Healthy Living

Sweet Potato vs. Potato: What’s The Difference?

Sweet potatoes are misunderstood to be healthier than regular potatoes since there is a lack of awareness about the differences and similarities in the nutritional profiles.

The two potatoes are from completely different species but the sweet varieties, referred to as yams in the United States, generally have brown skin and orange flesh. Though they can be found in purple, yellow and red varieties too. Regular potatoes are brown or yellow in color on the outside and have white or yellow flesh. Know more about their differences below.

Carbohydrates and Fiber

Both types of potatoes contain almost the same amount of fiber and carbohydrates in a 100-gram serving, according to Livestrong.com. White and sweet potatoes have 21 grams of carbohydrates each. A slight difference in fiber of 1 gram is noted: 2.2 grams in white potato and  3.3 grams in sweet potato. 

Fiber is a necessary part of the diet in order to stimulate bulky bowel movements and reduce appetite. It also helps control blood cholesterol. Consuming potatoes may help meet the daily requirement of 25 grams of fiber for adult women and 30 grams per day for adult men. 

Plant Compounds

The two potato varieties contain similar plant compounds according to Healthline. For example, the sweet potatoes contain red and purple chemical compounds generated by plants. The phytonutrients are rich in antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress and prevents the growth of free radicals. On the other hand, regular potatoes with glycoalkaloids compounds have anticancer properties as shown in test-tube studies. 

Glycemic Index

The glycemic index is indicative of blood sugar levels. Food with low glycemic index is recommended to keep diabetes at bay. Sweet potatoes might have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes. It also depends on how it was cooked. Below GI of 55 is considered low and sweet potatoes fall between 44 to 94 in terms of GI. However, boiled red potatoes when baked tend to have a GI of 89 while Russet potatoes have a GI of 111.  

Nutritional Profile

Both varieties of 3.5 ounces or 100 grams have almost the same amount of calories, albeit with a few differences. Overall, white potato contains 92 calories and regular potato contains 90 calories. 

In 100 grams of potatoes, the white ones contain 12 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin B6, 14 percent of vitamin C and 17 percent of potassium. Similarly, the sweet ones contain 17 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin B6, 22 percent of vitamin C and 10 percent of potassium. Both varieties contain 6 percent of the daily requirement of magnesium.  

The only major differentiator is the amount of vitamin A in sweet potatoes since 100 grams contain 107 percent of the daily requirement while the white potatoes have a mere 0.1 percent of vitamin A. 

Potatoes Potatoes are loaded with nutrients such as magnesium, fiber, potassium, vitamins B6, vitamin C, etc. Wounds_and_Cracks/Pixabay

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