The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a food advocacy group, calls the sweet potato a vegetable superstar. While the whole sweet potato makes a tasty and healthy accompaniment to any meal, you might also enjoy the convenience of dried sweet potatoes. Like their whole counterpart, dried sweet potatoes are low in fat and a good source of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
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Know Your Calories
As a dehydrated food, dried sweet potatoes are a more concentrated source of calories than a regular sweet potato. A 3.5-ounce portion of dried sweet potatoes contains 378 calories. By comparison, the same serving of a baked sweet potato with skin contains 90 calories. Eating more calories than you need, even from healthy sweet potatoes, leads to weight gain. Knowing the calorie content of dried sweet potatoes can help you track and manage your calorie intake.
Carbs, Protein and Fat
Most of the calories in dried sweet potatoes come from its carb content, but the vegetable does contain some protein and fat. A 3.5-ounce serving contains 87 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein and 1 gram of fat. Dried sweet potatoes are also a good source of fiber, which is a type of carbohydrate your body cannot digest, with 3 grams per 3.5-ounce serving. The recommended dietary allowances say that adults need 21 to 38 grams of fiber a day depending on age and gender. So one serving of dried sweet potatoes meets 9 percent to 17 percent of your RDA needs for fiber. Eating more fiber-rich foods like dried sweet potatoes may help lower your risk of heart disease and help you better manage your weight.
Get Your Vitamins
Dried sweet potatoes are rich in a number of health-promoting vitamins, including vitamin C and folate. One serving contains 82 milligrams of vitamin C and 50 micrograms of folate. Adult men need 90 milligrams of vitamin C a day and adult women 75 milligrams, while all adults require 400 micrograms of folate. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin used to heal wounds and maintain bones and teeth. As an antioxidant, the vitamin C in the sweet potato also protect cells from free radical damage, which may help prevent cancer and heart disease. Folate is a B vitamin especially important to women of child-bearing age because adequate intake helps prevent neural tube defects in babies.
Using dried sweet potatoes to make a sweet potato mash can boost your intake of iron and potassium. A 3.5-ounce serving contains 2 milligrams of iron -- a significantly amount of the 8 to 18 milligrams required by adult men and women, respectively -- and 734 milligrams of potassium, or 16 percent of the recommended daily intake. Iron is part of the protein hemoglobin that carries oxygen to your organs. Eating more potassium-rich foods may help improve blood pressure, according to the American Heart Association.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- Centers for Science in the Public Interest: Rating Rutabagas
- Mother Earth Products: Dried Dehydrated Sweet Potatoes
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Sweet Potato, Cooked, Baked in Skin, Without Salt
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrients: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Macronutrients
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin C
- MedlinePlus: Folic Acid
- Office of Dietary Supplements: Calcium
- MedlinePlus: Iron
- American Heart Association: Potassium and High Blood Pressure
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Recommended Dietary Allowances and Adequate Intakes: Vitamins and Minerals