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The differences between sweet potatoes and potatoes

Published on September 27, 2017 at 17:45 / Updated on June 7, 2022 at 12:39

Although it’s a vegetable, the potato has long taken a back seat. In fact, many people have classified it, incorrectly, as a "starch" to be limited as part of a healthy diet. But the sweet potato has arrived in recent years, to the delight of many. It is versatile, economical, nutritious and easy to prepare, and deserves a spot on our plates. What’s the difference between the two kinds of vegetables? Let's take a closer look. 

Sweet potato

It is distinguished by its orange flesh. In addition, it contains 10 times more vitamin A than a regular potato. Carotenoids, more specifically beta-carotene, give it its colour. These are antioxidants recognized for reducing the risk of certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases.

Keep the peel 

The majority of fibre is found in the peel of fruits and vegetables. This is why we gain by keeping it and suddenly, reducing food waste. This is the case for apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes, in particular. Make sure you scrub them well and wash them under plenty of cold water first. Here’s an interesting fact: a large proportion of the antioxidants in sweet potato are found in the peel. 

Glycemic index 

This index ranks foods on a scale of 100 according to the increased blood sugar they provide. For people suffering from diabetes or at risk of developing it, it’s recommended to choose foods with a lower glycemic index. These include barley, bulgur, pasta, parboiled rice, legumes and sweet potatoes. The potato, on the other hand, has a medium glycemic index (new and white varieties) and high (russet and French fries). In summary, the sweet potato is of particular interest to people seeking foods with a low glycemic index. 

Are potatoes bad for your health? 

You simply have to pay attention to the way it’s prepared. A fried potato doesn’t have the same nutritional profile as a roasted potato. This is because the potato contains fibre, potassium, vitamin C and more. A steamed potato seasoned with herbs and spices is the perfect complement to a meal of fish or chicken and other colourful vegetables. 

Cooking tips: 

  • Replace some or all of the potatoes with sweet potatoes in your shepherd's pie. 
  • Cook diced sweet potato in the oven and add it to your salads. 
  • Mash sweet potato and add it to your dessert recipes. 
  • Turn them (potatoes or sweet potatoes) into delicious fries, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary. The peel will add a bit of crunch

In short, although they have a unique nutritional profile, these two types of potatoes can be part of a healthy and balanced diet. There’s no longer any reason to abandon them. On the contrary, it is high time for them to shine, to the delight of your taste buds.

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