“All potatoes are nutrient-dense and healthy for you,” Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition in New York, says. Sweet potatoes are lower in calories and carbohydrates than the average potato. They also contain higher levels of vitamin A, an antioxidant that helps you maintain healthy skin and vision. According to the USDA, one potato provides more than 100% of your recommended daily allotment of vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin C and B6, which is important for your brain and nervous system. They are also high in potassium and magnesium, which help regulate blood pressure.
Eating one sweet potato provides four grams of fiber which can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes or high cholesterol.
Are sweet potatoes carbohydrate-dense?
Sweet potatoes have more carbohydrates than non-starchy vegetables like broccoli. (One half cup of sweet potatoes contains about 13 grams of carbohydrates, while the same amount of broccoli has about 3 grams.)
That may be just another reason to embrace them—not fear them. “Sweet potatoes provide a great source of energy and are especially beneficial to people with an active lifestyle.,” says Ansari.
Zeitlin assures that so long as vegetables are not fried they can contribute to a healthy diet and offer a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
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What are the healthiest ways to eat sweet potatoes?
When buying sweet potatoes, opt for the purple ones. Research has found that the deeper the color of a sweet potato, the more healthy it is. And don’t feel like you have to peel it. “It’s best to eat potatoes with the skin on, as that is where a lot of fiber is.” says Zeitlin. It is also where a majority of the antioxidants are.
The best way to cook them is? Steaming, roasting, baking, and boiling sweet potatoes all have different ways of preserving nutrients. You can also crumble them and use them as a topping on things like tacos, salads or pizza; thicken them into smoothies with soymilk and protein powder; use them as a base for soups such as lentil soup; or cook it up into chips to dip in hummus. Mashed sweet potatoes make for a great dessert that is rich in antioxidants.
Add maple syrup or honey and sprinkle it with walnuts, Ansari advises. Failure to boil sweet potatoes can lead to a nutrient loss, so be careful not to overdo it. Remember that a serving size of sweet potatoes is about the size of your cupped hand.