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White Potatoes vs Sweet Potatoes

By Steven Stiefel

Bodybuilders often emphasize sweet potatoes over white potatoes because they’re a source of slower-digesting carbs. White potatoes are somewhat higher on the glycemic index than sweet potatoes (82 vs. 70), which means white potatoes trigger a greater insulin response. Although bodybuilders want to increase insulin release around the time of their workouts, an insulin spike is a physiological response they try to avoid at other times of the day. And that’s why bodybuilders choose sweet potatoes over white potatoes at whole-food meals, especially later in the day. Another advantage of sweet potatoes is that even though they’re higher in sugar and sweeter tasting, they spur less of an insulin response than white potatoes do.

Yams, on the other hand, are 
often confused with sweet potatoes. In fact, they’re not closely 
related. Sweet potatoes, grown in the Caribbean and in the Americas, are prevalent in our grocery stores. Yams, mostly grown in Africa, are harder to come by. Yams have a dark skin and light yellow flesh, and they’re shaped more like a white potato than a sweet potato. When you can find yams, opt for them over sweet or white potatoes as a slow-digesting carb.

(200 g)

Calories 188
Carbs 42 g
Fiber 4 g
Sugar 3 g
Glycemic Index 82
Protein 4 g

(200 g)

Calories 180
Carbs 41 g
Fiber 6 g
Sugar 13 g
Glycemic Index 70
Protein 4 g

Winner: Sweet Potatoes