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Sweet Potatoes: Yay or Nay?

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Are sweet potatoes OK to eat if you have diabetes? Get the facts here. 

Serving size: 1 medium sweet potato, cooked, without skin (151 g)

Carbs: 27 g

Calories: 115

Glycemic index: 46, low

Glycemic load: 16, intermediate

 

Sweet potatoes are super nutritious, but you need to keep a couple facts in mind. First, they’re a starchy vegetable, so eat them with protein and fat to avoid a blood sugar spike. They’re also pretty high in natural sugars (nearly 9 g in one medium sweet potato).

That said, they have a good amount of fiber, which helps balance blood glucose: a medium sweet potato has 4 grams (women need 25 g daily; men need 38 g). They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, and their vibrant orange color also means they’re loaded with carotenoids, compounds that become vitamin A in the body. In fact, a single sweet potato has five times the amount you need each day of vitamin A, which boosts both your vision and your immune system.

Quick tip: Enjoy sweet potatoes as part of a balanced meal — for instance, pair a baked sweet potato with a small piece of lean steak and a big green salad.

 

Published on August 10, 2016.

 

— Compiled by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD

Reviewed by Toby Smithson, MS, RD, LDN, CDE on June 11, 2016.
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