Nutritional Benefits Sweet Potato vs Regular Potato
Over the past few years, sweet potatoes have been branded as healthy — and are even called a superfood — while regular potatoes have been given a bad rep.
Read on to find out the truth, and why you need both tubers in your diet.
Feel the Slow Burn
Both kinds of potatoes should be included in a well-balanced diet. Understanding why lies in knowing the truth about starch. By having a moderate carbohydrate intake, you can reap the health benefits of carbohydrates (depending on other factors, such as physical activity). It is important, though, to be able to discriminate between high-carbohydrate processed foods and foods that have resistant starch.
What is resistant starch? In a nutshell, this refers to the complex starch molecules which are indigestible by the human body. Breaking down these molecules requires a lot of time and effort as the large intestine attempts to work.
Also read: The Truth About Low Carb Diets
Now, putting the sweet potato vs regular potato debacle in the spotlight, both tubers contain resistant starch. This is why both are slow-burning foods — they both give you the feeling of fullness for hours since it takes longer to digest them. As a result, you get more energy and higher levels of satiation.
The Deal on Antinutrients
All plant foods, including potatoes, contain antinutrients — substances that interfere with the absorption of nutrients. These also have a toxic effect on the body. These exist in plants because they act like their natural defense mechanism against pests, environmental threats, and diseases.
Both sweet and regular potatoes contain antinutrients, but this shouldn’t be a cause for concern since proper cooking eliminates them in the process. Because they have really low levels of antinutrients, it is almost impossible to feel any adverse effects.
Now, let’s get into the differences between the two potatoes. Regarding fiber content, both types contain equal amounts. Sweet potatoes have more sugar content (hence the name).
Regular potatoes also contain more potassium, making them useful in blood pressure regulation — compared to sweet potatoes.
Here is a breakdown of the other differences between the two:
|Sweet Potato (medium)||Regular Potato (medium)|
|Sugar||13 grams||2 grams|
|Carbohydrates||24 grams||37 grams|
|Protein||2 grams||5 grams|
|Calcium (daily requirement %)||4%||4%|
|Vitamin C (daily requirement %)||37%||35%|
|Vitamin A (daily requirement %)||438%||None|
|Iron (daily requirement %)||4%||10%|
Some nutrients are more abundant in sweet potatoes, and some in regular potatoes. So — which side wins the sweet potato vs regular potato debate?
The answer: Both types of tubers, if eaten entirely (not spoiled by unhealthy preparation — hint: frying or fattening additives) are good for a well-balanced diet. Choosing a particular potato depends on personal preference and individual dietary needs. If you require more vitamin C at the moment, choose sweet potatoes. If your iron requirements are higher, go with regular potatoes. Otherwise, moderate intake of both will suit your needs well.
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