This super simple recipe for boiled baby potatoes includes my top tip for making potatoes PCOS-friendly. Preparing them using this smart, science-backed method means that you can have your potato and eat it.
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What does GI stand for?
The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much blood glucose levels rise two hours after eating a particular food. 100 is how much pure glucose will raise your blood glucose levels after two hours. A baked russet potato scores 111 on the glycemic index (GI) so, it is even higher than pure glucose.
Why is low GI important for PCOS?
PCOS and insulin resistance
Many women with PCOS suffer from insulin resistance. Insulin is the hormone that tells your cells to open up and allow the glucose in to fuel them. If your cells are resistant to insulin and do not take up the glucose, then the glucose stays in the bloodstream until the liver removes it. And what does the liver do with it? Stores it as fat. Particularly belly fat. Excess belly fat has been linked to increased insulin resistance so the problem compounds and leads to a downward spiral. The key to solving this problem is eating low GI foods.
How can potatoes be PCOS-friendly?
It’s all about smart choices.
- First choose waxy potatoes. They have less starch than floury potatoes and are lower on the GI.
- Choose baby potatoes. Also known as new potatoes or mini potatoes. They are harvested when they are young. The carbohydrates in them have not yet had the chance to turn to starch.
- Eat the potatoes with the skin on. The additional fiber helps slow the release of sugars into the bloodstream.
- Cook them and allow them to cool before eating them. Cooling the potatoes increases the amount of resistant starch which makes the carbohydrates more difficult to digest.
Tips for making low GI baby potatoes
Choose the right variety
Choose a type of potato that is low GI to start with. Carisma and Nicola potatoes are good varieties that will slow the rise of blood sugar levels. Some companies have even started labeling particular varieties as ‘low-carb’ to make it easier for consumers to make appropriate choices for their lifestyle.
Leave the skin on
Most of the fiber in a potato is in the skin. The fiber helps slow digestion and so, prevents blood sugar from rising as quickly.
Allow to cool completely
When potatoes cool, the starch changes structure and becomes a more resistant form of carbohydrate. Normal starches are broken down into glucose and absorbed which is why blood sugar increases after eating. Resistant starch does not break down easily and passes through the digestive system without being broken down. Resistant starch can also help improve insulin sensitivity.
Boil, don’t bake
Boiling the potatoes cooks them faster than baking them. The shorter the cooking time, the less carbohydrates will be converted to starches.
Place potatoes in cold water
Place the potatoes in a pot of cold water and bring it to a boil. The potatoes will cook more evenly if they are gradually brought up to temperature. If you put them straight into boiling water, the outside will cook faster than the inside.
Eat with butter
Eating carbohydrates with healthy fat helps slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. So this is the perfect reason to eat some healthy fats! Healthy fats are also important for hormone balance.
Make it a meal
Boiled baby potatoes are a perfect accompaniment for Corned Beef and Cabbage and 30 Minute Pesto Butter Salmon. Or you could also dress them with 10 Minute Olive Oil Mayonnaise to make a PCOS-friendly potato salad. Perfect for summer weather!
Low GI Boiled Baby Potatoes
- 1½ lbs baby potatoes varieties such as Carisma and Nicola are particularly good choices
- water, for boiling
- 1 tbsp clarified butter (ghee)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- Scrub the baby potatoes to remove any dirt but do not remove the skin. Place in a pot and cover with cold water.
- Bring the water to a boil. Cook the potatoes for 12-15 minutes until they are easily pierced with a fork.
- Drain and allow to cool completely. Reheat before serving. Toss in clarified butter, salt and pepper. Garnish with chopped parsley.