With low carb and low glycemic diets as the forerunners among the health and weight conscious, white potatoes have become a side to be saved for Thanksgiving and the occasional You Only Live Once meals. Although they land higher on the glycemic index (GI) than sweet potatoes, with a typical white potato ranking 111 on the GI scale, versus a GI score of 70 for a sweet potato, are white potatoes as bad as so many are making them out to be? Here are some other nutrition facts to compare. (photo credit)

White: 3g
Sweet: 4g


White: 3g
Sweet: 2g

White: 130
Sweet: 90

White: 29g
Sweet: 24g

White: 2g
Sweet: 7g

Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin A (14 IU)
Vitamin C (17.4 mg)
Vitamin B6 (.3 mg)
Potassium (750 mg)
Magnesium (37 mg)
Iron (1 mg)

Vitamin A (22,000 IU)
Vitamin C (22 mg)
Vitamin B6 (.3 mg)
Potassium (542 mg)
Magnesium (31 mg)
Calcium (43 mg)
Manganese (.57 mg)

All in all, sweet potatoes are the healthier choice, though with 130 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 29 grams of carbs, white potatoes aren’t a terrible meal choice either. If you’re following a low glycemic diet you’re best bet is to stick with the sweet potatoes, which as an added benefit have more vitamins and minerals than their white counterparts. Otherwise, both white and sweet potatoes boast nutritional value and soluble fiber to fill you up and keep you satisfied. Make sure to eat the skin to get the potato’s insoluble fiber as well. If you’re looking for other root vegetable options, try purple or red potatoes. More colorful vegetables, especially purple and red varieties, often contain higher levels of antioxidants.


Whatever your preference, remember that no matter how healthy a vegetable is to begin with, frying it in oil or smothering it with high fat toppings will automatically make it an unhealthy option. So whether sweet or white potatoes, thick cut or shoe string, avoid the french fried versions and limit your potato toppings to low-fat dairy and no sugar, low-sodium flavorings, such as reduced-fat butter and cinnamon on a sweet potato or low-fat sour cream and ground pepper on a white.

So with all that being said, Sweet versus White Potatoes: which side are you on?