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Sweet Potatoes: How Sweet They Are
By Alysia Santo
Not all potatoes are created equal. Pound for pound, sweet potatoes, the orange tubers native to South America, nutritionally beat their white counterparts on a number of levels. Among other advantages, they contain lower levels of the simple carbs that can spike blood sugar. Replacing conventional taters with sweet ones is an effective way for cancer patients to continue enjoying the satisfying, filling texture of a potato while adding more nutrients into a meal.
Sweet potatoes are high in carotenoids, which, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research, are powerful phytochemicals that may help fight against some types of cancer.
Choose sweet potatoes that are firm and free of soft spots, and check the outer skin to make sure there are no cracks or bruises. If possible, choose organic sweet tubers so you can keep the skin on; but if organic ones aren’t available, you should peel them before cooking since they may have been treated with dyes or wax. Store sweet potatoes in a cool, dry, dark place, preferably a well-ventilated cabinet, and keep them loose or in a paper bag.
Sweet potatoes are versatile, and can be prepared the same as a standard white spud. Bake them in their skins. Cut them into cubes and steam with a few other vegetables and serve with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper or smash them into a sweet potato mash. For a healthy alternative to French fries try CFYL’s Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries. For a real Holiday treat, try our Chestnut Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.