You probably already know how important it is to eat a rainbow of colors. You want the greens you find in broccoli and leafy greens like spinach. You want the reds and purples you can find in beets, purple cabbage and eggplant. And of course let’s not forget the oranges which can be found in carrots and the delicious sweet potatoes.
Many people who are on a low carbohydrate diet make the mistake of eliminating this super food. It’s true that standard white potatoes are considered a starchy carb. However, the sweet potato shouldn’t be grouped in this category. It’s not a starchy villain and is instead an extremely healthy food.
Unlike an Idaho or Russet potato, sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index is a measure of how quickly your blood sugar levels rise after you eat a particular food. Eat a piece of candy, for example, and your blood sugar levels will spike very quickly. The same is true for rice, white flour, potatoes and other foods. High blood sugar levels are dangerous. They can lead to metabolic syndrome, weight gain, diabetes and many other chronic conditions.
Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index. They don’t cause a spike in blood sugar levels nor do they cause systemic inflammation in your body like starchy carbohydrates do. In fact, the sweet potato actually has anti-inflammatory properties. That is to say, they help your body fight and reduce inflammation. It’s this inflammation that causes heart disease, high blood pressure and a large number of other debilitating and deadly conditions. But that’s not all that’s great about sweet potatoes.
The Many Nutritional Benefits of Your Super Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes contain more than 30% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. They also contain high levels of contain vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, B vitamins, potassium and iron. And if your doctor told you to get more fiber in your diet you can’t go wrong with a sweet potato, which provides approximately 15% of your recommended daily fiber.
Sweet potatoes are part of a healthy diet and if you’re vegan or vegetarian then adding them to your diet is one of the best things you can do for your body. Sweet potatoes can be baked just like a standard russet.
They can be sliced thin and grilled or baked if you enjoy chips. You can even make sweet potatoes fries by slicing your potato and baking it in the oven with a little sea salt.
Finally, let’s not forget one of the traditional Thanksgiving side dishes, mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato casserole. Substitute the brown sugar in this traditional recipe with a bit of agave to keep the glycemic index down and you’ll have a dish the whole family will love.