyone to eat 30 potatoes a day, as that would be an enormous number of calories,” says study leader Stan Kubow.


Dieters should also obviously steer clear of French fries, and opt to get the extract as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient to add to your meals.


“We were astonished by the results,” added Prof. Luis Agellon, one of the study's authors. “We thought this can’t be right. In fact, we ran the experiment again using a different batch of extract prepared from potatoes grown in another season, just to be certain.”

Polyphenols are also found in abundance in fruits and vegetables, but also in red wine, tea, coffee and chocolate.

“In the famous French diet, considered to be very healthy, potatoes – not red wine – are the primary source of polyphenols,” Kubow says. “In North America, potatoes come third as a source of polyphenols – before the popular blueberries.”