Yes, sweet potato skins are totally edible, so put the peeler down and step away from the tuber. Find out why you should be eating sweet potato skin.

Whether you fry them, mash them or roast them, sweet potatoes are as versatile as they are nutritious. When prepping the tuber to use in recipes like Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing or Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Chips, you may be asking yourself, "Can you eat the skin of a sweet potato?" We dive into the research on whether sweet potato skins are edible, and the potential benefits of eating sweet potato skins.

Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin?

Yes, you can eat sweet potato skin, whether it's an orange, white or purple sweet potato. So the next time you make sweet potatoes, try keeping the skin on. Not only will it save you prep time and add a textural component to the dish, but there are also nutritional benefits to leaving the peel on. Sweet potatoes are known for being good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber, and research suggests the peel is important for fiber intake.

A 2021 study published in Agronomy examined various nutritional values of purple-fleshed sweet potatoes that were unpeeled and peeled, and also analyzed the peel itself. They found that peeling the sweet potato led to a 64% loss of fiber compared to the unpeeled version. Researchers concluded that keeping the skin on a sweet potato "is the best condition to maintain the high fiber content."

3 sweet potatoes on a designed background
Credit: Getty Images / Pongasn68

Similarly, a 2022 study published in Food Research examined the potential health benefits of incorporating powdered sweet potato peel in cookies (the study refers to biscuits, a common term for cookies in English-speaking countries outside the U.S.). The study found that dietary fiber content increased significantly when orange or purple sweet-potato-peel powders were added to the cookie dough. In fact, the cookies with sweet-potato-peel powders had over double the dietary fiber of the control cookies (increasing from 0.8% to 2.3% fiber by weight). 

So, why is fiber so important? Well, fiber has a slew of health benefits, including helping lower your risk of heart disease, promoting healthy gut bacteria and helping you stay regular. Plus, fiber can help you feel full for longer periods of time, which may be beneficial for weight loss if that is your goal. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least 25 grams of fiber each day for women and 31 grams of fiber for men. For reference, a medium  baked sweet potato has about 5 grams of fiber (it's also one of the top high-fiber diet foods). Just remember that much of that fiber resides in the sweet potato's skin.

The Bottom Line

You can eat sweet potato skin. It's a good source of fiber, a nutrient that may help lower the risk of heart disease and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. The next time you make a sweet potato dish, whether it's a roasted side dish or a hearty, cozy casserole, leave the peel on.