Learn why sweet potatoes should be a staple

Sweet potatoes are significantly better than their regular counterparts. They have a lower glycemic load and are packed full of more nutrients and fibre. We'll go over all of the benefits and help you eat more.

Learn why sweet potatoes should be a staple

Understand why sweet potatoes are the best

  • Sweet potatoes are extraordinarily rich in carotenoids, which are orange and yellow pigments that play a role in helping the body respond to insulin.
  • As unlikely as it may seem, coffee and sweet potatoes have something in common: they're both rich in the natural plant compound chlorogenic acid, which may help reduce insulin resistance.
  • You may not think of vitamin C when you think of sweet potatoes, but they're actually an excellent source. That's important when you're battling high blood sugar, because the vitamin's antioxidant powers may help keep arteries from being damaged. Vitamin C may also help fight heart disease and complications of diabetes, such as nerve and eye damage.
  • Resist the urge to add maple syrup and butter to your sweet potatoes. They're sweet enough on their own and you'll only ruin their nutritional perks.
  • A recent study found that among almost 2,000 men, those whose diets were richest in beta-carotene and vitamin C — two nutrients plentiful in sweet potatoes — were more likely to survive prostate cancer than those whose diets contained little of the two nutrients.
  • Another study found that women who ate lots of foods rich in beta-carotene (like sweet potatoes) reduced their risk of breast cancer by as much as 25 percent.
  • Eating sweet potatoes is a smart move for you if you have high blood pressure. That's because they're rich in potassium, a mineral known for bringing pressure down. You'll get more potassium from a sweet potato than you will from a banana!

Learn how to cook with sweet potatoes

Don't relegate sweet potatoes to candy-like dishes served only at Thanksgiving and Christmas. These spuds have a lot to offer all year round.

  • When buying sweet potatoes, look for ones that are heavy for their size with intact peels (no decay). If you're going to cook them whole, buy potatoes that are similar in size so the cooking time will be the same. Peel or scrub thoroughly before cooking.
  • Sweet potatoes will keep for a month if you keep them cool but not cold (don't put them in the fridge).
  • Bake a sweet potato just as you would a white potato and serve alongside your favourite protein dish (beef, chicken, fish, pork, or lamb).
  • If you're hooked on regular mashed potatoes, try using half regular potatoes and half sweets.
  • For a perfect food trifecta, top mashed sweet potatoes with trans fat–free margarine, then season with cinnamon and sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  • Grill sweet potato slices to serve with pork loin chops.
  • Place sweet potato slices on top of your next casserole. Cover with foil to keep them moist and bake as usual.
  • Add sweet potato cubes to soups and stews 30 to 45 minutes before the dish is done.
  • Cube cooked sweet potatoes and use in stir-fries.
  • Make roasted sweet potatoes seasoned with thyme for a savoury side dish. Combine olive oil, minced garlic, thyme, salt and coarsely ground black pepper in a bowl. Arrange peeled, sliced sweet potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and brush with the mixture. Bake at 220°C (425°F) until tender and slightly brown.

Sweet potatoes really are nutritionally superior, and you may find that you actually prefer them once you make the switch. Use this guide as motivation and try some of the cooking suggestions. You might just be surprised.

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