Baked Sweet Potatoes Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Baked Sweet Potatoes

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Baked sweet potatoes are a nutritious and healthy complex carbohydrate that you can enjoy year-round. Both sweet and savory, this top potato pick is packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.

Sweet potatoes can be mashed and served as a side, in casseroles, or sliced and baked for sweet potato fries. Curious if sweet potatoes are right for you? Here’s everything you need to know about this popular veggie.

Baked Sweet Potato Nutrition Facts

One medium-sized (150g) baked sweet potato (without added fat and including the peel) provides 142 calories, 3.2g of protein, 32.7g of carbohydrates, and 0.2g of fat. Baked sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium. The following nutrition information is provided by the USDA.

  • Calories: 142
  • Fat: 0.2g
  • Sodium: 273mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32.7g
  • Fiber: 5.3g
  • Sugars: 9.3g
  • Protein: 3.2g
  • Vitamin A: 1370mcg
  • Vitamin C: 28.8mg
  • Vitamin B6: 0.5mg
  • Potassium: 717mg

Carbs

Sweet potatoes are primly made up of carbohydrates, with nearly 33 grams per medium-sized potato. This includes approximately 5 grams of fiber and 9 grams of naturally occurring sugar. Sweet potatoes are a healthy source of complex carbohydrates.

Sweet potatoes have a high glycemic index of 94. That means eating them can cause blood sugar to increase at a faster rate when compared to lower glycemic index foods.

Fats

A baked sweet potato without added butter or oil is very low in total fat, about 0.2 grams per medium-sized potato. Most of that small amount of fat is polyunsaturated fat.

Protein

Sweet potatoes are low in protein, providing about 3 grams per medium-sized baked sweet potato. 

Vitamins and Minerals

Where sweet potatoes pack a nutritious punch is in their high vitamin and mineral content. Sweet potatoes are rich in vitamin A, B6, C, and potassium. A medium-sized sweet potato has 1370mcg (RAE) of vitamin A, which is more than the daily value (DV) suggested by the U.S. Food and Drug administration of 900mcg (RAE) per day. You'll also get 28.8mg of vitamin C (32% of DV), and 0.5mg of vitamin B6 (30% of DV).

When it comes to minerals, a medium-sized baked sweet potato has 717mg of potassium (15% of DV), 57mg of calcium (4% of DV), and 42mg of magnesium (10% of DV).

Calories

A medium-sized baked sweet potato provides about 142 calories when no fat is added in preparation.

Summary

Baked sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins A, C, and B6. They also contain minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium while providing 142 calories, 32 grams of carbohydrate and 5 grams of heart-healthy fiber.

Health Benefits

Besides tasting delicious, sweet potatoes also offer significant health benefits when included as part of a balanced diet.

Boosts Intake of Antioxidants 

Sweet potatoes, especially the variety with orange flesh, are high in beta carotene, a provitamin that your body uses to make vitamin A. Beta-carotene is considered a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce free radical damage in your body.

Antioxidants can help keep the immune system healthy and may help reduce chronic diseases. Food sources such as sweet potatoes are preferred over supplements for boosting your intake of antioxidants.

May Improve Digestive Health

Since sweet potatoes are high in dietary fiber, they often top the list of foods to eat for digestive health. Sweet potatoes contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, which help to relieve and prevent constipation.

However, to maximize the benefits, you should eat both the skin and the flesh of the potato. The skin has insoluble fiber, which is the roughage. And the inside or the “guts” of the potato has soluble fiber, which slows digestion. 

May Help Manage Blood Pressure

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of potassium, and diets rich in potassium may help regulate blood pressure levels. If your potassium level is too low, you may see an increase in your blood pressure. This can put you at risk of developing hypertension, especially when combined with high sodium intake.

By including foods like baked sweet potato in your diet, you can help keep your potassium levels up and reduce the risk of developing high blood pressure. 

Supports Eye Health

The beta carotene in sweet potatoes is a powerful antioxidant that may help improve eye health and prevent vision loss. The best food sources of beta carotene are milk, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and orange and yellow vegetables and fruits.

May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease

Foods like sweet potatoes that contain anthocyanins may help prevent heart disease. Anthocyanins are water-soluble pigments that give some fruits and vegetables bright colors like orange, red, purple, and blue. These pigments may also possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity properties.

Allergies

Having an allergy to sweet potatoes is not common, although limited cases have been reported. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness, swelling in face and hands, tickling in the throat, and loss of consciousness.

You can develop an allergy at any age in response to any type of food. Common symptoms of food allergies include hives, shortness of breath, wheezing, vomiting or stomach cramps, swelling of the tongue, dizziness, and in rare cases, anaphylaxis. If you think you have a food allergy, stop eating the triggering food and talk with your doctor.

Varieties

Sweet potatoes fall into two types: pale yellow with dry flesh and dark orange with moist flesh. You can find a variety of sweet potatoes, including garnet and speckled purple sweet potatoes. Although some people use the term "yam" and "sweet potato" interchangeably, yams are actually a different root vegetable.

When It’s Best

You can purchase and eat sweet potatoes year-round. Sweet potatoes tend to grow better in warmer climates and are generally harvested in September and early October. When choosing potatoes, opt for small to medium-sized sweet potatoes that seem heavy for their size. 

Storage and Food Safety

Once at home, store fresh sweet potatoes in a cool, dry place. A pantry or garage can work, but avoid storing uncooked sweet potatoes in the refrigerator. Ideally, you will want to use them within a week of purchase, especially if they are kept at room temperature. If you cannot eat them within that time, consider cooking the potato and then freezing it. 

How to Prepare

There are a variety of ways to prepare sweet potatoes, including baked, boiled, grilled, and roasted. You can use an oven, grill, microwave, or stovetop. Before cooking sweet potatoes, make sure to scrub the skins. Enjoy sweet potatoes on their own, as a side, or in a casserole. Slice a potato into thin strips and bake for sweet potato fries. Mash or puree a cooked sweet potato for a sweet treat.

Recipes 

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10 Sources
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