Nutrition

Is Sweet Potato Good for Diabetes? Benefits & Risks

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Sweet potato is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables you can get out there. If eaten in moderation, sweet potato can be highly beneficial for you. It could help you manage diabetes and control glucose levels because of its high fibre content. You can eat sweet potatoes daily even if you have diabetes. Sweet potato is also good to taste. This vegetable is filled not only with nutrients but also medicinal benefits.

Nutritional Value

Sweet potato is  high in fibre and rich in antioxidants (beta carotene) and helps in increasing Vitamin A levels.

100 grams of Sweet Potato contains-

  • Water: 77%
  • Fat: 0.1grams
  • Fibre: 3 grams
  • Sugar: 4.2 grams
  • Carbs: 20.1 grams
  • Proteins: 1.6 grams 
  • Calories: 86

Sweet potato also contains

  • Vitamin C
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin E
  • Chlorogenic Acid
  • Anthocyanins

With carbohydrates comprising 37 grams per 100 grams of this vegetable, it is the most significant nutrient with 5 grams of natural sugar and 4 grams fibre. A big baked sweet potato will provide you with around 3.6 grams of protein.

Different Varieties of Sweet Potato

The several varieties of sweet potatoes include:

  • Beauregard: This is the most common type of sweet potato that you might get in the market.
  • Jewel: The colour of this sweet potato is copper skin and has light-coloured orange flesh.
  • Red garnet: This sweet potato has reddish-orange skin and a more savoury taste, but the sweetness is the least in this variety.
  • Covington: This variety has orange skin with dark brown spots and malty sweetness.
  • Centennial: This variety of sweet potatoes has a copper-orange skin.
  • Hernandez: This variety has moist orange flesh and is sweeter than Beauregards.
  • O’Henry: This sweet potato is tan skin-coloured and has a sweet taste. It has a firm, dense, and creamy texture.
  • Jersey: This sweet potato is tan skin-coloured, has white flesh, and is moderately sweet. It has a dry texture and can maintain its shape while getting fried.
  • Japanese white: This sweet potato has dark purple skin and creamy yellow flesh; the colour of this variety tends to get deeper when cooked. They are starchy, moist, dense, and sweet. 

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How do Sweet Potatoes affect Blood Sugar?

Eating in moderation is the key when you have diabetes. This vegetable is high in fibre, antioxidants and minerals. Because sweet potatoes have high carbohydrates, they have the potential to spike your sugar levels to new heights. The fibre of this vegetable helps in slowing down this process. A high GI containing sweet potato, like Orange sweet potato, should be avoided or eaten in minimum quantities because these can boost your sugar levels compared to any other variety. So, is sweet potato good for diabetes? Yes, it is, provided that you plan a proper diet.

Benefits to eating Sweet Potatoes with Diabetes

Sweet potatoes are considered one of the most nutritious foods in tropical and subtropical areas. Due to the high content of fibre and magnesium in sweet potatoes, it is exceptionally beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes; these two nutrients help stabilise blood sugar and help lower insulin resistance. Some varieties of sweet potatoes are beneficial for people who want their obesity and blood sugar control. This vegetable is a good source of protein that makes you complete for a long time. It also has a good amount of iron which helps make oxygen and transport nutrients.

Risks to eating Sweet Potatoes with Diabetes

For people with diabetes, the variety of sweet potato makes little difference in how safe it is to consume. People with diabetes should limit this vegetable. Sweet potatoes should always be eaten in moderation; otherwise, they may harm your health. Sweet potatoes have many carbohydrates in them, which increases blood sugar levels and may harm your health.

Bottomline

Starchy food items like potatoes are usually not recommended for people who have diabetes. But sweet potatoes are often used to treat heart diseases by lowering blood cholesterol levels. Sweet potato is filled with vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals and is considered a healthy diet for people with diabetes. They also help lower blood sugar levels because of the slow-release fibre and carbohydrates. Despite these advantages, having this "superfood" in moderation is recommended. 

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