If you are wondering whether eating sweet potatoes for weight loss is a good idea, you will be surprised. They do help you shed some pounds. This root vegetable, unlike the starchy potato, is replete with fiber, vitamins, proteins, and minerals such as iron and beta-carotene (1). Moreover, sweet potatoes increase satiety and help reduce energy intake, paving the way for weight loss (2). This article brings you a sweet potato diet plan that is apt for weight loss, a few recipes to make at home, and more. Keep reading if you are wondering, “is sweet potato good for weight loss?”
In This Article
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 calorie, low-fat and low-sugar stable despite their name (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, this filling and satisfying root dish will 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 perform various physical, cognitive, and brain 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. The good news is that potatoes contain some healthy complex carbohydrates.
- 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.
Seth, a food enthusiast and blogger, shared his experience of incorporating sweet potatoes into his diet. He writes, “Probably my favorite benefit of sweet potatoes, though, is the fact that they actively regulate blood sugar (i).” He goes on to add, “A good place to start is by replacing white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Honestly, these things taste better anyway, and you won’t be getting those nutrient lacking, starchy simple carbs.”
- 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.
|WHAT TO EAT
|1 boiled egg + 1 boiled sweet potato + 1 cup green tea
|1 boiled sweet potato + 3 oz grilled fish or chicken + 1 cup yogurt
|1 bowl sweet potato soup
|WHAT TO EAT
|1 boiled sweet potato + 2 egg white omelet + 1 cup black coffee
|Mushroom, greens, and boiled sweet potato salad with light dressing + 1 cup buttermilk
|1 boiled sweet potato + blanched broccoli + 3 oz grilled fish/chicken/tofu
|WHAT TO EAT
|1 boiled sweet potato + 4 almonds + 1 cup green tea + 1 banana
|Sweet potato soup + 1 wheat bread toast + 1 cup yogurt
|Mashed 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 delicious sweet potato recipes you can try.
Healthy And Quick Sweet Potato Recipes
1. Mashed Sweet Potato
- 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
- Mash the sweet potato in a bowl using the back of a fork.
- Add the salt, pepper, sour cream, and olive oil.
- Mix everything thoroughly.
- Garnish with walnuts and cilantro.
2. Sweet Potato Egg Boats
- 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
- Scoop out the sweet potato flesh from the middle part of each half.
- Drizzle some olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper.
- Crack open an egg in each sweet potato half.
- Sprinkle salt and black pepper on the egg.
- Bake at 200°C (400°F) for 2 minutes.
- Garnish with chopped scallions and tomato halves.
- Now try these sweet potatoes for weight loss.
3. Sweet Potato Chilli
- 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
- Pressure cook the kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
- Heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onions. Cook until they turn translucent.
- Add in the grated garlic and cook for 20 seconds.
- Add in the chopped tomatoes and cook for a minute.
- Sprinkle in the salt, cumin powder, coriander powder, paprika, and black pepper.
- Stir and cook for a minute.
- Add a little water and cook for one more minute.
- Add in the cooked kidney beans and garbanzo beans.
- Stir and cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the boiled sweet potato cubes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- 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
- Boosts Immunity
Vitamin C is a natural immune system 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).
These are some benefits of sweet potatoes. But do sweet potatoes and regular potatoes share a similar nutritional profile and advantages? Scroll down to learn more.
Potato Vs. Sweet Potato For Weight Loss
Both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are great sources of essential nutrients and vitamins. However, there are some differences between these two varieties, which may influence your choice for achieving your weight loss goals.
- Sweet potatoes are often considered healthier for weight loss because they contain fewer calories than regular potatoes (1), (11).
- Both types are a good source of dietary fiber, which helps you increase satiety and reduce overall calorie intake (1), (11).
- Sweet potatoes have lower glycemic index (GI) values compared to regular potatoes. Hence, the former will cause a slower increase in blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for weight management (12).
Infographic: 5 Reasons Sweet Potato Fits Into Your Weight Loss Diet
Are you looking for a tasty food option to support your weight loss goals? Look no further than sweet potatoes! These root vegetables are a delicious way to shed pounds. They keep you feeling full and reduce cravings. But that is not it. There are other ways these veggies can be an advantage to your weight loss mission. In the infographic below, we have listed the major reasons sweet potatoes can help with weight loss. Take a look.
To recap, sweet potatoes are low in calories, high in dietary fiber, and contain good carbs. They have a low glycemic index, which reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance and can be had by those with reduced insulin sensitivity. They contain a high amount of water, which aids in weight loss and helps improve heart health. You can pair sweet potatoes with other fat-burning ingredients like vegetables and yogurt. Scroll up to take another look at our diet plan that incorporates sweet potatoes for weight loss. While sweet potatoes are safe, you should consult a dietician or nutritionist to check your sweet potato consumption and prevent health risks.
Frequently Asked 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 fiber-rich and nutrient-dense 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.
Is it OK to eat sweet potatoes at night?
Yes, it is okay to eat sweet potatoes at night if you are not concerned about consuming carbohydrates for dinner.
Which is healthier – potato or sweet potato?
Potatoes and sweet potatoes contain roughly the same amount of carbohydrates, calories, and protein, so one is not healthier than the other. However, white potatoes are higher in potassium, whereas sweet potatoes are higher in vitamin A. So, take your pick accordingly.
Why do bodybuilders eat sweet potatoes?
Sweet potatoes are rich in carbohydrates and an excellent source of fuel for bodybuilders, especially before or after a workout session.
- Add fiber-rich sweet potatoes to your diet to keep hunger pangs at bay and cut your calorie intake.
- These potatoes have a low glycemic index that may prevent spikes in blood glucose levels.
- The high water content of sweet potatoes will keep you hydrated and may help boost metabolism.
- The nutrients in sweet potatoes may help boost immunity, aid weight loss, and promote eye health.
Sweet patatoes may actually be a smart addition to your weight loss diet! Learn how to incorporate them into your diet for a healthier lifestyle from the video given below. Check it out today to improve your health!
Personal Experience: Source
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- Nutritive Value of Sweet Potato, raw, unprepared, FoodData Central, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
- White Sweet Potato as Meal Replacement for Overweight White-Collar Workers: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Characterization and Prebiotic Effect of the Resistant Starch from Purple Sweet Potato, Molecules, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Effects of resistant starch, a non-digestible fermentable fiber, on reducing body fat, Obesity, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Carbohydrates as a source of energy, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- The glycemic index: physiological significance, Journal of The American College of Nutrition, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Relationship between Processing Method and the Glycemic Indices of Ten Sweet Potato (Ipomoea batatas) Cultivars Commonly Consumed in Jamaica, Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Vitamin A, MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Vitamin C and Immune Function, Nutrients, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas [L.] Lam)–a valuable medicinal food: a review, Journal of Medicinal Food, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health.
- Potatoes, russet, without skin, raw
- Evaluation of white sweet potato tube-feeding formula in elderly diabetic patients: a randomized controlled trial