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Nutrition of White and Sweet Potatoes

by
author image Erica Kannall
Erica Kannall is a registered dietitian and certified health/fitness specialist with the American College of Sports Medicine. She has worked in clinical nutrition, community health, fitness, health coaching, counseling and food service. She holds a Bachelor of Science in clinical dietetics and nutrition from the University of Pittsburgh.
Nutrition of White and Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes spilling out of a bag on a wood table Photo Credit Roel Smart/iStock/Getty Images

Sweet and white potatoes are hearty and versatile root vegetables that help meet your daily nutritional requirements. They provide energy and carbohydrates needed to fuel your busy life. You'll also get essential dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals from eating potatoes. While these two vegetables are similar in nutrient content, there are few nutritional differences between them.

Calories, Fat and Protein

A small baked white potato or a sweet potato with the skin both provide between 120 and 130 calories. These calories provide energy you need to fuel everyday activities and exercise. Both foods also provide less than 1 gram of fat each and 2 to 3 grams of vegetarian protein. Eating a diet low in certain forms of fat may help to prevent high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.

Carbohydrate Count

Both the potatoes provide 28 to 29 grams of carbohydrate per serving. They also contain 3 grams of dietary fiber, a type of indigestible carbohydrate. Carbohydrates provide energy for your brain and muscles. They do, however, impact your blood sugar, so be careful of your portion when eating potatoes to prevent blood sugar elevation, especially if you have diabetes. Meeting your daily need for dietary fiber by eating potatoes may help to regulate your digestion, lower cholesterol, manage your weight and even prevent certain forms of cancer, according Colorado State University.

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Vitamin Rundown

Both sweet and white potatoes provide you with vitamin C, niacin, folate, thiamin and vitamin B-6. Vitamin C plays a part in forming connective tissues and supporting immune system health. The B vitamins niacin, thiamin, folate and B-6 aid your body in metabolizing energy and keeping your skin, blood cells, brain and nervous system healthy. Sweet potatoes, however, provide roughly 500 percent of the daily value for vitamin A, while white potatoes provide none. Vitamin A helps to keep your skin, eyes and tissues healthy and may play a part in preventing certain forms of cancer, according to Harvard Medical School.

Mineral Survey

In addition to vitamins, sweet and white potatoes provide comparable amounts of the minerals iron, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, copper and manganese. These minerals play various roles in your body, including preventing anemia, maintaining healthy red blood cells, keeping bones and teeth strong, converting food into energy and maintaining nerve impulses. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, many of these minerals are found in the higher concentrations in the skin of the potatoes than the flesh. But be sure to wash the skin of the potato well before baking to prevent contamination with dirt.

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References

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