Ingredient Focus – Sweet PotatoJul 27, 2017
Ingredient Focus: Sweet Potato
A closer look at foods that have become buzzwords for better health and looking fitter
Are they really worth all the hype? If yes, how can we benefit the most from them?
Sweet potato has caught a lot of interest in several circles, especially of people going Paleo, or going free of refined-carbs.
There are claims of sweet potato having more vitamins and a lower GI than white potatoes, and because of its colour (not white), is deemed an acceptable Paleo food to have regularly.
Let’s take a look at whether they really deserve publicity as sweet as they are!
What Is It?
A tuber or root vegetable, slightly related to popular white potatoes. They originate in either Central or South America and have spread around the world as an important food source, with many countries counting it among their vital dietary staples.
It became very useful as a steady food source because of its hardiness in different weather conditions that usually cause problems with other crops. It’s more recently gained notoriety as an ideal carbohydrate source for Paleo enthusiasts to replace processed ingredients that they want to avoid.
Claim to Fame
The rich orange colour of sweet potatoes is attributed to the high amount of Vitamin A and beta-carotene found in them, exactly the same as carrots.
Beta-carotene, known as a precursor vitamin, is what is used by your body to make Vitamin A.
Many populations in Africa who were encouraged to grow and consume sweet potatoes were found to have significantly less incidences of Vitamin A deficiency (Coghlan, 2012).
Additionally, sweet potatoes have significantly lower carbohydrates and calories per 100g than most cereals.
A food that can taste like dessert but with none of the guilt and double the nutrition power?
The Simple Change
Any recipe which calls for white potatoes can be swapped with sweet potatoes.
Give some dishes an interesting look, with sweet potatoes ranging in colour from red to purple and pink!
Add some kind of fat when preparing sweet potatoes, like butter or olive oil, as this helps you really get the full benefit of the fat soluble Vitamin A.