Sweet potato is the more nutritious cousin of the common white potato. Does that mean you can make fries out of them that would be healthy or, at least, healthier than regular French fries? Let’s look at both side by side.
What are the differences?
The key difference here is the main ingredient. Sweet potatoes have nearly twice as much fibre and a lot more vitamin A than regular white potatoes. Overall, they carry more essential micronutrients at a similar calorie count of about 80 kcal. Sweet potatoes are the more nutrient-dense option, so you could call them healthier. Let’s see what happens when you fry both types of potato.
View this post on Instagram
What's the difference between sweet and white #potatoes? #sweetpotatoes have nearly twice as much #fiber, a LOT more #vitamin A, and pretty much more of every #micronutrient. #whitepotatoes are less #nutrientdense but still a good way to get your #carbs. And both have a unique taste. I think its a matter of preference in the end. Which ones would you choose if they cost the same? #FoodDispute #KnowTheDifference
What are the similarities?
As the name suggest, both of these varieties are fried, which means both will be full of oil and dense with calories. They will both also contain some potentially harmful compounds. Acrylamide, for example, which is formed when starchy foods are fried as a result of a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and certain sugars.
How do they compare?
Sweet potato fries are slightly higher in calories than French fries which makes them less desirable for those trying to limit calorie intake. But they still carry more vitamin A and other micronutrients, giving them the nutritional edge.Regular consumption of French fries has been linked to increased risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure in observational studies. We don’t have the same data for sweet potato fries but that is likely because French fries are a much more popular side-dish that’s also more often consumed in the context of a fast food meal – served with a dip on a side of a burger and sugary soda. Sweet potato fries, having very similar composition, might very well carry the same risk depending on the quantity and context people eat them in.
Go for baked potatoes instead
As you can probably tell by now, neither kind of fries is substantially better. The impact on your health will be dependent rather on the frequency and quantity of fries you eat than on the type of potato used. If you want to enjoy potato that’s truly different in nutritional profile, and quite possibly healthier too, go for baked potatoes.
View this post on Instagram
How you prepare your food matters! Boiled #potatoes and #fries just aren't the same thing. Fries from #fastfood restaurants have almost 4x more #calories, 2x more #carbs, and a LOT more #fat than #boiled potatoes. That's why they are so much more #palatable and #addictive. Surprisingly, they don't have the highest #glycemicindex because the added fat slows down digestion of carbohydrates. The best way to prep potatoes is to boil them or have them #steamed. But even if you make #baked potatoes at home (that have a high glycemic index) they will still be very filling and satiating. They likely won't make you #overeat as much as fries! #homecooking #ftw #FoodDispute #KnowTheDifference
Baking produces fewer acrylamides than frying and there’s no need to use oil which also makes it a less caloric food. Baked potatoes are also less palatable than fries for most people so it’s easier to avoid overeating.