Potatoes – some people fear them, others love them…. i have gone from one to the other.
Potatoes are infact one of the healthiest foods, with so many vitamins and minerals. I was infact told by one of my teachers in university that if you could only live off of 1 food they would choose potatoes because it is such an amazing food, but the best would be to compliment potatoes with eggs because then you get some essential fatty acids (and extra protein) from the eggs!
For so long i feared potatoes, thought they would make me fat. That they were high in calories and a “bad” food…. so wrong i was. I was stuck in the carbohydrates are bad mindset.
So let’s get into nutrition…. potatoes vs sweet potato….. why does is one version i.e sweet potato called a superfood and normal white potato deemed as “bad and should be avoided”?
Also need to mention, in this post i am just talking about plain old potatoes. Not french fries. Not processed and frozen potatoes – but the fresh kind.
Also how you prepare the potatoes does of course impact their “nutritional value”… i.e potatoes fried in lots of oil is a little different than boiled potatoes or potatoes made in the air frier. But everything in balance and moderation, so yes… you can eat deep fried french fries, and you can also eat some salted boiled potatoes – keep it balanced!
I also feel like i need to mention this before i get into the actual comparison. That you really don’t need to think so much about which foods have which vitamins i.e comparing every food you eat isn’t a good idea. As long as it isn’t the only thing you are eating then choose the one you like – the same goes for rice, pasta, which plant based milk you consume or which muesli etc It is better to focus on a larger perspective when it comes to food and not get stuck in the small details like which food has more of which vitamin – unless you are working with nutrition and helping people with specific deficiencies or creating a balanced meal plan!
So… despite sweet potato being called a potato it isn’t actually one, even if it looks and shares some characteristics to normal potatoes! Also, fun fact i always thought sweet potato and yams were the same thing, but turns out they aren’t.
So let’s get down into nutrients and comparisons!!
Based on 100g raw weight. (From dietist.net) -> this just shows how similar they are and that there isn’t much of a comparison as they are both great.
Calorie wise the potatoes are very similar in energy. White potato having a little bit less calories but it is such a little difference that it really doesn’t matter (5-10kcal/per 100g more or less isn’t a big deal).
Carb wise they are very similar as well, sweet potato having more sucrose because they taste sweeter which isn’t so strange! White potatos also have more resistant starch which lowers their GI (glycemic index i.e how quickly blood sugar rises) if the potatoes have been cooked and then cooled down. GI is NOT something you need to think or worry about, only if you have diabetes, then it can be good to know about. However it is better tothink about GL (glycemic load) which takes into consideration portion size of the food. Also that blood sugar is effected by the whole meal and not just single food items.
Sweet potato on the other hand has more antioxidants, primarily vitamin A and vitamin C as well as more calcium than normal white sweet potato.
White potato has more niacin (b3) and folate compared to sweet potato, as well as more iron and magnesium.
Both potatoes are a good source of fiber and contain different vitamins and minerals. They are both nutrient dense and sweet potato is not a “super food” or extra special. Not sure why sweet potato has been deemed as more healthy than regular white potato when infact they are very similar and both types of potatoes are healthy and nutritious.
The take away is…. eat the potato type you enjoy. The best thing is to eat everything in moderation, i.e whether sweet potato has more vitamin A or calcium than white potato really doesn’t matter… it is not the only thing you eat so you don’t need to eat the most optimal nutrient dense food each time. Instead choose the one you enjoy and eat balanced throughout the day and the week!
I don’t want anyone to focus on numbers when it comes to food, however i have had so many people ask me to compare white potato with sweet potato and which one is “Better” so i decided to just answer in a post. If you like more nutritional posts like this, let me know…. Also planning to write a post about super foods once i get the time 🙂
Also have to mention, i love using my nutrition skills and information, hahaha. This is what i LOVE working with and love learning more… it is so easy for me to focus on the small details and go into details i.e start talking aminoacids, monosacharides and disacharids – but that is too much detail for a post like this, hahah. People just want recommendations and guidlines and not numbers and small details!
*Note i have so many pictures of potatoes so i couldn’t even choose which ones to post because all the meals looked so good,hahhaha* 12 ways to eat potatoes XD