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Is sweet potato healthier than white potato?

White potatoes have been considered 'bad' from a health standpoint for years. But is this really the case?


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Sweet and white potatoes are a staple food in most households worldwide. They differ in taste and come from different plant families. What sets them apart in appearance is the beta carotene content, which is the antioxidant pigment that gives the sweet potatoes white, yellow, red, purple, or brown color.

However, we can safely say that they are distant relatives. White potatoes have been considered 'bad' from a health standpoint for years. But is this really the case? 

Let’s look at the differences between them

Different nutrient profile

Although white and sweet potatoes have a similar caloric profile, they differ significantly in the micro and macro nutrients they provide. 

Sweet potatoes
● 100g of sweet potato is about 86 calories, 19.7g carbs, and 1.2g protein.
● They are incredibly high in vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, calcium, iron, and phosphorus. 
● The red and purple varieties are rich in antioxidants which help fight cell damage caused by free radicals in your body.

Sweet potato mash
Sweet potato mash

White potatoes
● 100g of white potato is about 80 calories, 17.9g carbs, and 1.9g protein.
● They are high in magnesium, potassium, Vitamin B1, and folic acid
● They contain glycoalkaloids compounds which have anti-cancer and other beneficial effects.

Though sweet potatoes are often considered healthier than white ones, you can see that they both are highly nutritious.  

Different glycemic responses

Different types of foods differ in their glycemic index (GI), which measures how a particular food affects your blood sugar. High GI foods cause blood sugars to rise more rapidly when compared to foods with a medium or low GI. In addition to the food itself, the cooking method also has a significant effect on how your body digests and absorbs nutrients.

For example, the GI of sweet and white potatoes varies between 44 – 111 depending on the cooking method used. This is why we often hear statements like boiled or baked, is better than fried. Not to forget the added oil content either! 

But having a varying GI doesn't make any food better than the other. The health benefits will depend on many factors like portion sizes, cooking method, total calories consumed etc. You can keep your health in check by getting in a good cardio workout using the best treadmill for apartments or a good budget elliptical

Sweet potato curry with crispy chickpeas
Sweet potato curry with crispy chickpeas

Conclusion

Looking at the above, we can safely conclude that both sweet and white potatoes can be part of a healthy diet when prepared nutritiously. Baked, boiled, or roasted potato is better than fried. And since they are also naturally gluten-free, they can be enjoyed by almost everyone, irrespective of their dietary restrictions.

Author Bio

Name: Khushali Shah
Occupation: Co-owner of healthyandkhush.com 
Summary:
Hi, I’m Khushali. I have struggled with weight loss my whole life. Having lost over 25kgs in the last few years, I have learnt a thing or 2 about weight loss and healthy living. I love to share science based tips and hacks that have worked for me through my blogs.


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