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The idea of eating sweet potatoes to lose weight may seem strange or even improbable, especially given the plant’s very sweet taste. Long related to the potato, the sweet potato closely resembles it, but is not part of the same family.
It also contains fewer calories and has a lower glycemic intake than the potato.
Let’s find out all about the sweet potato, its many health and balance benefits, and the different ways it can be cooked.
Common name: sweet potato
Scientific name: Ipomoea batatas
The sweet potato belongs to the convolvulaceae family, as can be seen from the bell-shaped flowers. It is therefore associated with plants of this shape, such as blue bindweed, wild rose or morning glory.
There are over 400 varieties of sweet potato, ranging in color from white and yellow to purplish red. The flesh is usually orange-yellow or white.
Although the sweet potato is unknown in the wild, it is thought to have originated in South America.
Nonetheless, it has long been widespread in tropical climates throughout the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.
Today, the biggest sweet potato producers and exporters are China, Nigeria, Uganda, Vietnam, Indonesia and the United States.
Sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, making them easy on the intestines and regulating bowel movements. It also helps control cholesterol levels, boosts the immune system by allowing the evacuation of waste and other bacteria clogging the body, and ultimately prevents the risk of stomach and colon cancer.
Helps preserve the cornea of the eye and improve night vision. It also contributes to bone and tooth growth and skin protection. It also has numerous benefits against infections.
Ideal for women suffering from menstrual pain or pregnant women suffering from nausea. It also plays a crucial metabolic role in the synthesis of certain antibodies, hemoglobin and neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin…).
Essential for the nervous and immune systems. It also plays a vital role in the formation of red blood cells, as well as wound healing.
A reliable contributor to the maintenance of immune function and regular energy levels, it also activates wound healing and enhances the body’s absorption of iron from food.
It is also very beneficial for the skin, helping to produce collagen.
Important for preserving bones and balancing histamine and platelets. It also helps fight free radicals and has an interesting anti-inflammatory action.
Manganese helps maintain cognitive function, regulate blood sugar levels and prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis. It also helps maintain respiratory health and reduces menstrual pain.
In particular, it supports the work of the immune system, fights free radicals, preserves cognitive function, and prevents certain cancers thanks to its richness in carotenoids and anthocyanins, strong antioxidants necessary for the body.
Sweet potatoes help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to the phenolic compounds they contain, which help combat cholesterol oxidation.
To find out more about the nutritional benefits of sweet potatoes, click here.
Although closely related to the potato, the sweet potato has a different composition. In fact, it’s much more interesting when you want to lose weight.
The sweet potato contains 50% more fiber than the potato, and its glycemic index is much lower. What’s more, the sweet potato’s antioxidant colorants are not found in potatoes.
Using sweet potatoes to lose weight can be a good alternative to other, higher-calorie, higher-sugar starches.
Compared with potatoes, which have a glycemic index of between 80 and 111, sweet potatoes have a lower average glycemic index of 70.
It is therefore suitable not only for diabetics who want to regulate their insulin. But it’s also ideal for weight loss, as it prevents sugar from accumulating and turning into fat.
Sweet potatoes contain just 2 grams of protein and 16g of carbohydrates, making them moderately caloric and suitable for weight loss.
The carbohydrates contained in sweet potatoes are digested slowly, keeping you energized for longer.
Sweet potatoes are one of the lowest-calorie starchy foods, with less calories than pasta and rice, and much less than bread.
It contains around 75 Kcal per 100 grams of sweet potato.
Since sweet potatoes are digested very slowly, they keep you feeling full for a long time, avoiding unnecessary snacking and hunger pangs during dieting. It also helps reduce the quantities we consume at mealtimes.
It enables the body to concentrate on eliminating assimilated fat, thanks in particular to its high antioxidant content, which fights free radicals and toxins.
We can easily replace certain fatty snacks with sweet potatoes.
In fact, when we’re in the mood for oily French fries or potato chips and we’re trying to lose weight, it’s a good idea to replace them with sweet potato cut into strips and baked in the oven, accompanied by a drop of olive oil and spices or simply salt.
It’s still delicious, but without the calories of a packet of potato chips or a plate of French fries.
It’s also more nutritious than fatty snacks and, if cooked in the oven, it’s packed with vitamin B6.
When choosing a sweet potato, make sure it’s heavy and firm.
Avoid potatoes with loose skins, odors or stains, to ensure freshness.
It’s also advisable to buy dark potatoes, which are richer in vitamins (particularly beta-carotene) and antioxidants.
The sweet potato is a fragile vegetable that doesn’t keep for long. In fact, it can be stored for only 7 to 10 days.
They should be stored in a dry, dark place.
Sweet potatoes can be prepared in the same way as potatoes, or incorporated into desserts thanks to their sweet taste. There’s no shortage of ideas for preparing and using sweet potatoes to lose weight.
However, it’s important to remember that when it comes to weight loss, it’s best to keep sweet meals to special occasions, and to prepare them in such a way as to reduce calories by using low-calorie products (low-fat yoghurt and cream, 0% chocolate, etc.) and lowering the proportions of sugar and oil.
If you don’t like the sweet taste of sweet potatoes, but want to benefit from the goodness of their fiber, we recommend that you turn to appetite suppressants in capsule form (easier to swallow and more convenient). The most common supplement format is powder or flour.
There are no specific contraindications associated with sweet potatoes.
However, if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction to the plant, you should consult your doctor or healthcare professional. People suffering from kidney stones should watch their sweet potato consumption, as it contains oxalate, which promotes the formation of calcium oxalate.
As with all starchy foods, over-consumption of sweet potatoes should be avoided, as they can have the opposite effect to that intended if consumed excessively, leading to imminent weight gain and an overdose of certain vitamins.