Spud Spat Which Spud is Superior? White Potato vs Sweet Potato

Which Potato Should You Grow?

They’re both wonderful foods with rich histories.  We prepare them both in a staggering variety of different recipes.  We eat them boiled, roasted, mashed, dried, baked, fried, and in salad.  But which one is better for us to eat?

An epic battle is shaping up – it’s White Potato vs Sweet Potato.  You won’t find this fight on pay-per-view – but you can watch all the action in the infographic below from the Cleveland Clinic…

cleveland-clinic-infographic-white-potatoes-vs-sweet-potatoes

More White Potato vs Sweet Potato Action

You probably don’t need to say goodbye to your Irish potatoes entirely…

Even though the Cleveland Clinic called the fight for sweet potatoes, the decision is not unanimous.  The folks over at Precision Nutrition made their own infographic, and according to them, this fight is an even draw.  They make the case that the white potato is just as nutritious and beneficial as the sweet potato (except for vitamin A, of course).

What I really like about this other infographic is that they put plenty of emphasis on the way the potatoes are prepared.  As they point out, you should really consider the prepared dish as a whole, and if you smother your potatoes in cream, butter, and cheese – you’re really not just talking about potatoes anymore.  You can see Precision Nutrition’s infographic here: Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: Which are really healthier? [Infographic].

Do you know your potato history?  Check this out: The Banana-pocalypse… It’s Coming

marjory-wildcraft-how-much-land-do-you-need


 

Thanks to the Cleveland Clinic for putting together the featured infographic about white potatoes vs sweet potatoes.  You can find their original post here: White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes: Which Are Healthier? (Infographic)

And thanks to the folks over at Precision Nutrition for the other infographic about white potatoes vs sweet potatoes.  You can find their original post here: Sweet potatoes vs. potatoes: Which are really healthier? [Infographic]

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Michael Ford


Contributor

Michael has been the resident editor at The [Grow] Network since January 2015. Michael grew up in St. Louis, where he became a lover of nature - hiking and fishing his way through the Ozark hills in Missouri. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, and he currently lives in Austin. Michael has background experience in small-scale farming, commercial growing, vegetable gardening, landscaping, marketing, and software development. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild in 2013.


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32 Comments
  • Anita

    There is at least one problem with the Cleveland Clinic’s comparison. Sweet potatoes do NOT contain vitamin A. They do contain carotenoids, especially beta-carotene. Carotenoids can convert to vitamin A, but it’s not very efficient. One important point to keep in mind is that the conversion needs FAT to take place…vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. So put that butter on your sweet potato! The only direct sources of vitamin A are animal foods such as butter, egg yolk, cod liver oil, animal liver and other organ meats, and shellfish.

    http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/vitamin-a-saga/

  • Great I will stay with my kenbecks for over 50 years. I don’t like sweet pot.
    tried them one time ,about 35 years ago. not for me or my family.
    silverbill

    • Cindy

      Yes, my sister-in-law thought that because she had only tasted S.P. covered with sweet, sticky stuff. Then she ate them baked with salted butter and is now hooked. If you can extend the season in the northern regions, they are an awesome addition to your diet.

  • slowgrow

    Hooray! I am an enthusiastic sweet potato fan. I was surprised about the “warning” about making sure you have seen potatoes and not yams. I recall reading that almost all of the “sweet potatoes” grown in the USA are actually yams. I am preparing a large part of our vegetable garden for sweet potatoes. I purchased organic sweet potatoes and have cut them in half and placed cut side down in about an inch of water to start the vines. I hope I am not working with yams. However I enjoy the sweet potatoes I buy so if they are in fact yams I will keep enjoying them and find another source for the nutrients yams are missing.

  • angelo

    I know the Cleveland Clinic. And I’m not surprised by their old-school demon-ization of fat in the diet and ignorance of white potato’s high Glycemic index.

  • Jackie

    I wrote Marjorie a note and she asked me to place what I wrote her here for all to see.
    Up until I was 6 years old my father would tell me “Try it you’ll like it” when there was something new that I didn’t want to try. That is until the Thanksgiving when I was 6. Then my mom got tired of it and told me to try the sweet potatoes so he would shut up. I tried them and Loved them and my father was gloating about until about 3 minutes later and I started to go into anaphylactic shock. The last thing I remember is my mom telling my dad “Don’t you ever tell her to try something again if she says she does not like it”! I know they got me to the hospital just in time. So the white potato is the only potato I eat. Of course I can’t eat a lot of them because they contain Sulfites and I am allergic to Sulfites. I assume the reason I had such a allergic reaction to the sweet potato is because they probably also contain a larger amount of Sulfites or sulfates or sulfonamides in them.
    I would like to give everyone a caution. If you are always having joint pain and unexplainable pain in the muscles they start reading labels. If it says Sulfate, Sulfite or sulfonamide in the ingredients stay away from them. Also stay away from foods that are GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and do this for at least a month. In fact I stay away with anything with the prefix sulf. They are all a form of sulfa and they are one of the most underdiagnosed allergy in the world. Since they are so prolific they are causing people to be allergic to the antibiotic and anything with the other ingredients. I was always in pain until I got a doctor who was oriental and she was checking my allergy list and she told me to stay away from anything with the sulf prefix. They were all interrelated to sulfa. When I watch my diet (and that can be hard sometimes) I do really well, but if I even eat one thing with one of the additives forget it I am in pain for days.

  • Sandy

    My husband became curious about the relative glycemic index and load of white vs sweet potatoes. Linked below is a chart that confirms the winner is STILL sweet potato! Wish they were easier to grow up north, ’cause we love them but they remain a big treat at an organic produce shelf price.
    http://www.dietandfitnesstoday.com/glycemicIndexList.php?section=Potato

  • Gordon Osser

    Why are white potatoes so condemned for diabetics? Seems as if the two are pretty equal in the effect of carbohydrates.

    • Shasha

      How fast blood sugar rises…just limit the amount of potatoes and eat with protein/fat. Oregon grape root/Cr/Mg/Alpha lipoic acid may help blood sugar and exercise/sunlight. No gluten/dairy/sugar/GMO …taking vitamins/good oils/minerals…probiotic…LDN…detoxing may help Diabetes. Gluten may hurt minerals absorbed in intestines and may hurt glands. People who lived a long time on the earth ate sweet potatoes, but both are good. I eat carrots for beta carotene.

      This is what I do that helps me.:
      No gluten/dairy/soy/sugar/GMO/food with a label etc. and vitamins/good oils/ LDN and detoxing help me. Vit D3 5000IU, zinc 50mg if detoxing, 2000mg fish oil, 2000mg evening primrose oil. 2000 mg lecithin, Phosphatidylserine/DMAE, krill oil, CLA, Coenzyme Q10, Rhodiola, Mg citrate 400mg, Vit C, 5000mcg of biotin, Nature’s Plus- Source of life multiple, HCl and Now brand- Super enzymes with meals, dairy free probiotic, Vit B12 methylcobalamin shot/spray/under the tongue kind/intrinsic factor kind, MTHF folate, coenyzme Q10, rhodiola, may help brain/body/thyroid/depression/immune system and more. Gluten is wheat/barley/rye/corn…oats has gluten with avenin…and there is a small amount of gluten in rice. GMO corn/soy/canola oil may hurt. Amour thyroid maybe needed since gluten may made antibodies to the thyroid. Coenzymated B vitamins far from synthetic kind make make me calm.

      Sunlight (helps the immune system and helps to heal the gut lining),exercise, organic food, good water..not tap water, cooking by scratch pure food….. no food in a box/bag/premade/label/restaurant which may help avoid hidden gluten. Certified gluten free food may have 20ppm of gluten…too much. Nuts not sold in the shell/meat basting/some spices may have hidden gluten/food with a label and lotion/make up etc. One restaurant cooks special for me…rice/veg/tea/extra mushrooms (no meat since the woks may have MSG/gluten in them).

      EDTA/DMPS IV chelations from an Alternative doctor, 600mg of cilantro, organic sulfur, Now brand- Detox support, Far Infrared Sauna and more may help detox. Hair tests show good minerals and heavy metals. Heavy metals can block thyroid and other chemical reactions in the body/brain.

      LDN may help block hidden gluten/heal the gut lining and help the immune system, but the Celiac diet is still needed. 100% no gluten..no hidden or microscopic gluten may help. Cutting back on gluten or cheating by eating gluten hurts the immune system. It may take 1 1/2 months to heal the gut lining after getting hidden gluten. HCl and enzymes with meals and gluten enzymes help me. There are now gluten enzymes also a person may use that may help, but LDN helps block gluten in the air/on the skin and all day long.

      Amour thyroid has some T3 and Calcitonin. Synthroid is only T4..may not convert to T3. Zn/Se/enough iron/strong probiotic may help convert T4 to T3 for thyroid.

      Alternative doctors/chiropractors/acupuncturists and more may help with health/vitamins etc.
      Books: No grain No Pain, Wheat Belly, Grain Brain, Dangerous Grains and The Autoimmune Fix and more explain Celiac. Peter Osborne/Tom O’Bryan on Facebook/Youtube.

      Longer version:
      http://articles.mercola.com/members/Shasha/default.aspx

  • Patricia

    I put raw sweet potato in my smoothie everyday. A few slices go in and it tastes great.

  • Last year, I grew some purple sweet potatoes. Bumper crop. Supossed to be higher in everything , being purple. However, not my favorite. Very dry. Even loaded with butter. I will go back to regularly sweet poatoes and some red and white potatoes.

  • Cindy

    Oh, how, you forgot a very important difference. Much of sweet potatoes sugar comprises inulin, a very paleo and heart healthy form that stabilizes blood sugar instead of causing it to spike. This is an important consideration for diabetics or anyone with blood sugar issues.

    On top of that, sweet potatoes have very nutritious greens, providing another addition to your diet. DON’T eat the deadly plant matter of white/red potatoes, which are a member of the nightshade family.

    • Emily

      The greens of white potatoes contain the natural form of arsenic that prevents mites in birds when they eat it. I grew potatoes in my peafowl pen and they never had mites. The natural arsenic is not as poisonous as the mineral one.

  • Glenn

    I grow sweet potatoes but use them for pie to replace pumpkins easier to use and just as good , I grow regular potatoes also, Don’t see one vs the other I use both, Would like them to do a article on the difference of home grown Corn lets say blue or red Indian corn to grind vs store brand corn meal

  • David Bell

    Small comment. In New Zealand, “sweet potato” is called kumara. It is actually a variety of convolvulus. Here, in late spring, shoots (grown from old roots, sprouted in water) planted after all chance of frost is over. We have three varieties. Purple, yellow and orange. My favourite? Purple. Note. They need a hard layer about 9 inches (22cm) down, otherwise, here, they head for China.

    • Korri

      Have you tried growing them in really large pots? I get a reduced, yet decent yield in central Illinois (z5) with a somewhat short growing season (June- October). We have a really bad problem wit shrews and chipmunks here. They burrowvin thecgarden, and eat the roots before you can get them harvested…

  • Can someone compare nutritionally the various colors of sweet potatoes? Is there a nutritional difference among the yellow, orange, white and purple?

  • Beth

    If you think you don’t like sweet potatoes, try them hash browned and topped with a little sour cream or yogurt. A radically different taste than with brown sugar and marshmallows.

    • Emily

      STEAM the sweet potato (the darker orange flesh potato) cut in half lengthwise, skin on. Put some butter on low heat in a large nonstick fry pan, and let the potato, still skin on, slowly cook in the butter. You don’t need a lot of butter. The skin will then shed itself, and the potato will be charred some (which is good), and you won’t need to put a thing on it. Cut in chunks, and put tooth picks in the chunks as a party food.

  • Beth

    Slowgrow,
    I thought I remembered the opposite, that it was yams that we don’t see in this country. Found this:

    http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com/sweet-potatoes-101/difference-between-yam-and-sweet-potato/

  • anne

    Eat white potatoes raw, or cooked then cooled. The fiber count changes DRAMATICALLY and puts them ahead of sweet potatoes and it also slows the digestion of the starch making them freindlier for people with glycemic issues. Check out the website “vegatable pharm ” for details.

    • Loucile

      You can rinse your potatoes several times in very warm water. It will take some of the starch out. Then of course if you mash them you pour off more starch.

  • d. henry Lee

    No, I don’t like sweet potatoes. That’s why I have two rows growing in my garden. Problem is the rabbits like the vines. I wonder how rabbits stewed tasted with sweet potatoes?

  • gerald C

    My daddy grew 6 acres sweet potatoes for 4 years every time I tried to eat them we were going to hospital within 2 hours. So I can not eat sweet potatoes. But do eat white potatoes fixed anyway possible and have not problem.

  • K

    Thank for linking to the article again! I love both kinds of potatoes for different reasons. I don’t think sweet potatoes would go well in a beef stew, and I don’t think whites would go as well baked with apples, raisins, and maple syrup. Let’s call them both great! I’ve grown whites many times, and am now trying growing sweets for the first time (growing inside- we have snow on the ground) I didn’t know you could eat the greens, too – bonus! 🙂

  • Shasha

    It depends on the soil in how many nutrients the potatoes have. I need lower sugar and need iron. I enjoy white potatoes since they full me up and so I am not full. I boil them and put sea salt/pepper/chia on them. Eat the peel. My nails are stronger with the potatoes and skin shiny due to them. I am trying to eat potatoes instead of organic brown rice which has gluten/arsenic. Carrots help me with beta carotene….skin turns orange eating them.

  • Jacqui

    I eat both kinds of taters and grow my own. I’m allergic to sulfites too, but not to sweet potatoes but shellfish and aspirin. I grow alot of my own food, have for decades because I don’t trust what you buy. We have organic farmers markets but they are expensive and not always good. Anyway I love both kinds of taters and don’t really go by the so-called experts as they are always changing their opinion. Eat close to the Mother earth, trust your instincts and you will be fine.

  • Sweet potatoes are good to fight/prevent against cancer because they contain a lot of Vitamin B2!

  • Anne

    Does anyone have a good way to grow sweet potatoes? Some say they start them in the house. Whats the method?

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