The Secret Carb That's Actually Super Healthy

Mary Peffer
PHOTO:

lovefeast.com

You read that right: There’s a healthy carbohydrate out there you’ve probably been overlooking. And it can be eaten in the form of fries—sweet potato fries, that is. Looks like one foodie dream just came true.

So what exactly is it that makes the sweet potato so much healthier than its evil twin, the white potato? Let’s start by looking at this glycemic index from Harvard. Sweet potatoes rank a 70 compared to Russet potatoes at a whopping 111 and white potatoes at 82. (Yikes, 87, if they’re instant). As an excellent source of vitamins A, B1, B2, and phosphorus, sweet potatoes can reduce blood pressure, inflammation, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and the risk of developing certain types of cancer.

As if these health benefits weren’t compelling enough, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey from 2012 revealed that less than 2% of adults get enough potassium—an electrolyte that helps maintain the body’s balance—in their diet. Shocking, since just one sweet potato meets the daily recommended requirement.

Finally, the fiber in sweet potatoes helps us feel full longer. So you may lose a little weight when eating sweet potatoes simply due to the lack of snack cravings you'll face later.

If you want to start cooking with sweet potatoes but have no idea where to begin, check out Lyniece North Talmadge’s book, “The Sweet Potato Lover’s Cookbook: More Than 100 Ways to Enjoy One of the World’s Healthiest Foods.”

Do you already incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet? Share your favorite recipe below!

Opening Image: Terry Richardson

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