Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts

“My dream is to become a farmer. Just a Bohemian guy pulling up his own sweet potatoes for dinner.” –Lenny Kravitz

I probably should have posted this article before Thanksgiving.

However, I thought about it after my family decided to opt for sweet potatoes instead of traditional mashed potatoes this Thanksgiving. We made baked sweet potato wedges and they were a big hit. Sweet potatoes are one of my favorite dishes around the holidays, or anytime really. The bonus, of course, is that sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. The following are some sweet potato nutrition facts that should make anyone want to include them in their diet.

There are plenty of good reasons why sweet potatoes are known as a “superfood”.

Sweet potatoes are low in calories, but filling creating excellent satiety value.

A medium sized sweet potato is about 100 calories. Compare eating an entire sweet potato to eating one of those tiny “100 calorie snack packs” you see in the supermarket these days. The latter would not fill you up at all. You could eat 3-4 sweet potatoes for less than a few hundred calories! This is amazing bang for your buck, calorie-wise. Selecting low-calorie foods with a high satiety value is a good strategy for staying lean while keeping hunger at bay.

Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and antioxidents.

A medium sweet potato contains about 4 grams of fiber, or about 15% of the recommended daily intake. As I mentioned in a previous post on fiber, most adults struggle to consume the recommended daily amount of 25 grams. Including high-fiber foods like sweet potatoes in your diet will go a long way. Sweet potatoes are among the highest in flavenoids of all root vegetables. Flavenoids are plant compounds that contain powerful antioxidents such as beta carotene and Vitamin A. This is one reason why sweet potatoes are commonly referred to as “superfoods”.

Here is a good illustration of the satiety index, which shows why good carbs like sweet potatoes are superior to refined carbs,

Sweet potatoes are a source of low glycemic index carbs.

Being relatively low on the glycemic index (GI) scale, sweet potatoes will release glucose more slowly into the bloodstream. This, in turn, causes a lower, steadier insulin response over time which is favorable. Carbs are often demonized, but by sticking with lower-GI carbs such as sweet potatoes and by strategically timing your carb intake during optimal windows of consumption such as in the morning or after workouts, you can virtually eliminate the effect of fat gain.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for baked sweet potato wedges:
•Preheat oven to 350 degrees
•Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with extra virgin olive oil cooking spray
•Cut a medium sweet potato into wedges about ½ an inch thick (leave the skin on)
•Place the wedges in the middle of the baking sheet, drizzle 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil on them, and add a little salt, pepper, and cinnamon
•Mix the wedges around until they are all coated evenly with oil and seasonings
•Spread the wedges out on the baking sheet and space them evenly with a couple inches between each one (this helps keep them from getting too soft)
•Bake for about 30 minutes flipping once halfway in between

My first ever batch of baked sweet potato wedges… they didn’t turn out too bad.

If I can make these, anyone can!

So there it is. Here is a great tasting food that is easy to prepare and extremely healthy. The sweet potato nutrition facts don’t lie! They really are a “superfood”. I am partial to the baked sweet potato wedges, but whole baked sweet potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes are also good options. Anyone else have any good suggestions on how to prepare them?

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About Alykhan Gulamali

I'm an introvert, number nerd, food junkie, personal finance enthusiast, and fitness blogger. I specialize in fat loss and stress-free fitness for busy people.

Comments

  1. I’ve always been a fan of sweet potatoes. I think I read once that one of the actors in the Twilight movies (I’ve never seen them so I can’t tell you who) used to eat a raw sweet potato after his training. I don’t know how effective this is but it just highlights how sweet potatoes are far superior to regular ones.

    Great recipe!
    Srdjan – Bloom to Fit´s last blog post ..How to Strengthen Ankles for Life

  2. @ Srdjan,

    Yeah that’s interesting. I’ve never eaten them raw before. I also read that Matthew Morrison uses a sweet potato only diet a couple of days before an event to get extremely lean.

  3. I love me some sweet potatoes. If you like the taste I suggest checking out delicata squash. They’re in season now and are a great source of plant starch too.
    Darrin´s last blog post ..The Power of Go-To Meals

  4. @ Darrin,

    I’ve never heard of delicata squash, but I’ll check it out. If it tastes anything like sweet potatoes, I’m sure I’ll be a fan!

  5. This is great! I love sweet potatoes…I am Irish after all, so I’m genetically about 40% potato. I much prefer sweet potatoes to regular potatoes for all the reasons you mention – antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamin A and of course high in fiber. I love ‘em post work out.
    David Gowing – Advanced Health & Fitness´s last blog post ..5 Health & Fitness Myths

  6. Great facts about sweet potatoes…makes me wish I liked them! Unfortunately I just never acquired a great taste for them…even the french fry version doesn’t appeal to me.
    Dave – Not Your Average Fitness Tips´s last blog post ..Intermittent Fasting to Lose Weight: Results from John Berardi

  7. @ David,

    I actually like them post workout also. There aren’t many healthier sources of carbs out there.

    @ Dave,

    Oh well, can’t win them all. Reminds me about how I wish I liked avocados more since I’m always hearing good things about those!

  8. sweet potato fries are delicious i must say, and also when they are mashed. Not as nice as white potatoes but definitely a better nutrition profile.
    Michael @ somebodylied.com´s last blog post ..5×5 Workout Routine- The Middle Man Between Strength Reps Vs Muscle Mass Reps

  9. @ Michael,

    I haven’t tried making mashed sweet potatoes, but I’ve had them at restaurants before and they are really good.

  10. What a great post about sweet potatoes!
    I also agree with Michael that they are great when they are mashed.
    I personally using a great recipe that I have learned in the 31 Day Fat Loss Cure guide, I will try to share with you this recipe later…
    Thanks for this great post

  11. To make them even tastier try sprinkling a bit of cinnamon on them when you take them out of the oven.

  12. @ James,

    Sounds good! Thanks!

    @ Niko,

    I sprinkle cinnamon on them before I bake them, but I’ll try that tip out as well. Thanks!

  13. You’ve got me craving them now… Sweet potato wedges are one of my favorites, gotta love the extra nutrition they bring along too!
    Ahmed´s last blog post ..Should a Food Lobbyist be Deciding What You Eat?

  14. @ Ahmed,

    For sure! I get cravings for them too every once in a while. Fortunately, more holiday food is just around the corner!

  15. Sweet potatoes are indeed contains powerful antioxidants. That was my dinner yesterday and I also include that on my daily diet. :D

  16. I like sweet potatoes mixed with regular potatoes and hash browned. The sweet potato adds a richness (but not too rich) to the hash browns. It’s great with a little onion. Of course, hash browns are not for someone who is trying to lose weight. You can only eat this once in a great while.
    Bill Brikiatis´s last blog post ..Planting Potatoes in Fall

  17. @ Bill,

    I’ve never tried hash brown sweet potatoes. Sounds good, though!

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