Myth Bust - Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have stolen the lime light over the regular potatoes recently, especially in the press, them being popular with celebs and hailed as a 'superfood'. This must mean sweet spuds are healthier then? Not so fast...
Potatoes play an important role in our diets, they provide us with energy, fibre (most of which is in the skin!), B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium. White and sweet potatoes currently fall within the 'starchy' section of the Eatwell Guide and like other starchy root vegtables like cassavaare, they are not classed as 1 of your 5 a day, according to the WHO.
Sweet potatoes and white potatoes are very similar when it comes to their mineral and vitamin content. Whilst the sweet potato is an amazing source of vitamin A, the white potato (providing they haven’t been stored too long) are a great source of vitamin C. Both also contain a great mix of phytonutrients (the name for thousands of natural chemicals found in plants which could help prevent disease). In addition, both white and sweet potatoes contain hormone precursors which can help make us feel happier, calmer and sleepy, according to Nutritionist, Tilly Spurr (head here for a comparison of the nutrient compositions).
To sum up, both types of potatoes are really good for you providing they are not stored for a long time, nor have a lot of extra fat or salt added to them. They are also a valuable energy source and have a high satiety, meaning they make you feel fuller for longer. In essence, one is not more superior than the other and both types of potatoes should be consumed as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
So there we have it, myth officially busted!