February 2, 2023

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Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

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Even with the recent inflation, sweet potatoes continue to be among the most economically sensible purchases that can be made in the grocery store. Sweet potatoes are also delicious and full of fiber and nutrients. These are some of the most convincing reasons for increasing the number of sweet potato calories in your diet.

We take a detailed look at sweet potato nutrition and how many calories are in a sweet potato.

Sweet Potato Overview

The sweet potato, scientifically known as Ipomoea batatas, is a kind of root vegetable that grows underground. Sweet potato nutrition has a high concentration of an antioxidant known as beta-carotene, which has been shown to significantly improve vitamin A levels in the blood, especially in youngsters [1,2,3].

The health benefits of sweet potato calories include their high fiber content, satiating effect, and nutrient density.

They have extremely little protein, almost little fat, and a modest amount of sodium. Nonetheless, they are primarily a source of carbohydrates. Sweet potato calories have a relatively fair amount of sugar, and their sugar is of a natural origin.

They may be prepared for consumption by boiling, baking, steaming, or frying. Although sweet potatoes are most often orange in color, they may also be found in various other hues, including white, red, pink, purple, yellow, and even violet [4].

Yams are the common name for sweet potatoes in several regions of North America. However, this is incorrect since yams belong to a different species than potatoes.

Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts: How Many Calories in a Sweet Potato?

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The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that in a single sweet potato, there are 103 calories. There may be up to 162 sweet potato calories in a large option.

A serving size of raw sweet potato, which is around 3.5 ounces (100 grams), has the following sweet potato nutrition:

  • Carbs: 20.1 g

  • Vitamin A: 709 mg

  • Potassium: 337 mg

  • Protein: 1.57 g

  • Sugar: 4.18 g

  • Fiber: 3 g

  • Water: 77.3 g

  • Fat: 0.05 g

  • Calories: 86 kcal

  • Sodium: 55 mg

  • Vitamin C: 2.4 mg

  • Magnesium: 25 g

  • Vitamin B6: 0.209 mg

How Much Carbs are in a Sweet Potato?

Carbohydrates are the most important source of fuel for physical activity, and sweet potatoes have a long chain of sugar molecules that are referred to as complex carbohydrates.

Consuming foods high in complex carbohydrates, which are broken down more slowly, provides longer-lasting energy that may be used for exercise.

There are 20 grams of carbs in a serving of sweet potato nutrition, of which there are around 4 grams of sugar produced by nature and approximately 3 grams of fiber. It’s a common misconception that sweet potato nutrition is loaded with sugar.

Sweet potato calories glycemic index (GI) might change depending on how they are prepared and which variety is used. The glycemic index value of sweet potato calories that have been roasted may reach as high as 93, in contrast to the GI value of sweet potato calories that have been boiled, which can be as low as 41.

When cooked and peeled, a medium sweet potato yields 27 grams of carbohydrates. Starches, which account for 53% of the total carbohydrate content, are the primary constituents. Around 32% of the total carbohydrate content is monosaccharides, which are referred to as simple sugars.

The GI of sweet potato calories ranges from 44 to 96, placing them in the moderate to high range. The GI shows how quickly your blood sugar goes up after a meal. People who have type 2 diabetes should exercise caution while consuming significant portions of sweet potato calories in one sitting since they have a GI that is on the higher end.

Compared to other cooking methods like baking, frying, or roasting, boiling results in the lowest GI values [5].

Starch in Sweet Potato Nutrition

It is common practice to classify starches into one of three groups depending on how easily they are absorbed. The following is a breakdown of the carbohydrate content of sweet potato nutrition:

  • Starch that is absorbed more slowly (9%). This kind is broken down more gradually, which results in a more modest increase in blood sugar levels [6].

  • Starch is digested very quickly (80%). The glycemic index will rise due to this carbohydrate’s rapid digestion and absorption.

  • Resistant starch (11%). This one is not digested and functions similarly to fiber, providing food for the bacteria that are beneficial to your stomach. After cooking, allowing the sweet potato calories to cool for a while might lead to a minor increase in the quantity of resistant starch [7].

3. Vitamins and Minerals in Sweet Potato Nutrition

Beta-carotene, potassium, and vitamin C are all abundant in sweet potato calories, making them an excellent food source. These are the vitamins and minerals that are found in sweet potato nutrition in the most significant quantity:

  • Vitamin B6. The presence of this vitamin significantly aids the process by which food is converted into energy.

  • Vitamin A. Vitamin A from the beta carotene is found in abundance in sweet potato calories. This vegetable has the recommended daily intake of this vitamin in only 3.5 ounces (100 grams).

  • Vitamin C. This antioxidant may shorten the length of a common cold while also improving skin health [8,9].

  • Potassium. This mineral, which plays a vital role in maintaining healthy blood pressure, may also reduce the likelihood of developing heart disease [10].

  • Vitamin B5. This vitamin is sometimes referred to as pantothenic acid, and may be found in some quantity in almost all of the foods we eat.

  • Vitamin E. This potent fat-soluble antioxidant may assist in protecting your body from the harmful effects of oxidative stress [11].

  • Manganese. The body needs this trace mineral for proper development, growth, and metabolism [12].

4. Calories

There are 162 calories in a single big sweet potato (180 grams), with carbohydrates accounting for 90%, protein for 9%, and fat making up the remaining 1%.

5. Protein in Sweet Potato Nutrition

A large baked sweet potato has around 3.6 grams in terms of protein content. Sporamins are one-of-a-kind proteins in sweet potato calories, making up more than 80 percent of the vegetable’s total protein composition.

When the plant sustains any physical harm, it begins to create sporamins, which help the plant recover more quickly and means they may possess antioxidant capabilities. Sweet potato calories are a significant source of protein in many underdeveloped nations, even though they are relatively low in protein [13,14].

6. Fiber in Sweet Potato Nutrition

When they are cooked, sweet potato calories have a relatively high fiber content; a medium sweet potato has 3.8 grams of fiber. Pectin, which makes up between 15 and 23 percent of the fibers, is soluble, whereas cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, which make up between 77 and 85 percent of the fibers, are insoluble [15,16].

Because they make the digestion of starches and sugars more gradual, soluble fibers like pectin may make you feel fuller for longer, cut down on the amount of food you eat, and minimize spikes in your blood sugar. Many health advantages, including lower diabetes risk and better digestive tract function, have been linked to a diet rich in insoluble fibers [17,18,19].

Compared to an ordinary potato, sweet potato calories contain almost twice as much fiber. That’s crucial if you want to lose weight since research has shown that increasing your fiber consumption (women should aim for 25 grams a day) will help you accomplish that.

7. Other Plant Compounds

Sweet potato nutrition, like other nutrient plant-based whole meals, contain a variety of plant chemicals that may have health implications. These are the following:

  • Chlorogenic acid. This particular chemical is the sweet potato calories polyphenol antioxidant that occurs in significant amounts.

  • Beta carotene. A kind of antioxidant carotenoid that may be converted into vitamin A by the body. Increasing the amount of fat in the meal may help boost the amount of this molecule absorbed by the body.

  • Anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have powerful antioxidant qualities and are found in high concentrations in purple sweet potato nutrition.

Notably, the degree to which the flesh of sweet potato nutrition is colored affects the amount of antioxidant activity they contain. Sweet potato nutrition with darker colors, such as deep orange, purple, and red, tend to score higher than their lighter-colored counterparts.

While other plant chemicals may decrease significantly after boiling, vitamin C and certain antioxidants are absorbed more readily from sweet potato calories.

Health Benefits of Sweet Potato Calories

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Sweet potato calories is a bright, nutritious, and substantial vegetable. Including sweet potato calories in your diet may have several health advantages, some of which are listed below.

The high vitamin A concentration of sweet potato calories has made them famous. They do, however, contain a substance known as beta-carotene, a precursor to vitamin A that may be converted into vitamin A by the body after consuming food. This vitamin is most well-known for its role in maintaining healthy eyes.

A diet rich in vitamin A has been shown to lower one’s likelihood of acquiring advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Potassium is a mineral linked to blood pressure, and sweet potato calories are an excellent source of this mineral. Having a low potassium intake may cause high blood pressure. On the other hand, consuming an adequate amount of potassium may help lower blood pressure.

The heart benefits from potassium’s dual actions: it widens blood arteries, which makes pumping blood simpler, and aids in the body’s elimination of salt.

These many systems collaborate to bring the blood pressure down. Additionally, the fiber in sweet potato calories benefits the heart’s health as a whole. In addition to improving digestive health and promoting regular bowel movements, fiber can bind to cholesterol and expel it from the body.

Prevention of Vitamin A Deficiency

A lack of vitamin A may result in damage to the eyes that is both temporary and permanent, and it can even cause blindness in extreme cases. Additionally, it may inhibit the function of the immune system and lead to a rise in mortality, particularly among youngsters and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Because your body can easily absorb beta carotene from sweet potato calories they are an excellent food choice for getting your daily dose of vitamin A. Sweet potato calories are a good source of beta carotene. This antioxidant is critical for maintaining healthy eyes. There is 11.3 mcg of beta carotene in a cup of cooked sweet potato calories.

Taking 15 milligrams of beta carotene daily, in addition to vitamin C, zinc, and copper, has proven to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration.

It has been shown that the anthocyanins that are present in sweet and colored potatoes may help enhance one’s vision. A high concentration of vitamin A is in the blood after eating orange sweet potato calories because they contain a form of beta carotene that is easily absorbed by the body.

Thus, consuming sweet potato calories is an effective way to combat vitamin A deficiency. The flesh of sweet potato nutrition has a greater concentration of the carotenoid lutein than the flesh of other species of potatoes.

The macula, the central visual area of the human retina, has a high concentration of lutein, which has been linked to good eye health. Researchers have shown that lutein-rich foods, such as sweet potato calories, help improve symptoms of diet-related ocular illnesses and disorders.

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May Aid Cancer Prevention and Progression

Cancer, which develops when cells proliferate uncontrollably, is typically linked to oxidative damage to cells. Antioxidant-rich diets, especially those high in carotenoids, have been linked to a reduced incidence of stomach, kidney, and breast malignancies.

According to several studies, the powerful antioxidants found in sweet potato calories may help lessen the likelihood of developing cancer [20,21].

Several studies have been done on the potential benefits of sweet potato calories for the treatment and prevention of cancer. Anthocyanins seem to encourage cancer cells to undergo apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, and are found in exceptionally high concentrations in purple sweet potato calories.

Several types of antioxidant phytochemicals found in sweet potato calories have been demonstrated to slow the growth of cancer cells in laboratory settings. These include phenolic compounds, carotenoids, ascorbic acid, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and resistant starch.

Improved Blood Sugar Regulation

Sweet potato calories have a relatively low glycemic index, making them a good choice for people with diabetes who want to maintain a healthy weight.

Consuming sweet potato calories is a great approach to counteract the effects of eating foods with a higher glycemic index, such as pineapples or spaghetti. Sweet potato calories have more potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C content than ordinary potatoes, and more fiber.

Substituting sweet potato calories for regular potatoes will increase the nutritional content of your meal.

The primary feature of type 2 diabetes is an imbalance in the quantities of sugar and insulin secreted into the blood. People who have type 2 diabetes and eat caiapo sweet potato calories with white skin and meat may improve their symptoms.

It is possible that eating these sweet potato calories might boost insulin sensitivity in addition to lowering levels of LDL cholesterol and blood glucose when fasting. But the information we have now doesn’t support using sweet potato calories to treat type 2 diabetes.

The phenolic chemicals and flavonoids that are found in sweet potato calories have been shown to have an impact on lowering blood sugar levels. Flavonoids aid in the control of blood sugar by increasing insulin production and encouraging glucose uptake by peripheral tissue.

Supports Cardiovascular Health

In addition to their anti-inflammatory properties, the anthocyanins found in sweet potato calories have been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. The extract of purple sweet potato seems to inhibit the production of some pro-inflammatory cytokines [20].

In addition, the fiber included in any vegetable may help lower cholesterol, and the high potassium content of sweet potato calories can help maintain healthy blood pressure levels.

Several studies have shown that lowering one’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease may be accomplished by increasing consumption of flavonoids, which are found in plant foods like purple sweet potatoes [23].

Sweet potato calories are good for your heart because they include antioxidant compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, tannins, anthraquinones, and cardiac glycosides.

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Potential Downsides To Sweet Potato Nutrition

Consuming sweet potato calories is linked to a low risk of experiencing any adverse side effects. If you consume a large quantity of beta-carotene-rich vegetables, such as sweet potato, pumpkins, or carrots, your skin may develop a little orange tint as a result. This is a relatively harmless side effect.

Carotenemia is a rare disorder that causes this pigmentation, which may sometimes be seen in those with it. Carotenemia is not harmful, although it may give the impression of being such, and it should go away on its own if the patient eats a more well-rounded diet with a wider variety of foods.

Eating only sweet potato calories may not be enough to sate your appetite for more than a few hours because of the sweet potato nutrition content and low protein content. To create a substantial dinner out of your sweet potato nutrition, pair it with something that has protein and fat in it.

Oxalates are compounds that may raise your chance of developing kidney stones. Sweet potato calories have a relatively high concentration of these molecules. Those with a higher risk of developing kidney stones should probably reduce their consumption of sweet potato calories.

Although food allergies are not widespread, they may develop at any time in reaction to any meal, including sweet potato calories. Anaphylaxis is a potentially fatal allergic reaction that may cause various symptoms, including rashes, vomiting, and swelling.

Visit your primary care provider for an individual assessment and diagnosis if you have concerns about whether or not you may be allergic to sweet potato calories.

Sweet Potato Varieties

There are primarily two types of sweet potato nutrition, those with a dry flesh and those with wet flesh. Sweet potatoes with dryer flesh have tan skin and flesh that is lighter in color and more significant in starch content. Sweet potatoes with moister flesh tend to have a darker exterior and a more vibrant orange inside.

There are various species of sweet potato nutrition, each of which may be classified under one of these broad categories. Sweet potato nutrition can differ from one another in the nation of their origin and their appearance, size, and flavor.

Although “yams” are often interchangeably with “sweet potatoes,” genuine yams originate from a completely different plant. Despite this, it is not unheard of to see yams listed as sweet potato nutrition in grocery stores around the United States.

Many individuals believe that sweet potato nutrition is a healthier option than ordinary potatoes. Thus they switch to eating sweet potato nutrition instead of regular potatoes. Both species have water, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Notably, sweet potato nutrition may have a lower GI than average and can contain a greater concentration of sugar and fiber.

Vitamin A is produced in the body from beta carotene, which is found in sweet potato nutrition.

Regular potatoes may be more satisfying, but they may also include glycoalkaloids, substances that, in significant enough quantities, might be dangerous. Many people believe that sweet potato calories are the healthier option compared to white potatoes because of their higher levels of fiber and vitamin A.

Healthy Ways to Enjoy Sweet Potato Calories

You should choose sweet potato nutrition which are fresh, hefty for their size, firm, smooth, and devoid of bruises. Be on the lookout for symptoms of decomposition, such as shriveled skin, black blotches, or indentations on the object’s surface.

If you see sprouts on a sweet potato, you can still eat it (just cut out the sprouts). You can always get sweet potatoes at your local supermarket regardless of the season.

Cooking methods for sweet potato include boiling, baking, roasting, grilling, whipping, puréeing, and frying. You may prepare them as a side dish or incorporate them into salads, soups, muffins, pies, or bread. You may give them some heat by adding chili powder, or you can provide them with a touch of sweetness by adding cinnamon and nutmeg.

The microwave oven is an excellent time-saver and may be used to bake sweet potatoes with ease. Even while the exterior won’t be as crispy, the sweet potato calories within will still be excellent. When whipping or mashing sweet potato nutrition, instead of using heavy ingredients like heavy cream, try adding herbs like rosemary and parmesan for a flavorful twist on a healthier dish.

You may also bake sweet potato “fries” with herbs and spices in a hot oven. Consume sweet potato for any meal of the day, including breakfast, lunch, and supper. These ingredients are adaptable, nutrient-dense, and won’t break the bank.

  • Make your breakfast parfait or pancakes more interesting by adding some mashed sweet potato. Include them in a frittata or shakshuka by combining them with eggs.

  • A simple and delicious side dish may be made by coating the vegetables in a mixture of spices and then baking them in the oven. You may even include them into simple salmon dishes prepared in a sheet pan.

  • The star of the show may be sweet potato calories when they are substituted for “meat” in tacos, when they are added to homemade chili, or when they are used as the foundation for vegetarian burgers.

Storage and Food Safety

Sweet potatoes should be kept in a cold, dry, and dark area rather than in the refrigerator. Fresh sweet potato nutrition has a shelf life of around one month or more when stored at a temperature of approximately 55 degrees Fahrenheit.

To avoid the sweet potato calories from going bad, you should aim to utilize them within a week if you keep them at warmer temperatures. Use a vegetable brush and running water to remove the peel off your sweet potato nutrition before you cook them. Use a paper towel to dry the area.

After being sliced or cooked, sweet potato calories should be kept in a container with a tight-fitting lid and placed in the refrigerator. They should be consumed within five days.

FAQs

Here we answer “how many calories are in a sweet potato?” and similar questions.

Are Sweet Potato Calories Good for Weight Loss?

If weight loss is your objective, the way in which you prepare and eat sweet potato calories may either help you achieve your goal or hinder you from doing so. They have a fantastic flavor, are loaded with sweet potato nutrients, and have a high fiber content. This indicates that they may assist you in achieving or maintaining a healthy weight by preventing you from feeling hungry for a longer period of time.

How Many Calories Are in a Whole Sweet Potato?

On average, there are 100 sweet potato calories per serving.

Will Sweet Potato Calories Make You Fat?

Eating sweet potato calories may affect weight loss if it’s your objective. They have a fantastic flavor, are loaded with sweet potato nutrients, and have a high fiber content. The ability to feel full for an extended time suggests they may aid in weight loss and maintenance.

Conclusion

Sweet potato calories are an excellent option for your diet because of their many beneficial properties. They are a great source of beta carotene and many other nutrients since they are subterranean tubers.

One study found that eating this root vegetable reduced blood sugar and cholesterol. In general, sweet potato calories benefit your health since they are low in cost, simple to include in your diet, and easy to prepare.

Related Articles

References:

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This story was originally published November 6, 2022 6:33 AM.

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Shannon Ancrum is a freelance writer specializing in health content. She’s gifted at unraveling complex medical jargon and explaining it to her readers simply and clearly.