Sweet Potato Fries: Friend or Foe?

Sweet Potato Fries: Friend or Foe?
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Sweet Potato Fries: Friend or Foe?

Looking for a little insider's scoop on whether to reach for the sweet potato fries or the French fries? Is one healthier than the other? Continue clicking through our slideshow to find out.

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Fry vs Bake

Before we get into the nitty gritty white potato vs. sweet potato debate, let's discuss baking vs. frying. Anything fried is going to be a tad on the fattening side. While sweet potatoes and white potatoes both have beneficial health properties that they bring to the table, frying either one up and sprinkling salt overtop, not to mention dunking in delicious, creamy mayonnaise dressings isn't going to do anyone's arteries justice.

Recommendation: Try going without oil and baking. If you'd still like to fry your potatoes, opt for a healthier oil, such as olive oil. If baking, drizzle a little olive oil overtop and then coat with seasonings, or, mix oil, seasonings and potatoes in a bowl prior to spreading across your baking sheet. (Heat at 375 degrees for about a 20-30 minutes and voila!)

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The Toppings

Salt, a popular ingredient to add to any batch of mouth-watering fries, may not be the best option if trying to prepare a healthy snack. Steer clear of excess sodium and opt for healthier toppings, such as herbs.

Recommendation: Try fresh or dry herbs, such as rosemary, oregano and basil. For an extra kick, add a pinch of dried red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper. While creamy dressings (for dunking your delectable fries into) may be tempting, think: healthy. If you're craving a little sauce or extra texture, try a hot sauce or a little scoop of hummus!

Nutrition 411: White Potato vs Sweet Potato

White potatoes and sweet potatoes are essentially both fat-free. There is little difference in calories, with a 100 g serving of baked white potato, with the skin, at 93 calories, and the same portion of baked sweet potato, with the skin, at 90 calories.

Nutrition 411: White Potato vs Sweet Potatoes

Vitamins: Sweet potatoes are significantly higher in vitamin C and A. For a 100 g serving, sweet potatoes carry 20 mg of vitamin C (white potatoes, 9.6 mg), and 19,218 IU vitamin A (white potatoes, 1 IU).

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Nutrition 411: White Potato vs Sweet Potatoes

Minerals: White potatoes are a better source of iron and potassium. A 100 g serving of white potato contains 1.1 mg of iron (sweet potato, 0.7 g) and 535 mg of potassium (sweet potato, 435 mg).

Want to view a few interesting and fun facts about French fries? Continue clicking through our slideshow!

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Did you know the word potato derives from the Haitian word batata, which referred to a specific variety of sweet potatoes? The word morphed as it fell into the Spanish language, turning into patata. After a transition to the English language, it switched over to potato.

Do you refer to your taters as 'spuds?' This slang name derives from the spade-like tool used to dig up potatoes.

Did you know that a large order of McDonald's French fries have 25 g of fat, along with 500 calories?

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These days, sweet potatoes are all the rage. Everywhere you turn, someone is raving about their health benefits. "Sweet potato this and sweet potato that." It's not a stretch either! Sweet potatoes are not only very delicious, but healthy for you. Feeling the winter time blues? Sweet potatoes are loaded with antioxidants and vitamin D, known for its ability to fight seasonal depression by increasing energy and balancing your mood.

There's only one small wrench in the plan with sweet potato fries . . . we hate to be a total buzz kill, but anything you fry in oil? It's likely not going to be that great for you. We know, bummer.

We wanted to take our potato quest a step further to better understand the difference between sweet potato fries and French fries. Is one actually healthier than the other? Is there a way to still enjoy the treat and cut back on the oil and calories? Check out our slideshow above to find out!

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