Yam Vs Potato?

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While I don’t necessarily have a distaste for sweet potatoes, I’ve yet to see a time when a friend or a family member presents these roots with the same enthusiasm as they display for their favorite ‘yams.

What exactly makes them so different?

Is it the name?

Or maybe it’s just another instance of “black people love black stuff”?

The truth is, both are actually sweet potatoes, but the two names refer to different varieties.

A true ‘yam (or sometimes called a sweet potato) is what we would call a white-fleshed variety while a sweet potato is a yellow-fleshed variety.

As such, they are quite similar when it comes to texture, taste and nutritional value, but if you want to know why people love one over the other, here’s how to decide which is right for you.

What is the difference between yams and potatoes?

If you were to look at any store’s produce section, you would be pretty hard pressed to tell the difference between a sweet potato and a yam.

Both come from the same plant – the nightshade Solanum tuberosum – and both are referred to by the same name because they share the same botanical classification.

In fact, all members of the nightshade family of plants are known collectively as “potatoes”, hence why we also call them “potato”.

When comparing potatoes to yams, however, things start to get a little more complicated.

The two types of potatoes differ in terms of shape, color, size and taste.

That’s because the tuber itself can be either round or oblong depending on what kind of potato they grow into, and even then, those shapes can vary depending on the climate and soil conditions in which they are grown.

On top of that, yams are usually harvested after being boiled, peeled and mashed while potatoes are generally baked, roasted, fried or cut into cubes before serving.

Yam Vs Potato? 1

Which is better

While many consumers assume that sweet potatoes are the healthier choice because they contain less sugar than their yellow cousins, it’s important to understand that sweet potatoes are still high in calories, fat and carbohydrates.

In general, the darker the flesh, the higher the amount of nutrients found within.

For example, if you buy a large bag of frozen sweet potatoes, you will probably end up consuming about 100 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C (and close to 400 percent of potassium).

This means that if you consume one sweet potato per day, you could easily meet your daily requirement of vitamin C without having to worry about getting sick.

What are the benefits of eating yams?

Because they contain fewer calories and less fat, sweet potatoes are often seen as a diet food.

However, eating too much sweet potato can lead to increased blood sugar levels and cause digestive issues.

In addition, since they are loaded with soluble fiber, sweet potatoes help control cholesterol levels.

This means that if you choose to eat sweet potatoes instead of traditional ‘yams, you can reap the benefits of their healthful properties without sacrificing flavor.


Are yams or potatoes more nutritious?

Yes, sweet potatoes are typically richer in vitamins and minerals than their yellow counterparts.

For instance, a medium serving of cooked sweet potato contains 5 grams of fiber compared to three grams for a yellow potato.

In addition, the average sweet potato contains nearly twice the amount of vitamin C as a typical potato.

They’re also packed with vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese and folate.

What is the best way to cook yams?

When it comes to cooking yams, there really aren’t any rules.

Since they’re already soft and moist, you don’t need to peel them first.

You may bake them whole, slice them into wedges or dice them up like regular potatoes.

If you prefer to make them sweeter, add a few tablespoons of brown sugar or maple syrup to the boiling water before adding the yams.

Alternatively, you can microwave them for a short time to speed up the thawing process.

What is the best way to cook potatoes?

While most people prefer their potatoes baked, mashed or cut into cubes, roasting or frying can also work well.

To roast, simply toss the potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper before placing them directly onto a baking sheet.

Bake until tender and golden on the outside, about 30 minutes depending on the thickness of the pieces.

To fry, drain the excess moisture from the vegetables and coat them in a light layer of canola oil.

When the oil starts to become sizzling hot, place the potatoes in the pan and fry for five minutes or until tender and crispy.

While you could bake or boil potatoes, you can also use a pressure cooker for a quick and healthy meal.

What are some creative ways to eat yams?

There are countless recipes out there that call for sweet potatoes.

Instead of simply mashing them and throwing them into a casserole dish, try making a sweet potato pie, a sweet potato soup, or a sweet potato cake.

You can even make a sweet potato fritter.

You can also add some spice to your cooking with these recipes.

Roasted sweet potato chips can be made by cutting the flesh into thin slices, coating them in spices and tossing them in a dehydrator.

Alternatively, sweet potato fries can be made by slicing them into strips, drizzling them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkling them with salt and pepper.

What are some creative ways to eat potatoes?

While most people think of potatoes as something only to eat raw, you can also make potato salad with them.

Just take a small handful of diced potatoes and mix them together with chopped celery, onions and green peppers.

Next, add a splash of vinegar, freshly ground black pepper and some salt, and voila!

Your homemade potato salad is ready to serve.

Are yams or potatoes better for you?

While sweet potatoes may seem like the healthier option, they contain about half the amount of iron you need each day.

Because of this, if you’re looking for a good source of protein, you should stick to eating red meat, poultry or fish instead.

That said, it isn’t always necessary to choose between the two.

Some people enjoy eating both potatoes and yams, while others opt to go with one or the other depending on their preference.

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