More and more I hear that people are switching from white potatoes to sweet potatoes, with the simple explanation the majority of the time being ‘I have heard they are healthier’, or the irrefutable ‘they ARE healthier’.
But what’s wrong with both? What has the white potato done to get such a drastic demonization?
THEY ARE ASSOCIATED WITH JUNK FOOD
Namely with crisps and chips/French fries. Yeah, I kind of think that the fact that both of these things are fried in fat, usually coated over with salt and are very high in calories with little nutritional value back other than a bit of fibre might be the issue. Over consuming such foods on a regular basis will most likely lead to weight gain, full stop. Being overweight due to overeating and under exercising contributes to a significant number of chronic conditions in the body.
Not the poor white potatoes fault, yours!
THEY ARE HIGH GI
This is any given foods ability to raise blood sugar levels in the body, which could be an issue to an individual who is overweight, has diabetes or does not lead an active lifestyle. Potatoes on their own are ranked high GI, and because sweet potatoes are lower GI, this tends to sway peoples argument that sweet potatoes are healthier.
If you eat these foods, as a sole item! Which is unlikely!
By the time that you add a wee bit of butter/cheese, with some protein and vegetables on the plate too, the glycemic load is drastically reduced for both types of potato, making them pretty comparable.
SWEET POTATOES ARE MORE NUTRITIONALLY DENSE
Actually, they are both very close from a nutritional perspective. Both are loaded with vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Sweet potatoes have a higher ratio of vitamin A, C and fibre, but then white potatoes are a much better source of potassium, as well as iron and magnesium. They are both pretty similar in calories, carbohydrate and protein content.
So which one should you eat? Well, how about whatever one you like best, or fancy on any given day?
In an ideal world, both are fantastic foods which are jam packed with nutrients and great for satiety, which should be integrated into a healthy and responsible diet.