Sweet Potatoes for Weight Loss
Did you know that sweet potatoes aid in weight loss?
What’s the science?
Sweet potatoes are nutrient dense and are loaded with fiber. This fiber becomes a resistant starch, which is a type of fiber that remains intact in the large intestine and is fermented by your gut flora to become short-chain fatty acids. Short chain fatty acids are important for keeping colonic cells healthy and anti-carcinogenic, another side benefit of sweet potatoes. Resistant starch is found in raw potatoes, green bananas and boiled potatoes when cooled. Resistant starch promotes satiety, to help curb cravings and reduce fat storage.
Sweet Potatoes versus White Potatoes
Sweet potatoes when compared to white potatoes have more fiber, fewer carbohydrates, a lower glycemic index, fewer calories and more vitamins. They also have a phenomenal amount of vitamin A, primarily in the form of beta-carotene, which is a powerful nutrient that supports skin and eye health, cell growth, and brain function. Sweet potatoes also help to improve blood sugar, especially important for diabetics.
Sweet Potato Superfood
Sweet potatoes have been named a superfood because of their antioxidants, which are able to neutralize the damaging free radicals that threaten our health. It’s surprising that sweet potatoes aid in weight loss, due to resistant starch. Because of it’s extra natural sweetness, they should be consumed with a healthy fat such as ghee or coconut oil, or with a healthy protein source, to slow digestion that will result in a more balance release of glucose. This comes from a study in 2017, where mice fed a high-fat diet and supplemented with purple sweet potatoes had reduced body weight and fat accumulation over a 12 week period.
Other perks of sweet potatoes:
- Boost brain function, improve memory because of the abundance of nutrients and antioxidants.
- Enhance immunity because of the abundance of vitamin A. Vitamin A stimulates production of immune cells and have anti-tumor properties.
- Vision health: beta-carotene the primary form of Vitamin A in sweet potatoes has been shown to slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Deficiency of vitamin A may result in dry eyes, night blindness and vision loss.
- Stabilize blood sugar, good for diabetics to help reduce, regulate blood sugar level and improve insulin sensitivity, to help transport the sugar from the bloodstream to the tissues to be used as energy.
- High in antioxidants to fight off free radicals, to reduce the risk of chronic disease and prevent cell damage. Antioxidants protect against diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Resistant Starch: boiled then cooled potatoes
Important points to remember are that resistant starch is in boiled, then cooled potatoes. Therefore, make potato salad with sweet potatoes. The satiety factor maybe short lived. I have sweet potatoes with organic butter as a comfort food to satisfy my craving for carbohydrates. It is a much healthier choice than simple high glycemic carbohydrates. Besides satisfying my craving, sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients and antioxidants that are a great health benefit.
Happy sweet February!
Food for thought: Abs are made in the kitchen!