Sweet potato or potatoes?

To the detriment of the classic white potato, recipes based on sweet potatoes are multiplying on social media. Indeed, with a sweet potato, we can make many different types of recipes, used in both sweet and savoury dishes. At some point in your life, you have probably already consumed the classic potato in one of the following forms: chips, in boiled water, as mashed potatoes, in a gratin dauphinois, in the oven … So let’s have a look now how this competitor can be cooked!

Complex carbohydrates (pasta, rice, bread, potatoes) are essential for the proper functioning of our body, – we should have them in every meal. We should also remember to vary our carbohydrate intake so that we vary the vitamins and minerals and therefore avoid any deficiencies. For the time being, it feels that sweet potatoes have firmly taken the place of potatoes.

These two starchy foods are quite different, but both are interesting in their own way. For starters, sweet potato is significantly more expensive than its rival, but it is much less calorific. However the biggest difference lies in their micronutrient contents: sweet potato contains 7 times more calcium than potato, a little more magnesium, vitamin C, and most importantly, it contains a lot of beta carotene, a powerful antioxidant that gives it its orange colour.

On the other hand, the potato, contains much more folate (vitamin B9) which is essential in the development of the neural tube in the foetus. It also provides more complex carbohydrates and starch while the sweet potato contains more simple sugars, hence its slightly sweet taste.

The vitelotte potato also contains antioxidants, different from those of the sweet potato but just as powerful, which give it its purple to black colour. This potato also reduces blood pressure in people prone to hypertension without inducing weight gain*. The study that led to these results was only conducted on 18 people, but it gives us an insight into the positive effect on health of the antioxidants found in potatoes.

It’s for the very same reason that it is important to vary the colours of your meals. Purple fruits and vegetables have many other properties, such as fighting inflammation or reducing the risk of cancer. You will find these benefits in red fruits, cherries, plums, cranberries, grapes …

These three varieties are rich in potassium which decreases the risk of cardiovascular events.

It is therefore very important to vary the sources of carbohydrates, between starchy foods but also between each variety.

*Vinson, J. A., Demkosky, C. A., Navarre, D. A., & Smyda, M. A. (2012). High-Antioxidant Potatoes: Acute in Vivo Antioxidant Source and Hypotensive Agent in Humans after Supplementation to Hypertensive Subjects. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 60(27), 6749–6754. doi:10.1021/jf2045262

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