Sweet potato is an underground tuber and quite different from the white potatoes, both in taste and nutrition wise. Sweet potato looks different from the regular potatoes and they have a rank lower on glycemic index chart. Sweet potatoes are surprisingly very nutritious, high in fiber and tastes delicious. Sweet potato can be consumed in many different ways, but mostly they are eaten baked, boiled, steamed or fried. Whichever way you cook them, they taste deliciously sweet.
Sweet potato nutrition facts are well known and consuming them regularly has several health benefits. They contain less calories and carbohydrates and are rich in vitamin A and fiber as compared to the white potatoes. The sweet potato nutrition includes rich amounts of multiple vitamins and minerals. Since they are rich in carbohydrates and if you want to restrict the consumption of carbohydrates in your diet, then it would be nice to count the carbohydrates in the sweet potatoes.
A medium sized sweet potato contains about 112 calories and 26 grams of carbohydrates, which is equal to two slices of bread. Sweet potatoes contain 15 percent fiber in a medium sized tuber. A serving of sweet potato contains three times the daily recommended intake of vitamin A, which is about 18,443 IU in one medium sized potato.
Nutrition Facts of Sweet Potatoes
Serving Size 1 medium (130g)
Per serving % daily value
Calories from Fat: 2
Total Fat: 0.1g 0%
Saturated Fat: 0g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 0mg 0%
Sodium: 72mg 2%
Potassium: 438mg 9%
Carbohydrates: 26.2g 10%
Dietary Fiber: 3.9g 15%
Vitamin A 270%
Vitamin C 25%
Readings based on a 2,000 calorie diet
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are a great source of Vitamin B6. They are a good source of plant form of vitamin A, which is a fat soluble vitamin that is important in maintaining and developing the immune system and for good eye health. Vitamin A is also known to improve the cell growth. Other than this vitamin, the sweet potatoes are a good source of carotenoids, lutein and beta carotene, along with vitamin C. Vitamin C is a good antioxidant that prevents any cell damage.
Sweet potatoes are a good source of manganese, potassium, copper and fiber. The phyto-nutrients in sweet potatoes are known to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Commonly Asked Questions about Sweet Potatoes
What are the calories in the sweet potato fries?
Sweet potato fries contain the same amount of calories that are found in the white potato French fries. The only difference is that the sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A compared to the white potatoes and they are low in glycemic index, which means they raise the blood sugar levels at a slower rate. Three ounce serving of sweet potato contains roughly 160 calories, 8g of fat and 23 grams of carbohydrates. A side order of sweet potato fries at a restaurant contains 350-450 calories, 20 grams of fat and 50 grams of carbohydrates.
How many calories are in a Yam?
A cup of raw yams contain about 158 calories and a cup of raw sweet potatoes contain about 114 calories. Yams contain about 44 more calories than a sweet potato for the same portion.
Picking and Storing Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are known to be sweeter than the yams, but they can be used interchangeably.
They come in two different varieties: one variety has a dry mealy texture, white or Cuban sweet potato and the other one has a dark orange and moister flesh with high sugar content. This variety is known as red sweet potato. Both of these varieties have thick skins that come in colors that range from light tan to brownish red.
While choosing a sweet potato make sure they are heavy and firm with a clean skin and few eyes. Avoid potatoes that have soft spots, sprouts, and cracks and cut edges. You can even choose from the vacuum packed sweet potatoes, which are found usually in a spiced or sugary sauce. For health reasons, go for the unsweetened varieties because of less carbohydrates and sugar, instead of the ones that have added sugars in it.
If you have no plans of cooking with sweet potatoes immediately, then go for the frozen ones. Simply steam or sauté the sweet potatoes and make it a convenient and nutrient rich side dish. Before selecting a frozen product make sure you check the labels for validity. Frozen foods can last for a year if stored according to the instructions.
Never store raw sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Ideally store them in a dark place between 50-65 degrees F. Most sweet potatoes will last for a month this way and do not wash them until they are ready to be used.
Healthy ways to prepare sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a natural source of carbohydrates and adding them into your meal plan can be beneficial because they are a rich in Vitamin A, fibers and are naturally gluten free. Sweet potatoes can be baked, roasted, boiled, grilled, pureed, whipped and even fried. If you want it to be healthy, then skip the fried part. They are a good candidate for a side dish. Sweet potatoes can be added to salads, protein-packed muffins, chili and breads. To add some flavor you can add cinnamon and nutmeg, which can make the dish spicy or sweet. To quickly bake the sweet potatoes you can put them in a microwave to cook, the skin won’t be very crispy, but the potatoes will be delicious to taste.
If you like your potatoes mashed, then avoid ingredients like orange juice and heavy cream instead go for rosemary and parmesan for a savory twist. A sweet potato French fry in the oven by just baking them is a nice option. Top it with some interesting herbs and spices and enjoy.
Recipes with Sweet Potato
Sweet potato is an all-rounder. You can use it to cook for breakfast, lunch and dinner and you will enjoy it anytime. They are easy, inexpensive and a versatile ingredient that can be used to make a healthy meal that can be had anytime.
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, in the form of beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium. Everything in moderation is good. Though there are no major side-effects of eating sweet potatoes, it is always better to enjoy them in small quantities. They are well tolerated, but since they contain oxalates, it may cause health problem for people who are prone to kidney stone formation. Sweet potatoes are cheap, taste great and highly nutritious. They can be easily incorporated into the diet in many different ways.
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