Sweet Potatoes: Do They Help You Lose Or Gain Fats?

by Marixie Ann Obsioma, MT, undergrad MD on October 20, 2021
Last updated on December 5, 2021

Because of their different variety, brilliant color, and inherent sweetness, sweet potatoes are a popular choice. If you are trying to shed pounds, you may wonder if consuming these starchy, nutritious tubers can help you achieve your objective.

A simple yes or no answer is not going to suffice.

However, there are several variables to consider, like in the cooking process and the accompanying seasonings.

This article focuses on how sweet potatoes can and may affect your weight.

Weight loss and control

Among the many root vegetables that are high in nutrients, sweet potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are an excellent choice

Carbohydrates of the complex type are found in them. These are carbs that combine three or more sugars, as well as fiber, into a single carbohydrate.

Simple and processed carbs, such as those found in white bread and table sugar, lack the nutrients that complex carbs do.

Another example of a food high in complex carbohydrates is other vegetables (together with fruits, whole grains, and legumes).

Emphasize fullness

Sweet potatoes have a high fiber content, which makes them fill you up for a longer period of time.

Soluble fiber, in particular, is found in them. Slows down digestion by forming a gel-like substance in the digestive tract.

If this is the case, you may end up eating a smaller portion of your meal. Soluble fiber-rich meals like sweet potatoes, on the other hand, can aid in weight loss.

Loss of weight

If your daily caloric intake exceeds your daily expenditure, you will lose weight. The term “calorie deficit” refers to the situation in which your intake of food and/or energy is lower than your expenditure. It’s possible that sweet potatoes will help you eat fewer calories because they make you feel full.

Sweet potatoes have a water content of 77% and a dietary fiber content of 13% when raw. In other words, they can keep you feeling full without adding a lot of calories while yet delivering a steady supply of energy for hours on end.

A study of 48 studies indicated that people who ate more fiber for at least a year were more likely to lose at least 5% of their body weight.

Similar results were seen in a short study of 58 office workers over the course of eight weeks. Weight, body fat, and mid-arm circumference decreased by 5 percent in participants who substituted one meal a day with white sweet potato meal replacement formula comprising 132 grams.

However, it is possible that the outcomes were a result of substituting a daily meal with a lower-calorie formula. Sweet potatoes don’t have any special weight-loss or weight-gain properties.

Keep in mind, however, that meal replacement diets are not appropriate for long-term weight loss.. Adults in good health would be better served by a diet high in fruits and vegetables that is both well-balanced and easy to keep to.

There is a tendency to put on weight

If you’re underweight or attempting to grow muscle, you may want to gain weight; if you’re already at or above your ideal weight, you may want to prevent it.

A common cause of weight gain is eating more calories than your body requires. Overconsumption of calories results in fat storage in the liver, muscles, or both.

With just 2 grams of protein per 4.5-ounce meal (130 grams), sweet potatoes account for just 7 percent of their total calories. So it’s a good source of carbohydrates.

It’s possible that your blood sugar will rise after eating these delicious tubers because there isn’t much protein or fat to decrease the absorption of the carbs into your system. If you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight, blood sugar regulation might play a big role.

Increased consumption of potatoes was linked to weight gain in a large, four-year study of over 200,000 U.S. health care professionals. Sweet potatoes were not taken into account in the study, but normal potatoes were.

The risk of developing diabetes was also found to increase if three servings of potatoes a week were consumed, depending on how they were prepared. In comparison to French fries, boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes raised the risk of diabetes by 51%.

Full of vitamins and minerals

It’s important to remember that not all calories are created equal. Sweet potatoes, for example, are a good source of numerous minerals, including potassium and vitamin C.

4.6-ounce (130-gram) medium sweet potatoes contain the following:

  • Nutritional information per serving: 112 calories
  • 26 grams of carbs
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 0.1 grams of fat
  • 3.5 grams of fiber
  • Vitamin A: 102 percent of the recommended daily intake (DV)
  • Phosphorus (pyridoxine): 11% of the daily value

Sweet potatoes have a high fiber and water content, which means they may help you eat less overall by making you feel full for longer periods of time (9Trusted Source).

There’s more to it. In addition to regulating blood sugar, fiber enhances gut health and aids digestion.

In the long run, this could reduce the risk of insulin resistance and other health issues, such as diabetes.

Vitamin B6, an essential water-soluble element for metabolic regulation, is also abundant in sweet potatoes.

What are the best and worst ways to prepare sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes don’t have a secret weight loss ingredient, but you should think about how they’re prepared and what they’re served with.

Sweet potatoes’ chemical composition changes as they’re cooked. Boiling them reduces their blood sugar impact because the starches are more easily broken down by enzymes in your body.

There are some who avoid starchy foods, such as sweet potatoes, because of their high glycemic index (GI).

Measurement of blood sugar levels is done through the Glycemic Index (GI). The GI scale goes from 0 to 100. A GI of 55 or less is considered low, 56 to 69 is normal, and 70 or more is considered high.

If you boil sweet potatoes for 30 minutes, you can get 46 on the GI scale; if you bake them for 45 minutes, you get 94. But keep in mind that this information is based on a short research of just 10 adults.

Sweet potatoes can be used in a variety of light dishes, including:

Guacamole split into disks, rosemary, and lemon juice, then roasted with skin-on cooked and mashed with a bit of salt.

Deep-frying potatoes, on the other hand, raise the calorie content of the dish. This is due to the fact that the frying oil retains a lot of fat.

You should minimize your intake of deep-fried meals, especially sweet potatoes if you’re trying to lose weight.

Keep in mind that overeating any food might lead to weight gain. In order to maintain a healthy weight, you must take into account what you eat and how much exercise you engage in.

Other things to think about

Sweet potatoes are a great source of fiber and nutrients, so don’t be afraid to eat them with their skins on. Just wash them completely before cooking.

You also need to think about what you’ll be serving them. Reduce the consumption of high-sugar and high-fat condiments, such as ketchup and mayonnaise. Spices, herbs, crushed garlic, and even Parmesan cheese can replace these condiments.

You can satisfy your sweet potato fries desires with the help of these considerations. Rather than deep-frying potatoes, you can just cut them into wedges, mix them with your favorite seasonings, and roast them in the oven or an air fryer.

Sweet potato casseroles and pies, on the other hand, should be enjoyed only seldom and in moderation. If you’re attempting to maintain or lose weight, it’s not a good idea to eat these on a daily basis.

How to lose weight with sweet potatoes? Here are five approaches.

Sweet potatoes are a favorite of many people. In a word, yeah. For this reason, sweet potatoes are a wonderful source of Vitamin A, minerals and a plant chemical known as phytonutrients. Athletes, too, are big fans of them.

Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, have come to be known as a fatty food due to their high calorie content. That’s not the case, though. Indeed, sweet potatoes are a nutritious alternative to regular potatoes and have been scientifically proven to aid in weight loss.

Sweet potatoes can help you lose weight in three ways:

Fiber-rich foods

Dietary fiber, found in sweet potatoes, assists weight reduction by producing a gel-like mesh in the stomach, making it easier to digest. You won’t overeat because you’ll be satisfied for a longer period of time as a result of this strategy. Stool movement and the growth of beneficial bacteria are also aided by fibre. Sweet potatoes, which are high in fiber, may help with weight loss by increasing metabolism and digestion.

Carbohydrates that provide a burst of energy, such as those found in whole grains and

Even if you are trying to reduce weight, carbohydrates should not be completely omitted from your diet. In addition to providing the energy needed to get around, carbohydrates can also be used to climb the stairs and more. You won’t be able to keep yourself active and healthy if you don’t have enough carbs in your system. As of this writing, there are around 8.25 grams of complex carbohydrates in a single serving of mashed potatoes (300 grams) (dietary fibre).

Carbohydrates are ranked according to the amount of glucose they raise in the bloodstream after they are consumed. Foods high in the glycemic index (GI) can raise blood sugar levels. People who eat a lot of these foods are more likely to develop insulin resistance and potentially type II diabetes. Sweet potatoes, despite their sweetness, have a low glycemic index (GI). You don’t have to worry about your blood sugar levels when you eat them.

There is a lot of water in this dish

When your body cells are dehydrated, your metabolism slows down. Consuming sweet potatoes can assist rehydrate your cells and restart your metabolic process.

It prevents fat from accumulating, levels the pH, and aids in the removal of toxins by hydrating the body.

A good source of antioxidants

Antioxidants in sweet potatoes include zinc superoxide, catalase, and sporamins. Your body’s inflammation, which can cause weight gain, can be reduced by taking these antioxidants.

Is the 3-Day Sweet Potato Diet a Weight Loss Helper?

Trying to shed pounds quickly? When it comes to losing weight, have you heard about the three-day sweet potato diet? Are there foods that will help you lose weight while on a sweet potato diet? How long can you go without eating anything else but sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are a staple of the diet

Sweet potatoes are a key component of this diet, as the name implies. Consider the fact that this diet is not one-size-fits-all.

All day long, eat nothing but sweet potato. In this version, sweet potatoes are the only food consumed. It’s up to you whether you want to mash, boil, or bake them. It is possible for them to drink unsweetened coffee, tea, and water.

Sweet potato diet restricts calories

This version has a little more wiggle room than the last. The calorie intake for this should be relatively low, but you can integrate some vegetables and protein options. You’ll consume boiled eggs, blanched vegetables, and sweet potatoes every day on this diet.

Sweet potatoes can be substituted for any carbohydrates. There was an earlier form of the sweet potato diet. Participants in this eating plan were expected to substitute all their carbohydrates with sweet potatoes for a 14-day period.

Every main meal i.e., breakfast, lunch, and supper had to include a sweet potato, as well as multiple nutritious snacks throughout the day. Participants were promised that they would lose weight and gain energy without abandoning their favorite carbs if they followed this diet.

Sweet Potatoes Are Good for You!

Blood sugar levels can be regulated by eating potatoes

For diabetics, this is very advantageous. A serving of sweet potatoes a day may be beneficial for diabetics because of their high fiber content, which slows down the absorption of glucose and improves blood sugar levels.

In addition, regular use of this dietary item may help reduce the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes. Those who consume more dietary fiber are less likely to develop type 2 diabetes.

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Possibly reduces the risk of certain cancers

Sweet potatoes include antioxidants that can help fight against free radicals, which have been linked to cancer and other diseases, as well as other health problems. As a source of beta-carotene, they are also a good choice.

Anthocyanins, which are found in purple sweet potatoes, may decrease the growth of bladder, colon, prostate, stomach, lung, and breast cancer cells.

Improve digestion and bowel movement with Shutterstock

Preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movement are two benefits of eating foods high in fiber.

Improve your eyesight

Beta-carotene is abundant in this starchy carbohydrate, as noted above. Many fruits and vegetables, including sweet potatoes, carrots, apricots, spinach, kale, and cantaloupes, contain beta-carotene. For the cornea to operate optimally and to prevent night blindness, it needs Vitamin A, which is produced when beta-carotene is swallowed.

Boost the body’s defenses

Vitamin C in boiling sweet potatoes is 31.8 milligrams per cup. Stroke, pneumonia, and lung infections, cancer and cardiovascular disease may be reduced in those with high amounts of Vitamin C in their blood. In addition to reducing wrinkles and skin dryness, this vitamin is also beneficial for the health of the skin.

What Are Sweet Potatoes’ Weight Loss Benefits?

As we’ve seen, sweet potatoes can improve your overall health, but how will they aid those who are trying to reduce weight.

The sweet potato diet can help you lose weight in the following ways:

Preserve your satisfaction

3.9 g of fiber may be found in a medium-sized sweet potato. High-fiber foods, which are low in calories, not only prevent constipation and regulate blood sugar levels, but they also make you feel full. Ghrelin levels are reduced, cholecystokinin levels are increased, and digestion is slowed down by the hormones cholecystokinin and glucagon.

It is easier to resist the temptation to nibble if you are feeling full. It’s possible to get the benefits of snacking when you eat the correct meals, but most of us consume snacks that are high in empty calories or don’t keep track of how many calories we’re consuming.

345 obese and overweight adults were studied in 2019 and found that those who ate a high-fiber, low-carbohydrate, low-fat diet lost more weight than those who did not.

Low in calories

If you’re trying to lose weight, you may find yourself removing carbohydrates from your daily diet because you believe they’re heavy in calories. Starchy carbohydrates like sweet potatoes illustrate that this is not always the case. Only 112 calories are in a 130 g sweet potato, compared to the 375 calories in a cup of whole milk.

Here are some of the best meal plans for weight loss: diet plans, menu plans, and weight loss hacks.

Suppress eating desire

An average 5-inch sweet potato has 100 g of water, which naturally suppresses hunger. By increasing the amount of water in your diet, you’ll feel less hungry.

Low Glycemic Index

Refined carbohydrates, carbs, and sugars have a high glycemic index (GI) and are linked to weight gain. In contrast, a low GI diet may be helpful in promoting and maintaining weight loss. If you want to keep the low GI of sweet potatoes, boil them rather than bake, roast, or fry them.

Allows you to eat a wide variety of foods

It’s important to follow these guidelines when following the three-day sweet potato diet. When it comes to nutrition, there are rules that you should follow regardless of whether or not you are on a strict diet. If you want to reduce weight, these are the best ways to do it:

Get rid of cakes, cookies, most breakfast cereals, and sugar from your diet. Prioritize complex carbs instead. Instead, switch to whole grains like oats, brown rice, wholewheat bread, quinoa, squash, and pumpkin for your carbohydrate source.

Even if you’re not on the 3 day sweet potato diet, it’s a good idea to limit your consumption of sodas, sports and energy drinks, fruit-flavored or powdered beverages, and sweetened coffee and tea. All of these are high in pointless calories that only serve to accelerate weight growth. Use stevia instead of sugar if you want to sweeten your tea or coffee.

Cut back on alcohol consumption too

Alcohol, like sugary drinks, is high in calories, which we unwittingly absorb with each sip.

Sugar, honey, maple syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup are all examples of foods that include added sugar.

This can be done by eating avocados, almonds, and seeds, which contain beneficial fats. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from oily fish such as sardines and mackerel, as well as salmon, tuna and trout.

Fiber-rich meals help you feel full longer, which helps you stay within your daily caloric intake.

Foods such as these include oatmeal, quinoa, barley, and popcorn are examples of whole grains.

A wide variety of nuts and seeds, including pistachios, almonds, chia seeds, and walnuts. There are a wide variety of vegetables that can be added to a meal to make it more nutritious. These include apples, pears and other types of fruit.

While on the Sweet Potato Diet, What Should You Avoid?

Refined carbohydrate and sugary drinks should be avoided, as should alcohol, saturated fats, and processed foods.

Is it okay to eat sweet potatoes while on a ketogenic diet?

They’re not, in fact. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet in which you eat fat instead of nearly all of your daily caloric intake is required. Sweet potatoes are not keto-friendly because they contain a lot of carbohydrates. Anyone who is currently on a keto diet or is thinking about starting one cannot follow the sweet potato diet. When people fail to take this into consideration, they will be “kicked out” of ketosis and their attempts to lose weight will be doomed.

Overconsumption of sweet potatoes can have a number of negative effects.

These starchy carbs have very little side effects. Consuming too much of these carbs, on the other hand, might cause discoloration of the skin and nails. This carbohydrate should be avoided by those who have had kidney stones in the past. It contains a lot of oxalate, which increases the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones forming.

It is generally recommended that no one adopt this diet. More effective methods of weight loss include cutting your caloric intake by 500 to 1000 calories per day and doing 30 minutes of exercise each day. People who follow a carb cycling diet may benefit from this eating plan.

Conclusion

If you’re trying to lose weight, sweet potatoes might either help or hurt you, depending on how you eat them.

They’re delicious, packed with nutrients, and a good source of fiber. As a result, they can help you lose or maintain weight by making you feel full for extended periods of time.

However, they can increase your blood sugar and have large quantities of fat, sugar, and calories added depending on how they’re cooked and any condiments or sides.

Boil sweet potatoes for 30 minutes and then season with herbs, spices or spicy sauce and a little Parmesan cheese or garlic for the most weight loss-friendly version

Consuming too much of any food, nutritious or not, can lead you to a lot of weight gain, so keep this in mind. If you’re trying to maintain or lose weight, it’s a good idea to try and eat a variety of foods.

References:

  1. https://www.ndtv.com/food/weight-loss-how-sweet-potato-helps-in-losing-weight-with-recipes
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/sweet-potato-weight-loss
  3. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/a32465736/sweet-potato-weight-loss/
  4. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/health-fitness/weight-loss/5-ways-sweet-potatoes-can-help-you-lose-weight/photostory/71167518.cms

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