July 24


Should You Eat Sweet Potatoes If You Have Diabetes?

By Gabriela

July 24, 2017

Having diabetes often means limiting or excluding a good deal of your favorite foods from your daily menu plan.

Foods with high contents of carbohydrates, such as sugary breakfast cereals, bread, large amounts of pasta, soft drinks, and many desserts can all enormously increase your blood sugar levels in a blink of an eye.

This can inflict severe damage to the small blood vessels over time. And could potentially be the cause of strokes, kidney and heart diseases, blindness, and even amputations.

People with diabetes can indulge in having a lot of other carbohydrates with slow-degrading sugars. Just like the ones in fresh fruits, nuts, non-starchy vegetables, and sweet potatoes to control their condition and maintain their health.

Glycemic Index

White potatoes have a high glycemic index regardless of the way you take them, whether as French fries or potato chips, baked or mashed. This means that they will make your blood sugar levels skyrocket after the meal, due to their fast-degrading carbohydrates.

According to the ‘American Journal of Clinical Nutrition’ and their article from 2002, sweet potatoes have significantly lower contents of sugar in them and are a better choice for regulating diabetes.

Hence, moderate consumption of sweet potatoes will aid you to maintain a healthy range of your blood sugar levels; even if you’re a diabetic.

Carbohydrate Content Measurement

A medium sweet potato holds 3.8gr of dietary fiber out of 26gr carbohydrates. A cup of mashed potatoes, on the other hand, contains 8.2gr of fiber out of 58gr of carbs.

Dietary fiber, which is a component of the overall carbohydrate content, doesn’t affect blood sugar levels. Moreover, subtracting it from the total carbohydrate content will give you a better perspective of the blood sugar-elevating potential of a particular food.

For instance, subtracting the 3.8gr of dietary fiber out of the 26gr of carbohydrates in a baked sweet potato will leave you with 22.2gr of available carbs per portion left.

In the case of mashed sweet potatoes, if you subtract the 8.2gr of dietary fiber from the 58gr of carbohydrates, there will be 49.8gr of available carbs per serving left.

Using available carbs while carb counting, will improve your accuracy and help you control your diabetes better.

Portion Size

The American Diabetes Association suggests that the healthy range of carbs per portion is 45-60gr. Thereby, people with diabetes can freely implement sweet potatoes into their daily meal plans.

It is often preferable if you combine foods with low carbohydrate content. For example, the sweet potato provides 22.2gr of available carbohydrates. Аnd you can combine it with butter, broccoli, salmon, and chicken, which are all sugar-free.

Adding some berries and plain yogurt to your meal will optimize the healthy range of carbs.

Meal Ideas

Sweet potatoes are an excellent carbohydrate choice for people with diabetes. You can bake them in an oven until they get mushy, and have them with butter, plain yogurt, or a wee bit of sour cream for extra flavor.

Sweet potatoes as french fries are also a great alternative to frozen french fries or take-outs. Make french fries out of your sweet potatoes but cook them in the oven instead, using olive oil and salt only.

Another tasty side dish you can have is mashed potatoes with butter and cream. In spite of the sweet taste, moderate consumption of this dish will not affect your blood sugar levels whatsoever.

Furthermore, if you mix your mashed sweet potatoes with a similar amount of mashed cauliflower, you will decrease their carb content.

If you want to balance your meal properly, make sure to combine the sweet potatoes with a little bit of fat from avocado, olive oil, or butter, and with proteins from poultry, fish, and meat.



  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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