White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes
Both of these tuberous vegetables are considered to be good sources of fiber, but sweet potatoes tend to contain fewer calories while white potatoes tend to be more cost-friendly.
The Starchy Truth: While both potatoes are considered starchy vegetables, literature indicates that sweet potatoes are less likely to contribute to large spikes in blood sugar - something that could be of concern for individuals struggling with blood sugar control. One medium sweet potato provides more than a day’s worth of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C and about 105 calories.
One medium white potato has about 170 calories. Although they are higher in calories, they also provide a good source of vitamin C, potassium and vitamin B6. Sadly, white potatoes have developed a bad rap in the food world due to how they are prepared. Think greasy French fries, deep-fried potato chips or loaded baked potatoes. But remember the same holds true for sweet potatoes: if it’s a deep-fried sweet potato fry, it has just as much fat as a white potato fry.
The Verdict: Incorporate both into your diet. Sweet potatoes are a good alternative to colorize your meal. White potatoes often cost less and can be more widely found. Since they offer different vitamins and minerals, including both ensures variety in your diet.
Tip: When shopping for sweet potatoes, remember that yams are not the same thing! They are the cousin of sweet potatoes and, for the most part, provide fewer nutrients than sweet potatoes.
Julia E. Salomón, MS, RDN, CD; Community Health Improvement Leader, Affinity Health System
Courtney Immel, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Dietetic Intern - Affinity Health System