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Toxins in Sweet Potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest known vegetables.

December 30, 2009 |
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Acknowledgements

Transcript

What about sweet potatoes? Bad, eh, or good?
They’re not good. They’re great! Ranked as one of the top ten healthiest foods on the planet by the Mayo clinic.
So, sweet potatoes good, white potatoes bad. If you insist on continuing to eat white potatoes, peel them, which removes about three-quarters of the toxins.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out theother “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

For some context, please check out my associated blog post: Soymilk: shake it up!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. And check out the other “HHH” videos (Harmful, Harmless, or Helpful?). Also, there are over a thousand subjects covered in the rest of my videos–please feel free to explore them as well!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/dddave/ dddave

    So are you saying that it is bad to eat potato skins? I thought they had healthy nutrients?
    -thanks, Dave

    • Alexandra Georgiadis

      Hi Dave,
      You’re better off not eating the skins.  Although they may contain nutrients, potato skins are still not worth eating due to their toxic properties.  Peel the skin, and try to occasionally substitute white potatoes with sweet potatoes to boost your nutrient intake.
      I hope this helps!
      Alexandra

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/CrystalNiedzwiadek/ Crystal Niedzwiadek

    Doctor, Do you recommend that we peel our sweet potatoes as well?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      No need!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/JuliaGoryun/ Julia Goryun

    Two questions: 1) What about white sweet potatoes? Mayo clinic was mentioning only orange sweet potatoes, which I don’t like. But I like white sweet potatoes a lot!
    http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/health-foods/MY01108&slide=9
    2) What about sweet potato skin? A skin of regular potato is harmful, is the skin of sweet potato OK?

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/sullivushotmail-com/ sullivus@hotmail.com

    Could you clarify what you mean by white potatoes? Would this include russets, yukon golds, etc.?

    Thanks a lot! I love your website :)

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/mgreger/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Yep–even purple potatoes! (though they may have special properties).

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/TanTruong/ Tan Truong

    I get to eat this sweet healthy food. Woot!

  • http://nutritionfacts.org/members/yummy/ yummy

    Here’s some new and different sweet potato recipes I found…some even using Dr. G’s favorite spices.
    http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com

  • lovestobevegan

    Now that we know we can eat nuts (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/nuts-and-obesity-the-weight-of-evidence/) and nut butters (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/testing-the-pistachio-principle/) without fear of weight gain we can use them to flavour this surprisingly amazing stew which just so happens to contain one of the healthiest vegetables
    (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/toxins-in-sweet-potatoes/).

    Peanut/Almond Butter Barley Stew

    -1 ½ cups barley*
    -3 cups water/homemade vegetable broth
    -1 red onion, chopped (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carrots-vs-baby-carrots-2/)
    -2 cloves garlic, minced (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/1-anticancer-vegetable/)
    -½ inch piece of fresh gingerroot, minced
    -4 carrots, diced
    -1 large sweet potato, cubed
    -jar strained tomatoes
    -1 tsp cumin
    -pinch cayenne pepper
    -2 tbsp unsalted peanut or almond butter
    -chopped peanuts/almonds for garnish
    -sea salt and black pepper to taste

    Place all ingredients except peanut butter, peanuts, and salt into a large soup pot. Cook for 40 minutes until barley almost cooked. Add peanut butter and cook until it has melted and heated. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Serve garnished with peanuts.

    *If sensitive to gluten substitute with buckwheat

    ~Complements of lovestobevegan

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Sounds yummy! Thank you for sharing. Anyone else have any recipes to share?

  • VegFam

    What about yams? I see sweet potatoes and yams used interchangeably in the store often. Following the rule of more colorful usually = better, I’d pick a garnet yam over the less colorful sweet potato. But which is actually better?

    We eat whole food/plant based in our family, and have a young child, so I’m conscious of what we eat. But the sweet potato/yam question is still unclear to me. Thanks!

    • Toxins

      I would not worry about this, because both of these foods are quite healthy. Usually it is the case that the more colorful foods have more antioxidants but these foods are both very healthy so its not much concern.

  • http://twitter.com/Adlverpflichtet vonHOFFnung verfolgt

    I have found an interesting fact about sweet potato :

    http://abstracts.acs.org/chem/244nm/program/view.php?obj_id=143706&terms=

  • Jaron

    I always like to check sources. But in this case, there’s an apparent contradiction. Salmon is also in their top ten healthiest foods list, so by the exact same logic, salmon is also great for you! But I thought you were against all fish consumption (mercury, PCB’s, heterocyclic amines, etc.)?