Today we’re comparing two comfort foods: sweet potatoes vs potatoes.
Many people have wondered, “Are Sweet Potatoes Healthier than Potatoes?” This is because there can be quite a difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes. If you are one of the people that have been wondering which option is healthier and what the differences are, you are in luck. We have some answers for you.
What is a Sweet Potato?
Sweet potatoes are considered a root vegetable. They are sweet and starchy and grown and consumed across the world.
They come in a wide variety of colours, including white, purple and orange and can also range in size. These delicious root vegetables are also incredibly rich in minerals, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants, making them very good for you.
What is a Regular Potato?
Regular potatoes are also considered a root vegetable, however they differ from their sweeter counterpart in many ways.
Regular potatoes come in shades of yellows, browns, and reds. Their flesh can either be white or yellow. They are distantly related to sweet potatoes but they are from another family.
Try this Sweet Potato Breakfast Casserole.
Sweet Potatoes vs Potatoes
Below is where we’ll compare the potatoes vs sweet potatoes and lay out the differences between them.
Are Sweet Potatoes Healthier than Regular Potatoes?
Many people believe that regular potatoes are not nearly as good for you healthwise as sweet potatoes, but there are some comparable nutritional values that make them somewhat equal.
We compared 200g of baked in skin regular potatoes with 200g of baked in skin sweet potato and the results where quite interesting.
(Per 200g baked in skin, no salt added)
|Regular Potato (*)||Sweet Potato (*)|
|Protein||5.0 g||4.0 g|
|Fat||0.2 g||0.3 g|
|Carbs||42.4 g||41.4 g|
|Fiber||4.4 g||6.6 g|
|Vitamin A||20.0 IU||38433 IU|
|Vitamin B6||0.06 mg||0.06 mg|
|Vitamin C||19.2 mg||39.2 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.0 mg||1.4 mg|
|Vitamin K||4.0 mcg||4.6 mcg|
|Thiamin||0.2 mg||0.2 mg|
|Riboflavin||0.0 mg||0.2 mg|
|Niacin||2.6 mg||3.0 mg|
|Folate||56.0 mcg||12.0 mcg|
|Betaine||0.4 mg||69.2 mg|
|Potassium||1,070 mg||950 mg|
|Calcium||30.0 mg||76.0 mg|
|Magnesium||56.0 mg||54.0 mg|
|Phosphorus||140 mg||108 mg|
|Sodium||20.0 mg||72.0 mg|
|Sugar||1.2 g||13.0 g|
|Glycemic Index Rating||Varies from 58 – 111||Varies from 44 –94|
As you can see regular and sweet potatoes are somewhat similar when it comes to their protein, calorie, and carbohydrate content. Regular potatoes provide more in terms of potassium.
Sweet potatoes are incredibly high in vitamin A, much more so than their regular counterparts. There are some very large nutritional differences between the two.
Both regular potatoes and sweet potatoes are also loaded with several other beneficial plant compounds. Both types of potatoes also contain other beneficial plant compounds, that help to make them more nutritious for consumption.
When it comes to sweet potatoes, especially the purple and red varieties, they are known to be antioxidant-rich. Meaning they are helpful when it comes to fighting cell damage and keeping your body safe from free radicals.
Glycemic Index of Regular and Sweet Potatoes
When it comes to different types of potatoes, their glycemic index also differs. Foods with a Glycemic index of 70 or higher can cause your blood sugar to increase faster than when compared to foods with a medium GI (56-69) or a low Glycemic index (55 or less).
The GI can greatly depend on the type of sweet potato or the cooking process. They can have a GI of anywhere from 44 – 94. Boiled sweet potatoes tend to have a much lower glycemic index than the baked ones due to the way the starches change during the cooking process.
When it comes to regular potatoes, the Glycemic index can also differ. For example, baked russet potatoes have a GI of 111 and their boiled red counterparts have a GI of 89.
At the end of the day, both varieties of potatoes can be consumed in a healthy way, however, the sweet potato is far superior when it comes to the lower glycemic index, and their antioxidant content.
I’m curious. Which do you prefer? Sweet potatoes or regular potatoes?