May/June 2023
Positive addition: Potatoes can be a ‘better choice’ By Jamey Higham, president and CEO, Idaho Potato Commission

Idaho potatoes are first vegetable to participate in American Diabetes Association program

The Idaho Potato Commission and the American Diabetes Association recently announced a multiyear partnership making fresh Idaho potatoes the first vegetable to participate in the ADA’s esteemed “Better Choices for Life” program.

The purpose of the partnership is to help educate tens of millions of Americans on ways they can add Idaho potatoes to their meal plan.


Diabetes is one of the country’s greatest health crises. Every 23 seconds, someone in the U.S. is diagnosed with diabetes, and about 133 million Americans are living with diabetes or prediabetes. With a mission to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes, the No. 1 question the ADA receives is: What can I eat? Many wrongly believe they cannot eat potatoes.

We want those living with diabetes and prediabetes to feel confident eating potatoes with their breakfast, lun

ch or dinner as long as serving size and preparation recommendations are followed. This partnership aims to enhance people’s understanding of nutrition, especially carbohydrates, and to help build healthy eating habits while debunking some myths about potatoes and diabetes.

The “Better Choices for Life” program uses the ADA’s evidence-based guidelines and perspective to help consumers make informed choices about the products they purchase. Participating products prominently display the “Better Choices for Life” mark on their packaging. In the coming months, consumers will begin to see this well-respected mark on select 5- and 10-pound bags of fresh Idaho potatoes.

The ADA introduced the Diabetes Plate Method to help those living with diabetes and prediabetes to prepare healthy meals that can help manage blood glucose (blood sugar). This approach allows individuals to put together a plate that includes a healthy balance of vegetables, protein and carbohydrates, which can include potatoes.

This partnership will have a big and positive impact on the entire potato industry. We are very excited about the initiative and the programs we are developing to support it.

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