You’ve probably heard the many benefits of sweet potatoes. But chances are you haven’t heard the same about regular potatoes. Regular potatoes tend to (unfairly) get a bad rep since they’re often associated with french fries and mashed potatoes.
While it’s true that sweet potatoes have a few health advantages over regular potatoes, both types are good for you. The trick is preparing them in a healthy manner.
Let’s take a deeper look into the nutrition of these two foods.
Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how fast food converts into glucose. Generally, you should avoid foods with a high GI.
Potatoes do have a higher glycemic index than sweet potatoes, but there are some ways to bring down their GI.
According to research, cooking lowers glycemic index of potatoes and sweet potatoes.
Baked potatoes (floury) GI = 111, while baked sweet potatoes GI = 94
Boiled potatoes (waxy) GI = 82, while boiled sweet potatoes GI = 46
Studies also show that pairing foods can lower glycemic index. Pair potatoes and sweet potatoes with lean protein, healthy fats (like olive oil) and veggies. Avoid adding mayonnaise or ketchup to baked potatoes.
Potatoes contain more starch than sweet potatoes. One medium-sized raw potato contains 34 grams of starch, while a medium-sized sweet potato contains 16 grams of starch.
But before you start avoiding potatoes because they’re starchy, realize that starch from whole foods isn’t similar to starch from processed foods.
Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain resistant starch. This is basically complex starch which isn’t easy to break down and absorb. In fact, resistant starch keeps us full for long because the body processes it slowly.
One medium-sized sweet potato contains 112 calories while a medium-sized of potato contains 168 calories. Realize that these numbers may vary depending on the type of potato/sweet potato.
Both potatoes and sweet potatoes are nutrient dense foods. They contain antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Potatoes contain more carbs and protein than sweet potatoes, while sweet potatoes contain more fiber.
Are sweet potatoes better than regular potatoes?
Some people may argue that sweet potatoes are more nutritious, but these two foods both have numerous health benefits and are worthy of a place in your diet.
The key is to prepare them properly: Baking, roasting and boiling are the best cooking methods. And make sure to eat them with protein, veggies and healthy fats – like hummus, kale and olive oil.