Written by:Eli Ben-Yehuda, March 6, 2019

Many people think potatoes are an unhealthy food and fear they increase the risk of heart disease. Two studies from 2016 help clarify the issue.

Potato intake is not associated with a higher risk of heart attacks, stroke, or heart failure, according to a 13-year study of 69,000 Swedes, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

However, a study of 187,000 American health professionals, published in the journal BMJ, found that those who ate the most potatoes (at least four servings a week) were at modestly increased risk for developing hypertension over the course of a decade or two.

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One difference between the studies: The Swedes ate mostly boiled potatoes, while Americans tend to eat more French fries, which are usually heavily salted and have been linked to a variety of risks in previous research.

Pota­toes have dietary pluses (notably potassium and fiber) and minuses (relatively high calories for a vegetable and, depending on how they are pre­pared and eaten, a rapid effect on blood sugar—that is, a high glycemic index).

Although leeks are a perfectly common vegetable in many parts of the world, they have never, for some odd reason, managed to achieve that status in this country. Because the demand for leeks is low, they tend to be quite expensive and usually languish in the supermarket produce section. They deserve better than that, and here is a good recipe to start with. To reduce the somewhat high sodium content, cut the amount of salt in half.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound all-purpose potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned
  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ⅔ cup minced fresh dill

  • Instructions:

    1. In a nonstick Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the leeks, onion, and garlic, and cook, stirring often until the leeks and onion are soft, about 10 minutes.

    2. Add the potatoes, broth, water, salt, pepper, and ⅓ cup of the dill, and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the potatoes are very tender and falling apart, about 20 minutes.

    3. Stir in the remaining ⅓ cup minced dill and serve.

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