Potato vs Sweet Potato
We all know about potatoes, and how important they are for us as an important ingredient in our diet. In fact, in some parts of the world, this tuber is the most important food crop. Potato is one vegetable that is used across cultures and countries as a staple food, and it is the fourth largest food crop after rice, maize, and wheat. There is another vegetable called sweet potato that is not as popular as potato, though it is also used in all parts of the world. There are similarities in the two vegetable, though there are glaring differences also; so much so that it seems unfair to call sweet potato so as it does not even seem to be a distant cousin. Let us find out these differences.
Sweet potatoes are in a different botanical family than potatoes which makes one wonder why they are so named. While both deserve a place in a healthy diet, the two types of potatoes differently taste, have different nutritional values, and different health benefits. Sweet potatoes contain a lot of antioxidants, are of course sweet to justify the name, and have a delicious taste. They are used in many recipes. Potatoes are found in many varieties across the world, but sweet potato is not one of these varieties. In fact, potato is closer to tomatoes and peppers than sweet potatoes. The botanical family of potato is called Solanaceae, while that of sweet potato is Convolvulaceae.
Sweet potatoes are as old as potatoes, though they were brought to America by Columbus in 1492. The most popular variety of sweet potatoes is perhaps Yam that has a moist flesh and has orange color that makes it different from the white skinned sweet potato. Sweet potatoes have many different colors, and they range from white to golden to brown to orange to red skinned sweet potatoes.
One property that makes sweet potatoes special is their ability to not to destabilize blood sugar, despite the fact that they are sweeter than their more famous counterpart, brown potatoes. In fact, it is potato, which is not sweet that is more dangerous from blood sugar perspective than sweet potato. This is because sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber that slows down digestion, and thus, release of sugar.
While both potatoes are rich in vitamin C, copper, vitamin B6, fiber, and potassium, potatoes are ahead in manganese, and sweet potatoes are ahead in iron. It is in the percentage or quantity of antioxidants that sweet potatoes are much ahead of potatoes. This is why sweet potatoes are known to ward off certain diseases such as colon cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc. Nightshade alkaloids that are found in potatoes are absent in sweet potatoes, which is why sweet potatoes do not cause rheumatoid arthritis that is caused by potatoes in some individuals.
What is the difference between Potato and Sweet Potato?
· Contrary to popular misconception, sweet potato is not a type of potato, which is the 4th largest food crop in the world.
· Sweet potatoes contain more sugar than potatoes, but do not cause sugar that is caused by potatoes in some people. The reason behind this is that sweet potatoes contain high fiber content that slows down release of sugar.
· Sweet potatoes contain high amounts of antioxidants that are known to ward of many ailments like colon cancer and diabetes.
· Sweet potatoes are also known to fight rheumatoid arthritis.
· Potatoes are rounder, while sweet potatoes are long shaped
· Sweet potatoes are found in many colors, though the most popular variety is orange colored known as Yam
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