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Sweet Potatoes Vs. Regular Potatoes

Last night we went to a Longhorn Steakhouse and one of my favorite side dishes is their sweet potato.   They do offer regular baked potatoes, French fries, mashed potatoes and vegetable such as broccoli.  We have always heard that sweet potatoes are “healthier” than regular potatoes but is this true?

When you compare the nutritional contents of the two different potatoes, there are LOTS of ingredients that are in common both in types and amounts:  The calorie count of both a white potato and sweet potato is around 90, there are 2 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs and 0.15 grams of fat.  The fiber content of sweet potatoes is higher than white potatoes.  Sweet potatoes have lots more Vitamin A content but white potatoes have more potassium.

Perhaps the most important difference in the potatoes is the “Glycemic Index (“GI”)  The GI measures how a food impacts glucose control and the lower the number the less negative impact on blood sugar control.  Sweet potatoes have a lower GI than white potatoes.  For those people with diabetes or prediabetes, clearly the sweet potato would be a better choice.

Of note, is that sweet potato fries are not nearly as healthy for consumption as a baked one.  Also, throwing lots of butter, marshmellows or other sugar/carb-containing “extras” will diminish the value of the sweet potato as a “healthy” choice for a side dish.

The bottom line:  Sweet potatoes are a “healthier” choice given the lower glycemic index BUT having broccoli or other vegetables instead of the starch would be a better choice for your weight control efforts.

And although I had difficulty finding a song to post about sweet potatoes, I easily found a song about something “sweet”…enjoy Neil Diamond’s classic.

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