Potatoes are one of nature’s amazing foods and they bring joy to so many people around the World. Without potatoes, there’d be no fries, potato chips, wedges, or mashed potatoes (With gravy on top).
But, there are several different types of potatoes with the sweet potato taking a lot of the spotlight lately. You can do a lot of things with it and it’s just as delicious with its own uses in many dishes and snacks.
And there’s a difference in the nutritional value between regular potatoes and sweet potatoes. But, we want to really see how they match up against each when it comes to nutritional value and the benefits they both provide…
White Potato vs. Sweet Potato Nutrition
Now, russet potatoes are a common type of potato which offers a good source of protein, carbs, and fiber. But the sweet potato actually has 400% more vitamin A, and C, fewer calories, slightly more fiber but 5g more of sugar. And both will essentially spike your blood sugar levels equally.
Potassium is higher in the white potato (750mg) than the sweet potato (542). This mineral is essential for a healthy heart and it balances bodily fluids, acting as an electrolyte. Both do contain calcium which is also necessary for maintaining healthy heartbeats and, of course, it’s essential for bone growth.
Now, both potatoes are a complex carb source, because they contain good fiber for digestive health and because they’re also low calorie, weight loss is easy. Complex carb sources are good because they won’t elevate your blood sugar levels as quickly as foods with more simple sugars do.
And for the gluten-free people, potatoes are an excellent choice of nutrition. But they also contain no cholesterol, fat, or sodium which makes them extra healthy!
Regular potatoes have shown to potentially have antioxidant, anti-obesity, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, and anti-inflammatory properties according to a study. The protein, starch, fiber, glycoalkaloids, lectins, and proteinase inhibitors are said to be the reason for these benefits.
But if you’re wanting the antioxidant properties in a potato, opt for the purple or red ones as research found them to be higher in antioxidant properties than white-colored potatoes.
Now, if you’re looking for the perfect exercise fuel, white and sweet potatoes are a great source of sustainable energy for physical performance since they are slower-digesting and complex. They actually make amazing pre-workout carb sources and are very popular for this very reason.
And for post-workout, sweet potatoes are ideal since they contain more sugars to replenish glycogen stores in the muscle after they’ve been depleted.
Potatoes are a good source of nutrition but to get the most nutrient benefits, try creamer potatoes. They’re small bite-sized potatoes which are very nutrient dense considering they’re only about 20 calories for little spud! Compared to Russet potatoes, they’re more nutritious per calorie and are more minerally dense.
So, both are amazing vegetables which serve a unique purpose. But, the sweet potato would have to win here with the higher vitamin content, fiber, and fewer calories. However, it does have more sugar and that’s why it’s a good food to eat when active and training.
But, as far as food possibilities… it’s a Tie!
Both white and sweet potatoes are great sources of complex carbohydrates and most importantly, they taste incredible!
if you want to have fries or wedges, cook them in a little bit of healthy oil like canola, olive or grapeseed oil. But, baking and/or roasting are ideal ways to prepare your potatoes. And you can do so with both. Just get creative and look up some recipes because there are so many amazing ones out there..
But for more nutritional benefit, try creamer potatoes because each little one only contains 20 calories and as mentioned previously, they have a lot of important micronutrients which will only help you live your healthy lifestyle.
Potatoes make a great side to a meal containing meat and greens, but you can dress them up a little bit too so they are far from boring! But, we hope we dispelled some misconception about the potato in general, as the health benefits are apparent.
And remember, potatoes are not created equally and you should be strategic about which ones you’re putting on your dinner plate!