By Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist
Thanksgiving is the perfect time of year to enjoy a comfort-food classic… potatoes! Potatoes (white that is) are one of the most prevalent vegetables eaten by Americans; usually in the form of french fries or potato chips.
We often hear that sweet potatoes are a better choice compared to white, but ever wonder what the nutritional or health differences are between a sweet potato and a white potato? Let’s break it down by comparing a medium sized sweet potato and white potato each baked without salt and eating both flesh and skin…
|Sweet Potato||White Potato|
|Calories 103||Calories 161|
|Vitamin A 21909 IU||Vitamin A 17 IU|
|Potassium 542 mg||Potassium 926 mg|
|Vitamin C 22.3 mg||Vitamin C 16.6 mg|
|Iron .79 mg||Iron 1.87 mg|
|Magnesium 31 mg||Magnesium 48 mg|
|Fiber 3.8 gm||Fiber 3.8 gm|
The sweet potato not only has more vitamin A/Beta-carotene, an important antioxidant giving this veggie its orange glow, but it also has less calories and a lower glycemic index which means it has a slower rate of sugar absorption.
Yams? Well they are not the same as sweet potatoes. They are actually very different from a sweet potato and often you can see this by its color. The garnet yam for example, has a purple skin and a light yellow flesh. Yams are high in the heart-healthy nutrients B6 and potassium. Yams, like sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber that helps to slow digestion and helps to keep you fuller longer.
When eaten in the form of a baked, medium sized potato including the skin and without added salt, butter, sour cream or bacon is actually a healthier choice than you may assume. It has the same amount of fiber as a sweet potato with skin and even more magnesium, iron, and potassium, an electrolyte linked to helping lower blood pressure.
Keep in mind that to be a healthy choice your potato doesn’t have to be plain! Try topping it with a small amount of olive oil and your favorite veggies and spices like broccoli and black pepper or chili powder, onion and jalapeno.
Check out these delicious potato recipes:
Enjoy them as a salad..
Sweet and Salty Roasted Veggie Salad
Sweet Potato Pie Smoothie