Superfood Comparison: Sweet Potato vs Regular Potato

Superfood Comparison: Sweet Potato vs Regular Potato

Superfood Comparison: Sweet Potato vs Regular Potato

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By Jemma Besson, RD CDE
Jemma Besson is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator who works for Shoppers Drug Mart®.

I hear it a lot – sweet potato is better than white potato, but is it really? Let’s take a closer look and see how the two compare.

267g baked (Russet)
Sweet Potato
1 cup baked (267g)
254 kcal Calories 240 kcal
7g Protein 5.4g
0.3g Far 0.4g
57.2g Total Carbohydrate 55.4g
6.1g Fibre 8.8g
1% Vitamin A* 1028%
37% Vitamin C* 87%
0.9% Vitamin E* 9.4%
17.4% Folate* 4.0%
5% Calcium* 10.2%
20% Magnesium* 4%
16% Iron* 10.2%
42% Potassium 36%

*Percent of Daily Value

Working through the above chart, we are comparing 267 grams baked white potato to the exact same amount of baked sweet potato. Calorie for calorie both potatoes are similar and there isn not much difference between the total carbohydrate. What about fibre? While the sweet potato does have more fibre, the difference is minimal at only 2.7 grams more. Where the sweet potato really takes over is with the vitamins, bringing in a huge amount of out vitamin A and vitamin C. However, the regular white potato ranks higher in folate, magnesium and iron contents. So far, I am not seeing a clear winner!

As both white potato and sweet potato are carbohydrates, looking at how they affect your blood sugar is another point to consider. Here, we look at the glycemic load (how much a food will raise your blood sugar). Both potatoes fall within the middle to high range of the scale meaning they will both raise your blood sugar. To be clear, this does not mean they need to be avoided! This is where we need to monitor portion size and ensure we pair them with adequate protein, fibre and fats (as recommended we do with all carbohydrates). A great example would be to pair regular potato with salmon and roasted broccoli and cauliflower. As a general rule of thumb, for an overall healthy person, keep your carbohydrate portion (this includes both sweet and regular potatoes) to one cup total per meal. Of course, this may vary depending on your medical health and should be individualized to your specific need by working with your dietitian.

The goal of this article was to highlight that there is no need to fear the white potato! Both white and sweet potatoes, when eaten as part of a balanced diet, provide a wonderful array of nutrients while contributing to the satiety and deliciousness of any meal.

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