Most people will choose sweet potato fries instead of regular white potato fries. But why? What makes sweet potato a healthier alternative?
Sweet potato has a lower GI than white potato, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad thing. There is so much negative press surrounding white potato indicating that it should be avoided. This statement is far from the truth.
You firstly need to identify what do you want from your potato? Do you want it post-workout for recovery or to give you energy throughout the day?
White potato has a higher GI than a sweet potato, making it ideal as a post-workout recovery carbohydrate. As the energy from white potato is released quickly, this will reach the working muslce faster and as a reuslts the recovery process is started quicker. Sweet potato, on the other hand, will serve you well as a longer release carbohydrate designed to give you lasting energy throughout the day. So if you are planning a long exercise session or if you know you won't be eating for 3 to 4 hours, then sweet potato is your go-to carbohydrate.
White potato contains more potassium and iron, ideal for lowering blood pressure and for regulating fluid balance, while sweet potato has a higher amount of Vitamin A and C (great for boosting your immune system).
My advice would be to choose the type of potato you eat based on what you want to achieve, I.e. increase energy, faster recovery etc. Whichever potato you chose, make sure you eat the skin as this contains the fibre. And remember, the old myth of white potato makes you gain weight is far from the truth!