Given a white potato and a sweet potato, which do you eat?
Well, first things first, which of these two potatoes do you enjoy eating most? Or, do you prefer a different type of potato depending on the meal it is accompanying? Either way, the good news is that both types of potato are wonderful choices and can be included in a healthy diet.
A white potato refers to Russet, red skin and Yukon gold potatoes. And according to the USDA, 100 grams of a white potato has 95 calories, 21.4 grams of carbohydrate and 2.3 grams of fiber, while 100 grams of a sweet potato has 86 calories, 20 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. White potatoes are especially high in vitamins B and C, and sweet potatoes, in vitamin A.
In reviewing these nutrition facts, the only significant difference between a white and sweet potato is the type of vitamin they are a good source of. Lucky for you, we need all B vitamins and vitamin C and A. So again, which type of potato do you prefer eating? Enjoy a serving of that type of potato.
Of course, most are not eating a potato raw, so we must also consider the preparation and cooking methods used on the potato. Potatoes can be boiled or baked, roasted or mashed, fried and so much more. Of course, these cooking styles will impact the nutritional value of the potato as well.
My guess—you aren’t eating the French fries (white or sweet) because these are a nutritious choice, but rather, delicious. And the extra butter or bacon or brown sugar in your mashed potatoes (white or sweet)? Once again, probably delicious. These food choices then really do not have as much to do with the nutrition of the potato as much as your taste preference and satisfaction. That’s a whole other topic for completely different post.
In summary, both white and sweet potatoes are foods with carbohydrate. One is high in vitamins B and C, while the other is high in vitamin A. Both have dietary fiber in the peel of the potato. Enjoy both types of potatoes prepared in a heart healthy way with a variety of other foods on the plate to make a meal.
Gretchen Stroberg, RD, LD, CDCES
Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist