Pictured recipe: Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
People often want to know if sweet potatoes have a leg up on white potatoes. Both are vegetables that contain vitamins and minerals for a healthy body. But does one have a leg up nutritionally on the other? Here we compare the nutrition in sweet potatoes and white potatoes and offer delicious ways to enjoy both taters.
1 medium baked sweet potato has about 100 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein. Sweet potatoes are full of slowly digested carbohydrates for sustained energy. Each medium sweet potato also delivers four times your daily vitamin A to help build hemoglobin, needed to deliver energizing oxygen to cells throughout your body.
White potatoes get a bad reputation. That's because most people consume them as French fries—and those don't exactly scream health food. But this vegetable doesn't deserve the negative rap. 1 medium baked russet potato with skin has about 170 calories, 37 grams of carbohydrate, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Potatoes are rich in potassium, delivering more potassium than a banana and 26 percent of your daily value. Potatoes also contain resistant starch, a type your body can't digest which keeps you feeling full.
Both potatoes are a healthy carbohydrate source. And the same amount of white potatoes and sweet potatoes contain about the same amount of carbohydrates (1/2 cup = 15 grams of carbs). Sweet potatoes, however, have more fiber and are slightly lower on the glycemic index than white potatoes. For this reason, blood glucose will rise a little more gradually with sweet potatoes than with white potatoes. If you have diabetes, keep in mind the importance of portion size and distribution of carbohydrate-rich foods throughout the day.
Some original reporting by Virginia Zamudio Lange, R.N., M.S.N., CDE, for Diabetic Living Magazine.