Women who eat a large amount of potatoes before they get pregnant could be at a greater risk of developing diabetes while pregnant, due to their high starch content.
Potatoes have a high glycaemic index compared with other vegetables, so can trigger a sharp rise in blood sugar levels, and this could be one explanation for the findings, the authors of the study explained.
The research, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), tracked 15,632 women with no previous gestational diabetes or chronic disease who and who became pregnant, over a 10-year period.
They found that higher total potato consumption was significantly associated with an increased risk of gestational diabetes.
However, substituting two servings of potatoes a week with other vegetables, legumes, or whole grain foods was significantly associated with a 9-12% lower risk.