Benefits Of Sweet Potato Diet For Weight Loss – Healthy Recipes You Can Try

Reviewed By Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Ionut Ignat, (RDN, PHD, MD)
by Priyanka Sadhukhan , M.Sc. in Food and Nutrition

Sweet potato is a versatile root vegetable that is great for weight loss. Unlike the regular starchy potato, it is loaded with proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals (1). It can easily be used as a substitute for normal potatoes. This vegetable with a high satiety index is scientifically proven to aid weight loss (2). Wondering what makes the sweet potato diet so good for weight loss? Read on to find out.

What Is Sweet Potato Diet?

The sweet potato diet, as the name suggests, requires you to incorporate sweet potatoes into your diet. It also includes other fat-burning foods – like yogurt and vegetables- and high-fiber foods.

How Sweet Potatoes Aid Weight Loss

  • Low In Calories

Sweet potatoes are surprisingly low in calories (1). One sweet potato (5”, 130 g) contains only 112 calories. One of the main factors that affect weight loss is maintaining a negative energy balance. This means you need to consume fewer calories and burn more. Two sweet potatoes have around 250 calories. Therefore, they will fill you up and keep your hunger pangs at bay.

  • High In Dietary Fiber

Sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. One sweet potato (130g) provides around 4 g of fiber (1). Dietary fiber aids weight loss by forming a gel-like mesh in the stomach. This makes you feel full, curbs hunger and prevents you from overeating (2).

Purple sweet potato starch can be used to produce resistant starch (RS) (3). A study conducted on rats found that resistant starch escapes digestion and gets fermented in the gut. This releases short-chain fatty acids that stimulate the secretion of peptide hormones that regulate satiety and help you cut down on your calorie intake, thus aiding weight loss (4).

  • Energy-Rich Good Carbs

Carbohydrates should not be ignored totally. They provide the energy to do various functions (5). To expend the calories you consume, you should have enough energy to walk around, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and work out regularly. If your body is deprived of carbs, you will not have the energy to keep yourself active and healthy.

  • Low Glycemic Index

Glycemic index is a number given to food depending on the glucose spike it causes in the body after a meal. If a particular food causes a high blood glucose spike, it means it has a high glycemic index. This indicates that consuming too much of that food can cause type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance (6).

Though sweet potatoes are sweet, they have a low glycemic index. The glycemic index of boiled sweet potato ranges from 44 to 61, of baked sweet potato is 94, and of roasted sweet potato is 82 (7). So, you can consume them without worrying about blood glucose spikes.

  • High Water Content

Sweet potatoes have a high water content (1). This is another reason they can aid in effective weight loss. Dehydration slows down your metabolism. Consuming sweet potatoes helps rehydrate your cells and kick-start metabolism.

Lastly, a randomized control trial study showed a positive relationship between white sweet potato intake and improvement in anthropometric measurements (body weight, BMI, waist circumference, hip circumference, etc.) (2).

It is clear now why we recommend going on a sweet potato diet for weight loss. Here’s a 3-day diet plan for you to get started.

Sweet Potato Diet Plan For Weight Loss

You should follow this diet plan for not more than 3 days. It is always advisable to eat balanced meals with controlled portions, exercise regularly, and sleep well to lose weight. Consult your dietitian if you want to follow a sweet potato diet under proper supervision.

DAY 1

MEALWHAT TO EAT
Breakfast1 boiled egg + 1 boiled sweet potato + 1 cup green tea
Lunch1 boiled sweet potato + 3 oz grilled fish or chicken + 1 cup yogurt
Dinner1 bowl sweet potato soup

Day 2

MEALWHAT TO EAT
Breakfast1 boiled sweet potato + 2 egg white omelet + 1 cup black coffee
LunchMushroom, greens, and boiled sweet potato salad with light dressing + 1 cup buttermilk
Dinner1 boiled sweet potato + blanched broccoli + 3 oz grilled fish/chicken/tofu

Day 3

MEALWHAT TO EAT
Breakfast1 boiled sweet potato + 4 almonds + 1 cup green tea + 1 banana
LunchSweet potato soup + 1 wheat bread toast + 1 cup yogurt
DinnerMashed sweet potato + blanched peas and cauliflower + grilled mushrooms

It is important to consume home-made food to avoid hidden calories and to lose weight. Here are a few yummy sweet potato recipes you can try.

Healthy And Quick Sweet Potato Recipes

1. Mashed Sweet Potato

Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, boiled
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • A few walnuts for garnish
How To Prepare
  1. Mash the sweet potato in a bowl using the back of a fork.
  2. Add the salt, pepper, sour cream, and olive oil.
  3. Mix everything thoroughly.
  4. Garnish with walnuts and cilantro.

2. Sweet Potato Egg Boats

Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, boiled and halved
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 large tomato, halved
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Scallions for garnish
How To Prepare
  1. Scoop out the sweet potato flesh from the middle part of each half.
  2. Drizzle some olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
  3. Crack open an egg in each sweet potato half.
  4. Sprinkle salt and black pepper on the egg.
  5. Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 2 minutes.
  6. Garnish with chopped scallions and tomato halves.

3. Sweet Potato Chilli

Shutterstock

Ingredients
  • 1 sweet potato, boiled and cubed
  • ¼ cup kidney beans
  • ¼ cup garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, chopped
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish
How To Prepare
  1. Pressure cook the kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
  2. Heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Cook until they turn translucent.
  3. Add in the grated garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute.
  5. Sprinkle in the salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika, and black pepper.
  6. Stir and cook for a minute.
  7. Add a little water and cook for one more minute.
  8. Add in the cooked kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
  9. Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  10. Add in the boiled sweet potato cubes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  11. Garnish with cilantro.

Other Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes

There are also some additional benefits of eating sweet potato which you cannot ignore:

  • Good For Eyesight And Skin

Sweet potatoes are rich sources of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene). Vitamin A is important for your bones, eyesight, and skin (8).

  • Boosts Immunity

Vitamin C is a natural immunity booster. A hundred grams of sweet potato contains about2.4 mg vitamin C (1). Vitamin C is an antioxidant that scavenges the harmful free oxygen radicals, thereby boosting your immunity (9).

  • Antidiabetic And Anticancer Properties

Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants that scavenge the harmful oxygen radicals and prevent DNA mutation. This, in turn, prevents cancer cell growth and proliferation. It is also good for people with type 2 diabetes as it helps control blood sugar levels (10).

Conclusion

Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of nutrition, and the sweet potato diet can help you lose excess weight. Make sure you prepare it the correct way, consume other healthy foods, and exercise regularly. Get your diet plan verified by a registered dietitian and drink a lot of water to maintain hydration levels and lose weight in a healthy manner.

Expert’s Answers for Readers Questions

Can you eat sweet potato on the potato diet?

It is always better to choose sweet potatoes as an alternative to normal potatoes. The resistant starch and fiber in sweet potato make it a perfect food to curb your hunger and provide satiety.

Do sweet potatoes cause weight gain?

No, sweet potatoes are great for weight loss. Ensure that you practice portion control.

Is it OK to eat sweet potatoes on a low-carb diet?

Yes, you can eat sweet potato while on a low-carb diet if it is balanced in a proper way.

Can you eat sweet potatoes every day?

Yes. You can add sweet potatoes on a daily basis. It is a perfect snack to avoid binging and also provide the required fiber and nutrient amount.

Is too much sweet potato bad for you?

Too much of anything is bad for you. Consume no more than 3 medium-sized sweet potatoes per day.

10 sources

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Priyanka Sadhukhan

Priyanka has over 8 years of experience in nutrition and dietetics with a strong research background. She is passionate and obsessed about science and how it can be applied to daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is key to achieving good health. She has also written a book on PCOS and its management for doctors and patients. When she is not working, she loves spending quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and endorses healthier alternatives to junk foods to promote good health.
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