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Sweet Potato vs White Potato

Are white potatoes good for you?

On today’s episode of Live Lean TV, I’m comparing the sweet potato vs white potato, and answering the following question: are white potatoes good for you?

Lets be real.

It’s no secret that most “white carbohydrates” like white bread and pasta are not the healthiest options for you.

Here on Live Lean TV, I share a lot of recipes with sweet potatoes, but what about white potatoes?

Are all white carbohydrates bad for weight loss?

You’ve probably heard the saying, white is dead, and you should focus on carbohydrates that contain the colors of the rainbow.

Yes, your plate should look like a rainbow, but that doesn’t mean all white foods should be avoided.

White refined foods like bread and pasta should be limited, but certain white whole foods can be healthy and full of nutrients.

Healthy white carbohydrates include:

  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Cauliflower

These white carbohydrates are full of phytonutrients, vitamins, and trace minerals.

In fact, garlic and onions contain essential nutrients that are not found abundantly in many other foods, including: allicin, chromium, quercetin, and other inflammatory protective nutrients.

Cauliflower is also loaded with fiber, minerals, vitamin C, and other healthy compounds found mainly in cruciferous veggies like broccoli and cabbage.

Lastly, mushrooms are very high in antioxidants.

Sweet Potato vs White potato – calories and macronutrients

Now this leads me to the comparison of a sweet potato vs white potato.

Lets compare 100 grams of sweet potato vs white potato:

Sweet potato calories and macronutrients (100 grams):

  • Calories: 90
  • Protein: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g (fiber: 3g)
  • Fat: 0.1g

White potato calories and macronutrients (100 grams):

  • Calories: 92
  • Protein: 2.3g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g (fiber: 2.2g)
  • Fat: 0.1g

So from a calorie and macronutrient standpoint, when comparing sweet potato vs white potato, they are very similar, although sweet potatoes contain more fiber.

Sweet potato vs White potato – micronutrients: vitamins and minerals

What about the micronutrients?

The biggest differences are sweet potato dominates when it comes to vitamin A and beta carotene, and they also contain more vitamin C.

White potatoes contain more folate and potassium.

Sweet potato vs White potato – glycemic index and glycemic load

The real issue with potatoes occurs with how it is prepared and cooked, as this affects the potatoes glycemic index and glycemic load.

If you haven’t heard about the glycemic index, the glycemic index and glycemic load refer to how certain foods affect blood sugar and insulin production in your body.

The lower the glycemic index and glycemic load, the less affect it has on blood sugar and insulin.

This is important since when your blood sugar is on a constant roller coaster of sugar highs and lows, it can cause you to eat more calories.

Therefore, foods with lower glycemic index, may make you feel fuller, longer.

Boiling vs steaming vs baking vs frying potatoes

However, boiling or steaming a potato will affect it’s glycemic index differently than if it is baked or fried.

Even though white potatoes have a higher glycemic index and glycemic load, the cooking method can significantly increase the glycemic index and glycemic load of sweet potatoes as well.

Although a boiled sweet potato has a low glycemic index and medium glycemic load, when you bake it for a long period of time, the glycemic index and glycemic load becomes very high.

Since a lot of the micronutrients and fiber are found in the skin, eating with the skin on can help slow the insulin and blood sugar rise.

Other factors can also help control blood sugar and insulin levels, and reduce the negative effects of some high glycemic foods, such as food combining.

Healthiest way to prepare your potatoes

If weight loss is your goal, the best way to cook potatoes is by boiling or steaming them.

However, if you’re eating your potatoes in your post workout meal, baking them can be beneficial as this is when it may be beneficial to eat a higher glycemic food.

Just don’t deep fat fry them, as a deep fat fried french fry is no longer a potato.

Bottom line on sweet potato vs white potato

Both the sweet potato and white potato are very comparable from a calorie and macronutrient standpoint.

However the only real difference is the micronutrient make up.

The few things that stand out for the sweet potato is it’s higher in vitamin A, vitamin C, and fiber.

Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index and glycemic load, however this is obviously affected by how you prepare the sweet potatoes.

Stick to boiling and steaming your potatoes if your goal is weight loss, and feel free to bake them after your workout.

So feel free to eat both sweet potato and white potatoes.

If you like these food comparison videos, you’ll love our series on our Live Lean TV YouTube channel called Food Wars.

Here’s a link to the full playlist.

Thanks for watching and keep Living Lean.

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