Let’s start by clarifying a doubt that I was also intrigued until recently: sweet potatoes and sweet potatoes are the same , a food of American origin that Columbus brought to Spain after his expeditions and that took root in all those territories where its cultivation is possible. Currently the largest production in Europe is in the province of Malaga.
And even so, until a few years ago not everyone knew or had ever eaten sweet potatoes. This has changed recently because in the world of photographic plates for Instagram and superfoods, this is one of the most recommended and popular foods.
But, beyond a single letter in its name, what differentiates the potato from the sweet potato? Is one healthier than the other? Let’s analyze it.
Nutritional differences between sweet potato and potato
It is absurd to establish with pinpoint precision the nutritional values of a food because there will always be variations taking into account the variety, the portion and the way of cooking. To make this comparison we are going to follow the steps of this Cleveland Clinic article, which calculates those values starting from a roasted potato and a medium sized sweet potato, including the skin and without added condiments.
According to his calculations, the potato has a higher caloric intake (130 calories compared to 90), slightly more carbohydrates (29 versus 24 grams) and less sugar(2 grams vs. 7). The protein intake is similar (3 and 4 grams respectively) and fiber is the same (2 grams in both cases).
Both foods have a similar contribution of vitamin C and B 6, but they are different in terms of vitamin A : the sweet potato has almost twice as much as the potato. As for minerals, the potato gives us potassium, magnesium and some iron, while the sweet potato has slightly less potassium, more or less the same magnesium but a significant contribution of calcium.
Vitamin A is the main difference
As we can see, both foods have slight differences, but perhaps the most important is in vitamin A , of which the sweet potato has more or less double (22 International Units versus 14 that has the potato). Vitamin A or beta-carotene is also found in other yellow, orange or red foods, such as carrots.
The importance is that in many parts of the world vitamin A is scarce, which causes health problems, especially related to vision. In some countries, children are at risk of suffering from blindness due to a lack of vitamin A. In some of these countries, the cultivation of sweet potatoes is preferred over potatoes, precisely to fill these gaps.
For the rest, it matters more how the kitchens
In other aspects, the sweet potato does not have enough nutritional differences to prevail over one another . It is true that the sugar content of sweet potatoes is higher, but this type of sugars called intrinsic ( as opposed to added sugars ) do not pose a risk to health, but quite the opposite. If you want to expand the information on this topic, I recommend this article by nutritionist Julio Basulto.
In fact, if what worries us is health, more important than the choice between sweet potato or potato is the way we choose to cook them because the caloric intake will not be the same if we eat them cooked or roasted that if we eat them fried, greased with butter or with melted cheese and bacon, for example ( here we order you to be healthier except for all the ways to prepare potatoes, but you can also apply them to sweet potatoes).
So if you are hesitating between potatoes or sweet potatoes, stop doubting: both take place in a healthy diet and you do not have to stay alone with one. Of course, cook them so that they are still healthy, roasting or cooking better than frying and controlling the condiments with which you accompany them.