Sweet Potatoes: A Good Carb!
The word 'potatoes' makes us shudder with the thought of weight gain and a truck load of fats, but that’s not the case with sweet potatoes. This humble root has numerous health benefits and can actually help you lose weight!
Sweet potatoes have a slightly lower carbohydrate content than regular potatoes. One medium potato contains 26 grams of carbohydrates, while one medium sweet potato contains 23 grams of carbohydrates.
Sweet potatoes contain almost twice as much fiber as other types of potatoes. Contributing close to 7 grams of fiber per serving. The high fiber content gives them a ‘slow burning quality’. Which means their caloric energy is used more slowly and efficiently than a low-fiber carbohydrate.
Vitamins and Potassium
Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A and a good source of potassium and vitamin C, B6, riboflavin, copper, pantothetic acid and folic acid. A medium sweet potato has 28% more potassium than a banana.
The high amount of water that is found in sweet potatoes helps you lose weight. Like fiber, water takes up a lot of room in your stomach. Therefore, eating foods that contain high amounts of water makes you feel full and will prevent overeating and snacking between meals.
Choosing the right one
Check for sweet potatoes with no cracks or bruises. Keep them in a cool, dark, well-ventilated place, and handle them with care. They should keep for about two weeks. Once cooked, sweet potatoes can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
They can be used in a wide variety of dishes, both savory and sweet, and pair well with cinnamon, honey, lime, ginger, coconut and nutmeg. Enjoy them in desserts, breads and muffins, puddings and custards and casseroles. They also take to Indian curries and vegetable side dishes quite well.
Quick Recipe for Sweet Potato Wedges
Remember the potato wedges that top our list of comfort foods? Well, sweet poatato is the best replacement and a healthy option too!
Preheat the oven, and add a teaspoon of olive oil or any other oil of your choice (except an oil that has saturated fat - for a healthier snack) on medium heat in a small saucepan. Cut the sweet potatoes lengthwise into 1 1/2-inch-thick wedges and place in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Toss gently. Cook until done.
A second option is to arrange the wedges on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Bake on high 20-40 minutes, turning once, or until softened and lightly browned. Season with salt and pepper.
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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