In this article I will explore the nutritional differences between sweet potato and potato, as well as their respective health benefits. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of which tuber is the healthier choice for your plant-based diet.
Nutritional Comparison: Sweet Potato vs Potato
When it comes to comparing sweet potato and potato, their nutritional profiles share similarities as well as some distinct differences. Both sweet potato and potato are starchy vegetables that are rich in carbohydrates, dietary fibre, and various vitamins and minerals.
In terms of macronutrients, one medium-sized sweet potato contains around 103 calories, 0.2 grams of fat, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein. The same serving of potato contains about 113 calories, 0.1 grams of fat, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fibre, and 2 grams of protein.
However, the main difference between sweet potato and potato lies in their micronutrient content. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, which is essential for eye health and immune function. They are also high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. In contrast, potatoes contain more vitamin C and potassium, but are not as rich in vitamin A or other essential micronutrients.
According to research and nutritional guidelines, sweet potatoes are considered a healthier choice than potatoes due to their superior nutrient density. The American Diabetes Association recommends sweet potatoes over regular potatoes as they have a lower glycemic index and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Additionally, the World’s Healthiest Foods organisation lists sweet potatoes as one of the healthiest foods on the planet, citing their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
In conclusion, while both sweet potato and potato have their place in a healthy vegan diet, sweet potatoes are the superior choice due to their higher nutrient density and associated health benefits.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious, making them an excellent addition to any vegan diet. Let’s take a closer look at some of the many health benefits of sweet potato:
Weight Management: Sweet potatoes are a great source of dietary fibre, which can help promote feelings of fullness and reduce overall calorie intake. In fact, a study found that consuming sweet potato can lead to greater weight loss and a decrease in body fat compared to white potato.
Blood Sugar Control: Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, which means they release sugar into the bloodstream more slowly and steadily. This can help regulate blood sugar levels, making sweet potatoes a good option for those with diabetes or insulin resistance.
Digestive Health: Sweet potatoes are high in both soluble and insoluble fibre, which can promote healthy bowel movements and prevent constipation. Additionally, the prebiotic fibre found in sweet potatoes can help feed the beneficial bacteria in the gut and improve overall gut health.
Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Properties: Sweet potatoes contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, including carotenoids and anthocyanins, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These compounds can help reduce inflammation in the body and protect against chronic diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
Overall, sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense and versatile food that can provide many health benefits for those following a vegan diet. By incorporating sweet potatoes into your meals, you can support healthy weight management, blood sugar control, digestive health, and overall wellbeing.
Health Benefits of Potato
Although sweet potato is the superior choice in terms of nutrient density, regular potato also has its place in a healthy vegan diet. Here are some of the health benefits of potato:
Versatility and Affordability: Potatoes are a versatile and affordable staple food that can be used in a variety of dishes. They are also widely available and accessible, making them a popular choice for those on a budget.
Heart Health: Potatoes contain potassium, which is an essential mineral that can help regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease. In fact, a study found that increasing potassium intake can lower the risk of stroke and heart disease.
Reducing Inflammation: Although not as rich in antioxidants as sweet potatoes, regular potatoes still contain beneficial plant compounds such as flavonoids and carotenoids. These compounds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
In addition to these specific health benefits, potatoes can also provide a source of carbohydrates and energy for those following a vegan diet. They can be used in a variety of dishes, from mashed potatoes to potato salad to roasted potatoes, and can be a filling and satisfying addition to any meal.
While sweet potato may be the healthier choice in terms of nutrient density, regular potato still offers some important health benefits and can be a valuable addition to a healthy vegan diet.
Both are Pretty Good…
In conclusion, sweet potato is a highly nutritious and beneficial food that can provide numerous health benefits for those following a vegan diet. Compared to regular potato, sweet potato is higher in essential nutrients such as fibre, vitamins, and minerals. It can help with weight management, blood sugar control, digestive health, and may even have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
However, regular potato also has its place in a healthy vegan diet, offering affordability, versatility, and some important health benefits such as potassium for heart health.
To incorporate sweet potato into a vegan diet, consider trying new recipes and cooking methods, such as roasting, baking, or mashing. Sweet potato can be used in dishes ranging from savoury to sweet, and can even be used in baking as a healthier alternative to traditional flour.
When consuming regular potato, opt for baked or roasted varieties rather than fried, and consider pairing them with other nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.
Overall, by prioritising a variety of nutrient-dense plant foods, including both sweet potato and regular potato, readers can support their overall health and wellbeing while enjoying delicious and satisfying meals.