T Nation

Potatoes, Not Sweet


#1

After I learned a while back that they rank so high on the glycemic index (98 when baked and without the skin!), I stopped eating them and now eat mostly yams in their place (which taste much better by themselves, imo).

I've seen several people on here claiming them as a superior carb source. Tell me more. Why should I go back to eating them? What benefit do they offer that yams or sweet potatoes don't do better?


#2

Slightly more iron, and as you said higher GI which at times can be beneficial. Personally I'd stick with the sweet potatoes/yams.


#3

I don't know of any benefits, but they are different and allow you to switch up carb sources. Variety is a benefit i would say.


#4

Are you eating yams or sweet potatoes?

If you're eating real yams (unlikely in the US) from a micro-nutrient/anti-nutrient perspective they are far superior.

If you're eating sweet potatoes (often mislabeled as yams) there's very little difference.


#5

More iron, magnesium, and potassium than sweet potatoes if I remember correctly. A large russet will have half a dozen grams of both protein and fiber too, though I'm not sure how that compares to the sweet potato.

Two reasons you shouldn't worry too much about the high GI:

First, you ideally are using them for post-workout meals, and therefore the insulin secretion you'll stimulate is ideal. If you're eating a bunch of carbs outside the workout window, it probably won't make a big difference if they're sweet potatoes from a fat loss perspective.

Secondly, you probably aren't eating skinless baked potatoes by themselves, which is what the GI is based on. Ideally you have a large piece of meat with it as well as veggies and butter, chives, cheese etc. The fat, protein, and fiber will all severely slow the digestion of those potatoes.

Personally, potatoes and eggs is probably my favorite post-workout meal, and the large amount of pure glucose always finds its way right into my muscles.


#6

How do you tell the difference?


#7

Because bodybuilders eat them and bodybuilders are huge.


#8

I'm eating yams. They're orangish red on the inside and distinctly priced from the sweet potatoes in the produce section.


#9

How do you cook the potatoes and eggs?


#10

I slice the taters up and fry them in a nonstick pan with a bit of olive oil so they brown a bit.

Sometimes I'll throw a 1/8 cup of water in half way through and put the lid on for a few minutes so they get really soft. Then I throw 6-12 scrambled whole eggs into the mix and stir it all around until they're cooked.

You can add mushrooms, peppers, onions, etc. toward the end too for a full scramble. Then I top with some cheese and sour cream, salsa, & guacamole.

The great part is that if you have a large pan you can make a huge amount and then put the extra in some containers for a fast breakfast or another post workout meal later in the week.