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Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

Which Fry is the Better Choice: Potato vs. Sweet Potato?


Potato vs. sweet potato.  Sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar nutrition profiles except for sweet potatoes have more vitamins A & C, however these can be easily lost in the high heat of fry oil. 
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Q: Which Fry is the Better Choice: Potato vs. Sweet Potato?

A:
You’re probably seeing that more and more restaurants are offering sweet potato fries in addition to the classic white potato fries on the menu.  In this battle of potato vs. sweet potato, you may already have a preference for one or the other. If you’re wondering which may be better for your diet, the bottom line is sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar nutrition profiles.  Unfortunately, any nutritional benefits from potatoes can be easily lost when they’re fried.

Ultimately, when you choose to indulge in fries, it will come down to your taste preference because there aren't necessarily fewer calories in sweet potato fries. Here’s a little more information to help you decide between sweet potato fries and regular fries:
  • As mentioned above, both sweet potatoes and white potatoes have similar nutrition profiles.  The biggest difference is that sweet potatoes have more vitamins A and C.
  • Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic load and glycemic index than regular potatoes (meaning, your blood sugar won't rise as high when you eat a sweet potato compared to a white potato).
  • To get the most out of your potatoes (white or sweet), look on restaurant menus for baked or even roasted options instead of fried and opt for baked at home.  This will enable you to maximize the nutrition while saving on the calories and fat.  Also consider a baked whole sweet potato or white potato.  Occasionally restaurants offer baked fries, but more often than not, they’re fried.

To enjoy a taste of sweet potatoes and white potatoes without the “fry,” try these menu choices from participating Healthy Dining restaurants:
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Registered Dietitians Answer Your Questions about Restaurant Nutrition

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