Yucca, also known as cassava, is a root vegetable that is grown in South America and other regions with subtropical climates. The root of this plant is starchy and is prized in some areas because it is a rich source of carbohydrates. Although yucca root can be a healthy food and may be a staple in some cultures, it's not an ideal diet food, as it is high in calories.
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Yucca is a poor diet choice because it is high in calories. Each cup of yucca contains 330 calories, 16.5 percent of the 2,000 suggested as a total daily intake for adults. Although you can eat high-calorie food when dieting, it limits the amount of food you can eat in a day. A better choice might be boiled potatoes, as 1 cup contains 118 calories. If you ate one cup of boiled potatoes rather than 1 cup of yucca each day, you'd save 1,484 calories in a week. This is enough to lose nearly half a pound.
Yucca root is low in fat, as each cup contains only 0.6 g. This is beneficial, as yucca is free of saturated and trans fats, which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. However, fat can be beneficial for dieting because it aids in nutrient absorption and can provide feelings of fullness.
Yucca is rich in carbohydrates; each cup contains 78 g. Although carbohydrates are beneficial for providing energy, restricting your carbohydrate intake can be a good dieting strategy. According to a study from the May 2011 issue of "The Physician and Sportsmedicine," low-carbohydrate diets can be more effective for fat and weight loss when used in conjunction with an exercise program.
While restricted-carbohydrate diets can be beneficial, some carbohydrates are helpful for weight loss. Dietary fiber is beneficial because it promotes satiety, so it can help you control your appetite. Yucca has 4 g of fiber in 1 cup, about the same as an apple.
Yucca is low in protein, with 2.8 g in each cup. Protein helps your body build and repair essential tissues, but it can also aid in dieting. According to research published in the May 2010 issue of "Diabetes Care," high-protein diets can enhance weight and fat loss compared to lower protein diets.