Potatoes are America’s favorite vegetable. Sweet potatoes, while not as popular as white potatoes, are thought to be healthier… but are they?
When you compare the health benefits of the two different types of potatoes, that’s not necessarily the case. Let’s take a look.
A medium sweet potato with the skin contains 103 calories while a medium white potato contains 115. Sweet potatoes actually have .20 grams less protein and have .80 grams less fiber. They also have a ton more sugar than white potatoes with a whopping 7.39 grams compared to only .81 grams in white potatoes.
If you are watching your carbohydrates, sweet potatoes have 3.11 grams less than white potatoes. They also contain 400% of your daily vitamin A and are high in vitamins C and B, choline, and potassium. White potatoes are rich in vitamins C and B, as well as, potassium.
To sum it up, sweet potatoes have fewer carbs and calories and contain more vitamins A and C. White potatoes have less sugar and fat and contain more protein and fiber.
The simple answer is that both can be healthy options – it all depends on how you prepare them. American’s love fried potatoes, and often times this is the only way you can order them when eating out.
White potatoes, no matter how they are cooked, increase your risk of getting type 2 diabetes. If you eat fried potatoes, your risk of type 2 diabetes goes up by an extra 19%. With either type of potato, loading them up with a ton of fattening toppings is also not good for you.
For diabetics or anyone who is at risk of becoming diabetic, sweet potatoes are a better option. They have a low-to-medium glycemic index based on whether you eat the skin or take it off. Although they contain more sugar, they won’t make your blood sugar levels go up as much as white potatoes do.
All in all, there is no clear winner between which one is actually healthier for you. They both have their pros and cons so it really comes down to what your individual health goals are and which ones are most important to you. The only exception to this if you are diabetic – in which case you should definitely stick to sweet potatoes.
No matter which type you prefer, potatoes, in general, should always be consumed in moderation. Bake or boil them instead of adding the fat and oil. Skip the fattening toppings and load them up with healthier options if you prefer not to eat them plain.