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What is the difference between Yams and sweet potatoes?

Posted by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 7:28 AM
  • 10 Replies
Inquiring minds want to know!
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by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 7:28 AM
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Replies (1-10):
michiganmom116
by Platinum Member on Nov. 10, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Yams are grown in tropical regions and have a creamy flesh and may or may not be sweet.  The flesh is drier than sweet potatoes.  They come in different colors such as purple, white, red.   They have a rough, scaly skin.  Real yams are nothing like what we in the USA call "yams."  That came about because some (imported) yams were confused with American grown white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have smooth, thin skin, yellow or orange flesh (one variety is purple) and are sweet and moist.


I haven't looked into the nutritional difference, but I can find out if anyone is interested.

emilyrosenj
by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 8:28 AM
I would be interested! I guess I've never had real yams...

Quoting michiganmom116:

Yams are grown in tropical regions and have a creamy flesh and may or may not be sweet.  The flesh is drier than sweet potatoes.  They come in different colors such as purple, white, red.   They have a rough, scaly skin.  Real yams are nothing like what we in the USA call "yams."  That came about because some (imported) yams were confused with American grown white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have smooth, thin skin, yellow or orange flesh (one variety is purple) and are sweet and moist.


I haven't looked into the nutritional difference, but I can find out if anyone is interested.

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michiganmom116
by Platinum Member on Nov. 10, 2012 at 9:41 AM
1 mom liked this


Quoting emilyrosenj:

I would be interested! I guess I've never had real yams...

Quoting michiganmom116:

Yams are grown in tropical regions and have a creamy flesh and may or may not be sweet.  The flesh is drier than sweet potatoes.  They come in different colors such as purple, white, red.   They have a rough, scaly skin.  Real yams are nothing like what we in the USA call "yams."  That came about because some (imported) yams were confused with American grown white potatoes.

Sweet potatoes have smooth, thin skin, yellow or orange flesh (one variety is purple) and are sweet and moist.


I haven't looked into the nutritional difference, but I can find out if anyone is interested.

I found this at http://rosie2010.hubpages.com/hub/YAMS-vs-SWEET-POTATOES-Comparison


Nutritional Comparison between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Vitamin A

Sweet Potatoes contain more Vitamin A, than yams.

Vitamin A is known to fight cancer, builds our immune system, and is considered critical in maintaining proper eye health.

Sweet potatoes are loaded with massive amounts of vitamin A, a nutrient considered critical in maintaining proper eye health. In fact, one sweet potato contains nearly eight times an adult's daily need of this important vitamin, and, because vitamin A is fat-soluble rather than water-soluble, the body can store it for later use.

Yams contain vitamin A but in significantly less amount than sweet potatoes (yam - 122 IU, sweet potato - 19217 IU).

So, when it comes to vitamin A, sweet potatoes are better than yams.


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Calcium, Iron, Vitamin E, and Protein

Sweet potatoes contain significantly higher amounts of calcium, iron, and vitamin E, and twice as much protein per serving, than yams.

Sweet potatoes also contain several other vitamins and minerals in amounts not found in the yams.

Although yams also contain calcium, iron, vitamin E, protein, several other vitamins and minerals, they are in lesser amounts per serving, than sweet potatoes.

So, when it comes to calcium, iron, vitamin E and protein contents, sweet potatoes are better than yams.


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Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids

Sweet potatoes contain less omega-3, and more omega-6 fatty acids, than yams.

Omega-3 fatty acids have received significant news coverage in recent times owing to their ability to do everything from prevent heart disease to increase brain stamina.

Omega-6 fatty acids are known to inhibit the body's ability to make use of the omega-3's.

Although both the yam and the sweet potato are low-fat foods, the ratio of essential fatty acids is preferable in the yam.

Sweet potatoes contain less omega-3 fats than yams, and have nearly twice as much omega-6 fats.

So, when it comes to fatty acids, yams are better than sweet potatoes.


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Anti-inflammatory Nutrients

Anti-inflammatory compounds are very important in the health of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis, gout, and other inflammation-related diseases.

Sweet potatoes contain massive amounts of these anti-inflammatory nutrients; yams don't.

Yams, not only lack these anti-inflammatory nutrients, but actually contain a number of compounds that aggravate inflammations.

So, when it comes to anti-inflammatory nutrients, sweet potatoes is the big winner.


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Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorous and other Minerals

Both yam and sweet potato are both loaded with potassium, magnesium, and phosphorous, as well as several so-called trace minerals: selenium, zinc, and copper.

However, although both sweet potato and yam seem to have similar high concentrations of key minerals, sweet potatoes have just a little more.

So, when it comes to minerals, sweet potatoes are a little bit better than yams.


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Which is better for people with Diabetes?

Both the sweet potato and yam offer special health benefits to people with diabetes. Both have very low glycemic indexes: sweet potato weighing in at 17, and yam weighing in at 16. However, sweet potatoes might actually help to fight against diabetes.

Although final reports have not yet been published, preliminary researches show that long-term consumption of sweet potatoes can actually help to fight against diabetes symptoms.


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Nutritional Comparison Table - Yams vs Sweet Potatoes

 
Yam, serving size 100 grams
% Daily Value
Sweet Potato, serving size 100 grams
% Daily Value
Calories
116
6%
90
5%
Total Fat
0g
0%
0g
0%
Saturated Fat
0g
0%
0g
0%
Trans Fat
0g
 
0g
 
Total Omega-3 fatty acids
9.0mg
 
4.0mg
 
Total Omega-6 fatty acids
50.0mg
 
60.0mg
 
Cholesterol
0mg
0%
0mg
0%
Total Carbohydrate
27.5g
9%
20.7g
7%
Dietary Fiber
3.9g
16%
3.3g
13%
Starch
 
 
7.0g
 
Sugars
0.5g
 
6.5g
 
Protein
1.5g
3%
2.0g
4%
Vitamins
 
 
 
 
Vitamin A
122 IU
2%
19217 IU
384%
Vitamin C
12.1mg
20%
19.6mg
33%
Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)
0.3mg
2%
0.7mg
4%
Vitamin K
2.3mcg
3%
2.3mcg
3%
Thiamin
0.1mg
6%
0.1mg
7%
Riboflavin
0.0mg
2%
0.1mg
6%
Niacin
0.6mg
3%
1.5mg
7%
Vitamin B
60.2mg
11%
0.3mg
14%
Folate
16.0mcg
4%
6.0mcg
1%
Vitamin B12
0.0mcg
0%
0.0mcg
0%
Pantothenic Acid
0.3mg
3%
0.9mg
9%
Choline
16.2mg
 
13.1mg
 
Betaine
0.0mg
 
34.6mg
 
Minerals
 
 
 
 
Calcium
14.0mg
1%
38.0mg
4%
Iron
0.5mg
3%
0.7mg
4%
Magnesium
18.0mg
5%
27.0mg
7%
Phosphorus
49.0mg
5%
54.0mg
5%
Potassium
670mg
19%
475mg
14%
Sodium
8.0mg
0%
36.0mg
1%
Zinc
0.2mg
1%
0.3mg
2%
Copper
0.2mg
8%
0.2mg
8%
Manganese
0.4mg
19%
0.5mg
25%
Selenium
0.7mcg
1%
0.2mcg
0%
 
 
 
 
 
Source: Nutrient data for this listing was provided by USDA SR-21. Percent Daily Values (%DV) are for adults or children aged 4 or older, and are based on a 2,000 calorie reference diet.


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CONCLUSION:

Based on the above nutrition comparison between the yam and the sweet potato, the sweet potato seems a lot more beneficial to our health, than the yam.

Therefore, given the number of amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes, aren't you glad that all these years you thought you were eating "yams," chances are, you were actually eating the mighty sweet potatoes?

emilyrosenj
by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 9:59 AM
1 mom liked this
Thanks! I knew I loved sweet potatoes!
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Juniper53098
by on Nov. 10, 2012 at 12:48 PM
1 mom liked this

Thanks for posting that info, michiganmom116!!!

kmqw229
by Bronze Member on Nov. 10, 2012 at 1:24 PM
Interesting!
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JennMcBride
by Member on Nov. 11, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I've wondered that myself before. Thanks for the info.
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emilyrosenj
by on Nov. 11, 2012 at 6:37 AM
After reading this, I went to sleep and was dreaming about these HUGE yams, it was so weird!!!!
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Kmakksmom
by on Nov. 18, 2012 at 5:13 PM
1 mom liked this

Interesting information!  Thanks for sharing :)

virginiamama71
by on Nov. 24, 2012 at 9:19 PM

 thanks

Quoting Juniper53098:

Thanks for posting that info, michiganmom116!!!

 

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