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Skip the French fries and opt for healthier sweet potato fries, with benefits including anitoxidants, beta-carotene, fewer calories and a lower glycemic index
Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, making them a more nutritious option for fries
Although sweet potatoes and yams taste almost identical and are often confused, the two tubers stem from different plant families (sweet potatoes have yellowish flesh, while yams have orangey skin and flesh).
The key difference between sweet potatoes and yams lies in their beta-carotene content – an important antioxidant for heart health.
Sweet potatoes contain 769% of the daily intake value (%DV) of beta-carotene per cup (250 mL), while yams (like white potatoes) provide a paltry 3% DV.
Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index (how much a food raises blood sugar levels), fewer calories per serving and mild anti-inflammatory properties.
Note: Yams and white potatoes do rival sweet potatoes in nutrients like folate, vitamin C and potassium.
Dietitians of Canada has a simple recipe for sweet potato fries – a nutritionally rich alternative to traditional or yam fries.
Calories per 125 g serving: 127; 16 g carbohydrates; 5 g protein; 2.3 g fat.
Originally published in Wellness Matters, Canada Wide Media’s quarterly newsletter on health and wellness.