The shocking amount of sugar in a baked potato

A baked potato contains almost three times the sugar of a can of Coke.
A baked potato contains almost three times the sugar of a can of Coke. Photo credit: Getty

Bad news, potato lovers.

A new documentary has shed light on foods heavy in carbohydrates, revealing that they're often less than healthy - and full of sugar.

The Truth About Carbs aired on UK television on Wednesday (local time), and explained that the human body breaks down the starch in carb-rich foods into glucose.

Experts have found that a single 350g baked potato without any toppings, often considered a healthy option, contains nearly 90g of sugar. That's almost three times the amount in a can of Coke.

Dietician Alison Barnes says savoury-tasting foods aren't necessarily healthy.

"Just because a food doesn't look sweet, it doesn't mean it won't release lots of sugar into your bloodstream."

Dr Xand van Tulleken, who hosts the documentary, says carbs are partially to blame for the UK's obesity crisis.

"Too many of us are getting the wrong type of carbs, leading to type 2 diabetes," he says.

The three types of carbohydrates are starch, sugar and fibre. The first two are broken down into glucose and used as energy by the body, but turn to fat if eaten in excess.

Despite the disappointing sugar content in a baked potato, Dr van Tulleken told The Sun that it's still a healthier choice than two slices of white bread or any kind of processed carb.

"It still has more fibre and more nutritional value," he explained.

What's an even better option is a sweet potato, which won't spike your blood sugar levels and will keep you fuller for longer.

"Pile your plate with more greens, fats and proteins, and fewer starchy carbs," recommends Dr van Tulleken.

"And if you need something beige, stick with sweet potatoes or more wholegrains - foods that are lower GI, that aren't going to send your blood sugar levels sky high suddenly."


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