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Potatoes Vs Sweet Potatoes

Do you know that potatoes were a life-saving food source in early times because the vitamin C abundant in them prevented scurvy?  

There are more than 4000 varieties of potatoes and 1000 varieties of sweet potatoes grown around the world. Interestingly, though they share the same nomenclature, potatoes and sweet potatoes come from completely different families!

Sweet or regular, potatoes are versatile, popular and the most available plant-based foods in the world. They can be cooked as a main dish, a snack or even a dessert depending on your choice and taste. They are both low-calorie and low-fat foods and can bring a lot of health value to the table says registered dietician Beth Czerwony, in Cleveland Clinic’s Digestive Disease and  Surgery Institute. Both foods are rich in fibre, carbohydrates, potassium, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin C. The varieties with coloured flesh have higher amounts of beta carotene and anti-oxidants. And for those who are watching their sugar levels, sweet potatoes may be a better option as they have lower glycaemic index than the regular potatoes.

Unhealthy cooking practices makes a potato butt of unkind criticism. Here are some cooking suggestions if you are 

  • Bake, don’t fry your potato wedges, wafers or fingers
  • Keep the skin on. Not only do they enhance the taste, they give you the required dietary fibre too
  • Sprinkle pepper, chilli flakes and choice of herbs instead of dollops of cream, butter and cheeses
  • Substitute milk and cheese/cream with plant-based milk and plant-based mayo to your mashed potatoes. Check out for plant-based products

Try this healthy snack:

Cook sweet potatoes with skin. Peel and dice them. Add olive oil to the pan, toss the cubed potatoes till they are golden brown. Sprinkle a dash of sweet paprika, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Toss well and enjoy it as a side dish or as a snack.

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