Sweet potato is officially one of my favourite foods. I say this because it has been so useful to me in helping me to achieve my goals in both mass building and fat stripping. To me it is a serious super food. It has a myriad of health benefits that many of you may not even be aware of and to top it all off it tastes fantastic. So let’s take a look at the humble sweet potato and find out why it is as good as I say it is.
Nutritional breakdown per 130g sweet potato:
Nutrition Facts Calories 112 (467 kJ) % Daily Value 1
Total Fat 0.1g < 1% Sat.
Sodium 72mg 3%
Total Carbs. 26.1g 9%
Dietary Fibre 3.9g 16%
It also has a glycemic index rating of 54 which is classified as low.
So let’s analyse the data. A 130g sweet potato is by no means a small potato and will give you plenty of energy whilst you are dieting. Yet it only contains a tiny 112 calories. This is fantastic when trying to achieve a calorie deficit diet. A meal containing 150g chicken and a medium sweet potato will contain less than 300 calories and still be very satisfying. The sweet potato also contains a large helping of potassium which will help to reduce water retention and replenish electrolytes lost during training.
So what are the other health benefits of sweet potato that you may not be aware of? Well let’s take a look a bit deeper. Sweet potato may actually help to regulate blood sugar levels even in people with type 2 diabetes. Not only because sweet potato contain healthy doses of dietary fibre and are relatively low GI. Recent research has shown that extracts from sweet potatoes can significantly increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. Anthocyanin and other pigments in sweet potato can also help you as they are anti-inflammatory agents. This is especially useful to people who weight train. Sweet potatoes are also one of the richest sources of beta-carotene available. They can significantly increase the body’s stores of vitamin A and have been shown to do so in a number of scientific studies.
So as you can see there are a number of benefits to using sweet potato as part of your diet. Not only whilst trying to cut fat in a calorie reduced diet but also whilst mass gaining as they provide so many health benefits. You can see the results of my diet based around sweet potato’s here: http://www.fitforum.co.uk/thread9083.html