By: Pallavi Vathiar. Practicing Clinical Nutritionist, Mumbai.
Sweet potato is considered as a healthier alternative of potato.
However, they have gained a reputation of being a fattening vegetable and are considered a high-calorie food and have a lot of starch in them. But, that’s not true. In fact, sweet potatoes are considered as a healthier alternative of potatoes as they are rich in Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Potassium, Fiber.
Reasons Why Sweet Potatoes Are Best Option For Weight-Loss
- Sweet potatoes have lesser calories than what potatoes have.
- Sweet potatoes with skin is loaded with fiber. Hence it tends to absorb water, making you feel fuller, further helping you to stick to a calorie-restricted diet.
- Sweet potatoes are rich in important nutrients, which can help you stay healthy as you lose weight.
- They are considered as food with low hypoglycemic index that do not cause an instant spike in blood sugar levels, further helping maintain weight efficiently. Sweet potatoes have a low GI value of about 46, but when boiled for just 8 minutes, they have a medium GI of 61.
- Sweet potatoes have many antioxidants inducing zinc super oxide, catalase and sporamins. These antioxidants protect your body from inflammation.
- The high water content in sweet potatoes are of a great help. Consuming sweet potato helps re-hydrate your cells and boost metabolic activity in the body (1).
A study was conducted in which obese and overweight participants were provided with White Sweet potato as a meal replacement for eight weeks. At the end of 8 weeks, a 5% decrease in body weight, body fat, body mass index, and mid-arm circumference and a 3.5% decrease in glycaeted hemoglobin levels.Hence it is been concluded that white sweet potato can be a meal replacement for individuals in weight loss and thus has commercial application in the food industry (2).
The Secret Slimming Effect Of Sweet Potato Waste
Proteins in waste water from sweet potato processing reduce fat levels and weight. Throwing out huge volumes of waste water that contains sweet potato proteins, it was been hypothesized that these could affect body weight, fat tissue and other factors. sweet potato protein was provided for 28 days_ liver mass and fatty tissue. Along with the levels of the fats cholesterol and triglyceride, as well as leptin, which controls hunger, and adiponectin, which regulates metabolic syndrome were measured.
It was observed that sweet potato had significantly lowered body weight and liver mass. The results suggest that sweet potato helps activate appetite suppression and control lipid metabolism (3).
- Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place. They are more perishable so it is best to use them within a week of purchase.
- Before cooking, scrub the skins well as these are edible and nutritious.
- Pierce the potato with a fork 4-5 times, which allows steam to escape.
- In addition to the root, sweet potato leaves and shoots are also edible and commonly eaten in some countries.
- Boiling sweet potatoes retains more beta-carotene and makes the nutrient more absorbent than other cooking methods such as baking or frying.
- Up to 92% of the nutrient can be retained by limiting the cook time, such as boiling in a pot with a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes.
- Cooking with the skin on further helps to minimize leaching of nutrients including beta-carotene and vitamin C (4).