Sweet Potato: Healthier Than Regular Potatoes?

Perhaps you have already heard that the sweet potato is very healthy: in contrast to the ordinary potato, it is said to contain more valuable ingredients and is, therefore, better for your health. But what is the truth of this claim?

When clarifying the question of whether the sweet potato is healthy, one thing has to be said in advance: it has very little to do with the normal potato. From a botanical point of view, the two are only distantly related. The Ipomoea batatas, the botanical name of the colorful useful plant, is a morning glory plant. The potato, on the other hand, is known to be a nightshade plant. Nevertheless, the two are often prepared similarly – for example, chips, casseroles, or puree are made from them.

Where does the sweet potato come from anyway?

For a long time, it was said that the sweet potato would come from South America, but it stands to reason that it was originally native to Asian countries. In many places, it is considered a staple food there. Nevertheless, the sweet potato has been popular in many parts of the world for much longer than it has been here – in the USA, for example, it is particularly popular for sweet potato casseroles, especially at Thanksgiving.

Sweet potatoes: Healthy thanks to valuable ingredients

But what’s in the sweet potato? The ingredients are always healthy: the beta-carotene it contains is particularly good for our body and is also responsible for its beautiful color. As with eating carrots, this is converted into vitamin A and can thus protect our cells, among other things. Since the side dish root naturally contains little fat, there should always be some oil, butter, or margarine involved when eating it so that the ingredient can be absorbed well.

Losing weight with sweet potatoes – is that possible?

The sweet potato has the reputation of being a real weight loss miracle cure. At the same time, the rumor persists that potatoes are real fattening foods – probably because of their carbohydrate content and because they are often prepared with a lot of fat. While sweet potatoes don’t have many calories at 86 calories per 100 grams, they do contain more sugar and starch than regular potatoes.

But: The so-called glycemic index is lower than that of ordinary potatoes. Sweet potatoes not only make you feel full for longer – the blood sugar level does not fluctuate as much after eating. This can also have a positive effect on losing weight – at least that’s what advocates of the Glyx diet, which pays attention to the insulin level, claim. As with most foods, the same applies here: the measure is crucial.

Sweet potato or potato: which tuber is healthier?

There are many advantages to both sweet potatoes and potatoes, so it would be wrong to eliminate one or the other from the menu. Instead, you should rather include both in your diet to be able to benefit from the valuable ingredients of both tubers.

How much sweet potato is healthy?

There is one decisive advantage for the orange morning glory plant: you can eat the sweet potato raw – for example, cut it up into small pieces in a salad or as finger food for dipping. That wouldn’t be a good idea with potatoes, because they contain solanine. This is a slightly toxic substance that can cause nausea, drowsiness, or skin hypersensitivity. If potatoes sprout because they have received a lot of light, the solanine content is even higher.

However, sweet potatoes contain oxalic acid, which is only harmful to health in large quantities. The oxalic acid content can be significantly reduced by cooking. And it’s perfectly okay to eat reasonable portions of the morning glory plant raw.

Tip: In principle, even the skin of the sweet potato can be eaten. It also contains valuable nutrients, but it always depends on the method of preparation. In the case of baked pieces, the shell can become very hard, making it unappetizing.

Where can I get sweet potatoes?

In recent years, sweet potato has established itself in supermarkets and organic shops as well as in most discounters. Therefore, it is now available almost everywhere. You can usually find the power bulb very close to potatoes.

Tip: Unlike potatoes, you should not buy the orange tubers in advance and store them for a long time. They taste best when they are fresh – and then the sweet potato is also particularly healthy.

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