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Sweet Potatoes vs Yams

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  • Sweet Potatoes vs Yams

    I've reached my weight goal and I'm adding some extra carbs to try to hold my weight where it is. It seems that there is a preferred nutritional difference between yams and sweet potatoes. I like them both and want to choose correctly. What are the differences?

  • #2
    Nobody knows. This is one of life's great mysteries.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      Strictly speaking, true yams are unrelated to sweet potatoes. True yams are rarely seen in this country. Orange, white, or garnet sweet potatoes are all sweet potatoes, not yams.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
        Strictly speaking, true yams are unrelated to sweet potatoes. True yams are rarely seen in this country. Orange, white, or garnet sweet potatoes are all sweet potatoes, not yams.
        Right. When most people say "yam" in the U.S., they mean sweet potatoes. True yams are much drier and starchier, not sweet at all. They originated in Africa whereas sweet potatoes are a New World food. There are many varieties of both sweet potato and yam.

        Yam (vegetable) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
        Sweet potato - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        I think both of them are good, healthy sources of starch. Sweet potatoes are a lot easier to find and cheaper where I live though. Other good starch options are plantains, yuca (cassava/tapioca), and rice, if you're not totally anti-grain. Mexican/Hispanic markets often have plantain, yuca, and yams for cheaper than a regular grocery store.

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        • #5
          Eat 'em all. Eat the starchy, dry kumaras. Eat the moist, orange garnet yams. Eat the yellow, medium moist sweet potatoes. Eat the white, oozing with skin-irritating slime African yams. Eat the white Russets,Yukon Golds, red, purple and new potatoes. Eat 'em all.
          Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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          • #6
            And eat the Japanese ones because they are the most delicious of all!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
              And eat the Japanese ones because they are the most delicious of all!

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              Why can't there be "that's what he said" jokes...


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              • #8
                I buy 15-25 lbs at a time of Japanese Sweet Potatoes they ARE! The best

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                • #9
                  What is a 'Yam' varies from country to country.
                  Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

                  Griff's cholesterol primer
                  5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
                  Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
                  TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
                  bloodorchid is always right

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                  • #10
                    I consider potato, sweet potato, and yam as parallel options--pick which one suits the meal. Same goes for taro, burdock, lotus, water chestnuts, etc.

                    The closest thing to a yam I eat is yamaimo used in okonomiyaki batter.
                    37//6'3"/185

                    My peculiar nutrition glossary and shopping list

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by turquoisepassion View Post
                      Why can't there be "that's what he said" jokes...


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                      But you're Chinese! :-D

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                        But you're Chinese! :-D

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                        I thought she was Texan?

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                        • #13
                          I've never seen a yam in America. Massive things!
                          Crohn's, doing SCD

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by eKatherine View Post
                            Strictly speaking, true yams are unrelated to sweet potatoes. True yams are rarely seen in this country. Orange, white, or garnet sweet potatoes are all sweet potatoes, not yams.
                            You're saying the purple skin with the orange inside at the market is just another kind of sweet potato? Is there any nutritional difference? If not, I'll just buy what's cheapest per pound.

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                            • #15
                              Yes they absolutely differ... Orange sweet potatoes will contain more beta carotene than say a Japanese sweet potato with white flesh. Japanese Sweet Potatoes are also pretty sweet so there may be a little more sugar in them as well. Go to Whole Foods as all sweet potatoes and "yams" are the same exact price per pound.

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