Incidentally, yams and sweet potatoes are different. She holds a sports medicine and human performance certificate from the University of Washington, as well as a Bachelor of Science in animal sciences from Purdue University. They differ most when it comes to sugar content (sweet potatoes have more), potassium (yams), vitamin C (yams), vitamin A (sweet potatoes), and beta-carotene (sweet potatoes). The source for the nutritional information above is the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). In order to set it apart from paler-skinned sweet potatoes, producers labeled them “yams.”. Size can vary from that of a small potato to up to 5 feet (1.5 meters). In fact, one 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of sweet potato will supply you with almost all of your daily recommended amount of vitamin A, which is important for normal vision and the immune system (4). The glycemic index (GI) is a value used to measure how much a specific food increases your blood sugar levels. This article explains whether you can safely microwave…. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of nutrients (which is why they are so popular) including a massive amount of beta-carotene, the nutrient that our bodies turn into vitamin A. Many times the names \"sweet potato\" and \"yam\" are used interchangeably in conversation, in cooking and even at the supermarket, but they are really two different vegetables. Sweet potatoes differ from other potato varieties in appearance, taste, and nutrition. They tend to be fluffy and moist and are commonly found in the US. Chan School of Public Health: "Fiber", National Academies of Sciences: "Vitamins and Minerals", Harvard Health Publishing: "Listing of Vitamins", University of California: "Sweet Potato or Yam? This is because it reminded them of true yams, a food staple they knew in Africa. ++++ A few years back, some nutrition enthusiasts decided to figure out whether white or sweet potatoes were “healthier”. Despite its popularity, soy remains a controversial food. Sweet potatoes that are mistakenly labeled yams contain the nutrition data above for sweet potatoes. Their long shelf life allows them to be a steady food source during times of poor harvest (3). Valerie on September 07, 2012: Both names are used interchangeably and often mislabeled in supermarkets. Yams have very low nutritional value when compared to sweet potatoes. 9.4% higher water content per 100g ? Like a regular potato, the tuberous roots of the sweet potato plant are eaten as a vegetable. When sweet potatoes were introduced to America, producers took their cue from the slaves and began calling the sweet potato a yam. Peeling and cooking yams thoroughly will remove any harmful substances (19). Wild yam powder can be found in some health food and supplement stores under various names. ", USDA FoodData Central: "Sweet Potato, Frozen, Cooked, Baked, Without Salt", USDA FoodData Central: "Yam, Cooked, Boiled, Drained, or Baked, With Salt", PARTNER & LICENSEE OF THE LIVESTRONG FOUNDATION. The term “yam” is now more of a marketing term for producers to distinguish between the two types of sweet potatoes. In addition, the darker-skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potato variety was only introduced to the US several decades ago. On the other hand, raw yams are slightly richer in potassium and manganese. A writer since 1985, Jan Annigan is published in "Plant Physiology," "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences," "Journal of Biological Chemistry" and on various websites. Both these vegetables are nutritious and should be included in your regular diet. Sweet potato is a great source of dietary fiber. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. It can also be puréed and used in soups and desserts. Nutritional differences between different types of sweet potatoes, whether orange or lighter in color, are minimal. These are the sweet potatoes that you roast for meal prep, use for Thanksgiving sweet potato pie or marshmallow-topped mashed potatoes, and snack on … The sweet potato is more commonly found in US supermarkets, so as you’d expect, it is used in a wider range of traditional Western dishes, both sweet and savory. Fiber is abundant in both vegetables as well, with yams supplying 6 grams and sweet potatoes 4 grams. Sweet potato has more pantothenic acid. This version is firmer with a golden skin and light yellow flesh. Both sweet potatoes and russet potato are high in potassium. The sweet potato is commonly used to make many Western side dishes such as sweet potato fries and mashed and baked sweet potatoes. They are an extremely robust vegetable. 77.28g vs 70.64g; 4.67% more proteins per 100g? Copyright Policy You may have heard a lot about cleanses or detoxes for psoriasis, but you may wonder whether these methods are effective or safe. Most vegetables labeled as a “yam” in US supermarkets are actually just a variety of sweet potato. We compared 200g of baked in skin regular potatoes with 200g of baked in skin sweet potato and the results where quite interesting. © 2005-2021 Healthline Media a Red Ventures Company. Read more: Sweet Potatoes and Weight Loss. There are distinct differences between a yam vs. a sweet potato. 1.57g vs 1.5g; 2.44x more riboflavin per 100g? Sweet potatoes offer more nutrition than yams, but both are nutrient-dense. Butternut Squash vs Sweet Potato – Which Has A Better Nutritional Profile? Depending on the type, the flesh can range from white to orange to even purple. Chan School of Public Health. Certain types of sweet potatoes, especially purple varieties, are thought to be the highest in antioxidants — much higher than many other fruits and vegetables (13). Why is Sweet Potato better than Taro? Carbohydrates provide your body with sugars, its preferred fuel source, making both yams and sweet potatoes good sources of energy. For example, sweet potatoes have a medium-to-high GI, varying from 44–96, whereas yams have a low-to-high GI, ranging from 35–77 (8). Their flesh is starchy instead of sweet, with a flavor similar to the common white russet potatoes, but with a more fibrous texture. The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. Detailed nutrition comparison for carrots vs sweet potatoes. However, a true yam is a starchy, edible tuber, generally with a drier taste than a sweet potato. In the US, true yams can be tough to find. The GI of a food gives an idea of how slowly or quickly it impacts your blood sugar levels. However, sweet potatoes are a very distinctive-looking tuber. Vitamin C helps your body repair wounds and damaged tissues, and vitamin B6, thiamine and pantothenic acid work to metabolize your food and keep your cells in good condition, according to Harvard Health. Yams have a tough, bumpy sin that is dark brown and textured like the outer shell of a coconut, or like a tree trunk. According to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, one benefit of plant proteins is that they aren't associated with an increased risk of heart disease as many animals proteins are. A 1-cup serving of yams contains 6 grams, while white potatoes have just over 3.5 grams for this same serving size. Purple yams are more commonly found in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines and often used in desserts. They are long and tapered with a smooth skin that can vary in color, ranging from yellow, orange, red, brown or purple to beige. Both sweet potatoes and yams have decent amounts of other micronutrients, such as B vitamins, which are vital for many bodily functions, including producing energy and creating DNA. Your best chances of finding them are in international or ethnic food stores. It is also important to consider the glycemic index (GI) of each. They can be prepared by boiling, steaming, roasting or frying. However, animal proteins are considered to be the highest-quality protein sources. and Yams versus sweet potatoes are botanically distinct, although the terms are often used interchangeably. But when it comes to nutrition, sweet potatoes score much higher. Most all yams in a grocery store are actually sweet potatoes. Chan School of Public Health, Sweet Potatoes Have Almost No Drawbacks, Unless You Have a History of Kidney Stones, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center: "Are Animal Proteins Better for You Than Plant Proteins? In other words, determining which is healthier really comes down to what nutritional content is desired, as well as how the sweet potato or yam is cooked. This article reviews…. The tubers can grow to nearly five feet in length, though. They are imported and rarely found in local grocery stores. Sweet potato nutrition. Yam is richer in fiber and lower in Glycemic Index, Sodium and Sugars than sweet potatoes in nutritional comparison. Both sweet potatoes and carrots are high in Vitamin A, dietary fiber and potassium. Sweet Potato vs. Yam Nutrition. The orange sweet potatoes are still commonly referred to as yams and firmer, lighter flesh ones as sweet potatoes. According to the USDA, one medium baked sweet potato with skin contains 103 calories, 2.29 grams of protein, 0.27 grams of fat, 23.6 grams of carbohydrates, 3.8 grams of fiber and 7.39 grams of sugar This article examines the evidence for and against eating soy. It’s important to remember that this was a small study, and more evidence is needed to confirm these health benefits. The low-fat content of yams and sweet potatoes may help you keep your total fat intake in check. Precautions must also be taken when preparing yams. The terms “sweet potato” and “yam” are often used interchangeably, causing a lot of confusion. In mineral content there isn’t obvious winner, because of extremely high Potassium and Sodium in yam, and fairly higher Calcium and Zinc in sweet potato. Copyright © Although sweet potatoes and yams are considered healthy and safe foods to consume for most people, it may be wise to follow certain precautions. Carrot has more alpha-carotene and lutein + zeaxanthin than sweet potato. Eat sweet potatoes with butter to help this transformation work best. They are now commonly found in the Caribbean and Latin America as well. It is commonly used to make sweet potato fries, an alternative to baked or mashed potatoes. It can be used to make a dough that is served as a side with stews or casseroles. It is easy to assume that sweet potatoes and potatoes are different types of the same vegetable. Taro. To help you compare the overall nutritional value of carrots and sweet potatoes, we put together a handy nutrition facts chart that provides an overview of some of the key nutrients found in these two root vegetables. Often North Americans use the words “yam” & “sweet potato” interchangeably. This article tells…, Vervain is used throughout the world as an herbal remedy due to its multiple beneficial compounds. While both are underground tuber vegetables, they are actually very different. Meanwhile, the health benefits of yams have not been extensively studied. Sweet potatoes are much more common in large North American supermarkets than yams, translating to higher use in Western diets. A few reasons can explain how this mix-up happened. Consider cooking or preparing the yams and sweet potatoes with olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil for a healthy intake of fats in your diet. They belong to different plant families and are only distantly related. Sweet potatoes and yams provide essential minerals, including potassium and copper. Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: A nutritional debate fueled by misinformation, baseless ‘superfood’ obsessions, and carbohydrate phobias. Surprisingly, sweet potatoes are only remotely related to potatoes. They are cylindrical in shape with brown, rough, bark-like skin that is difficult to peel, but it softens after heating. Sweet potato has more beta-carotene than russet potato. If you prefer a sweeter, fluffier and moister texture, opt for sweet potatoes. Yams, in comparison to sweet potatoes, are less sweet and moist, and more similar to the yucca plant in both flavor and texture. Both sweet potatoes and yams contain antioxidants, which are compounds in plants that protect your cells from damage. According to the University of California, sweet potatoes are root vegetables, while yams are tubers — vegetables that form at the base of roots. Yams are starchier than sweet potatoes, and higher in calories. Sweet potatoes are a great source of highly available beta-carotene, which has the ability to increase your vitamin A levels. Mayo is a popular condiment for sandwiches and often used as a base for salad dressings and sauces. This can be very important in developing countries where vitamin A deficiency is common (10). Also, some studies suggest that certain types of sweet potatoes can help improve blood sugar regulation and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes (14, 15, 16). Yams are imported into the USA and Canada from the Caribbean or Latin America. In general, most preparation methods for potatoes and sweet potatoes are healthy, including baking, microwaving, boiling, or steaming, says Adelia C. Bovell-Benjamin, Ph.D., a professor of food and nutritional sciences at Tuskegee University. Both vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, thiamine and pantothenic acid. There is limited evidence that yam extract may be a helpful remedy for some of the unpleasant symptoms of menopause. Cooking and preparation methods can cause a food’s GI to vary. Introduction. Their scientific name is Dioscorea, and they originate in Africa and Asia. Yams are rough, scaly, difficult to peel and very low in beta-carotene. , Yam flour is available in the West from grocers specializing in African products. Let’s take a detailed look at the health benefits of sweet potatoes vs. potatoes. According to the USDA, 1 cup of cubed sweet potato contains: Neither yams or sweet potatoes are a particularly rich source of protein, a nutrient necessary for muscle building and tissue repair. This article…, Plastic is a synthetic or semi-synthetic material that's durable, lightweight, and flexible. However, they’re both nutritious, tasty and versatile additions to the diet. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are less sweet and much more starchy and dry. In comparison, a raw yam contains water (70%), carbohydrates (24%), protein (1.5%), fiber (4%) and almost no fat (5). However, despite the similarity of the names and looks, these vegetables are not even closely related.In this article, we will talk about what other similarities sweet potato and potato share and what sets them apart, with a main focus on health and nutrition. Compared with yams, sweet potatoes are lower in calories and have far more … All rights reserved. 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