Sweet Potatoes May Be Even Healthier Than Potatoes For Two Main Reasons

Potato skins can be a great snack, but can the same be said about sweet potato skins? It turns out that one might be slightly healthier than the other.

Kori Williams - Author

Jun. 10 2024, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

Sweet potatoes sliced and cubed on a wooden tray.
Source: iStock

Sweet potatoes may not seem as popular as potatoes, but they are still a great and healthy option with all kinds of benefits and a unique taste. They can help keep our bodies strong while tasting good and can be just as versatile as their standard counterparts.

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Although plenty of people enjoy these spuds, can you even eat sweet potato skins? People do eat regular potato skins. There are many ways you can consume potato, and not just as fries — some say that potato milk might become a new dairy alternative. But sweet potatoes may be a different story.

Sweet potatoes and slices on a wooden surface.
Source: iStock
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Can you eat sweet potato skin?

According to Healthline, you can eat sweet potato skin. Doing so comes with some big health benefits. This part of the spud has several vitamins and minerals including:

  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Protein
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E

Plus, sweet potato skins have antioxidants that help lower your risk for things like cancer and heart disease and help prevent cell damage. And they are low in calories.

Additionally, you can eat sweet potato skins cooked or raw. But if you do eat them raw, take care to wash them carefully. Since potatoes grow in the ground and wouldn't be exposed to rain to help wash things away, it's more likely that they have dirt or debris on them that's more difficult to get off. Consider buying a vegetable brush to be safe. Removing the peels is better if you are using them in desserts.

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Sweet potatoes that have just been harvested.
Source: iStock

Is the skin of a sweet potato hard to digest?

In an interview with Business Insider, registered dietitian nutritionist Carrie Dennett, MPH, says that sweet potato skins can be hard to digest. In some cases, removing the skin be more helpful, but if you want to retain the nutritional value, the article also says that mashing the potatoes can help your stomach out instead.

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You can mash potatoes with the skin on them. If you choose to remove the skin, you can always eat it separately and get the same health benefits.

Uncut sweet potatoes in a sack.
Source: iStock
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Are sweet potatoes healthier than potatoes?

Although both kinds of potato are great options, the Cleveland Health Clinic says that sweet potatoes are healthier because they have beta-carotene and vitamin A. Beta-carotene helps protect your cells.

The National Institutes of Health states vitamin A supports your vision, immune system, reproduction, and more. There isn't a huge difference between the benefits of potatoes and sweet potatoes, so you can eat both or pick your preference without issue.

In an interview with the Cleveland Clinic, registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD, LD, says that different types of cooking can affect how many nutrients you get from the food. Baking potatoes ensures you get the most out of the food, but you should also be mindful of what toppings you use and eat the skin.

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