Sweet vs. White Potatoes and What You Need to Know
By Brandon Epstein
I’ve got a confession to make to you, my friend. I am a bit of a superfood addict.
Recently, I have been going through some pretty intense withdrawals living down in Colombia, because I cannot seem to track down a darn sweet potato to save my life!
This is super odd, because they originated down in Central and South America before becoming widely popular around the world.
So… given my situation, I needed to find out if regular white potatoes could suffice as a replacement before I tracked down some sweet potatoes.
Once again, it was time for me to put my researcher hat on and find out the difference between these two foods.
For so long I had heard about how amazing sweet potatoes were due to their low glycemic index and because of how nutrient-dense they are. The research on sweet potatoes was everywhere!
Not to mention they taste delicious. There are so many different ways to cook them, one of my favorite being baked sweet potato fries.
But I couldn’t possibly make my own baked white potato fries and expect them to be considered healthy, could I?
Turns out you can!
White potatoes have not been getting much love as of late, but through my research, I have found a TON of reasons why they deserve a spot on your plate.
At first, this research wasn’t the easiest to conduct. I found out very quickly what the difference was between a yam and a sweet potato, but outside of that, there are over 4,000 different types of potatoes and 5,000 different types of sweet potatoes.
We are dealing with quite a large spectrum here!
Luckily, I found out that my friend Dr. John Berardi and his team have been researching this for a while, giving me some awesome resources that allowed me to break the differences down for you rather quickly.
Below are a few things to consider when choosing a sweet vs. white potato:
What they found was that there were a number of factors that played into how healthy a potato was. One of the most important things was how potatoes are cooked.
To ensure a potato maintains its low score on the glycemic index, you want to boil your potatoes (sweet or white) versus frying them.
Pairing With A Potato
Speaking of how you cook your potatoes, it’s important to make sure you are pairing them with healthy foods. If your sweet potatoes are lathered in marshmallows, they are going to be far worse for you than white potatoes with some salt and pepper. The same can be said for lathering your white potatoes with butter and sour cream versus a sweet potato mashed without any additives.
When looking at nutrient density, the sweet potato definitely has way more Vitamin A content, but aside from that, the two types of potatoes score pretty equally.
Keep in mind, of course, that there are many varieties of the two, so we are working for an average here.
Finally, something very important to consider is how you portion your potatoes. White potatoes usually have more calories, so it’s important to take a look at your serving size and if you are going to choose white potatoes over sweet potatoes, simply eat a smaller portion.
So as it turns out, both potatoes are super healthy for you and deserve a spot on your plate. The key is playing by the rules I outlined above. Too much of anything is not good for you. Potatoes that have been processed are probably not going to be very good for you. But overall, potatoes (both sweet and white) are healthy for you if you are consuming them in the right way.
They are whole foods. They are rich in nutrients. They will keep you full for long periods of time.
Win. Win. Win.
After doing my research on sweet vs. white potatoes, I have gotten over my white potato phobia and I suggest you do the same. Eat up and enjoy my friend.
Brandon Epstein is a former college football player, turned professional fitness model and serial entrepreneur. These days he spends his time helping people look great and feel awesome over at ZenDudeFitness.com. He can also be found hosting the Zen Dude Fitness Podcast where he’s always looking for new ways to make fat loss fun, simple and efficient for everybody.
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