By: Batumba Tak General Secretary The St. Kitts-Nevis Trades & Labour Union

Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes VS Regular PotatoesIn the words of Diane Ackerman, “Nothing is more memorable than a smell. One scent can be unexpected, momentary and fleeting, Yet conjure up a childhood summer beside a lake in the mountain.”

The question that has been asked is, Why do sweet potatoes get “super food” status while regular potatoes are vilified?

I have been told that it is an age old debate: The sweet VS the regular potatoes. But which should we be eating for a maximum health?

Many persons have asked why there is a debate in the first place. However, very recent research has clearly shown that, the sweet potato (but not the regular potato) has usually enjoyed “super food” status among healthy eaters and regulars exercisers, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.

However, some other researchers have suggested that potatoes might carry harmful anti-nutrients while others claim that their glycerin index (GI) is too high.

As a result, the humble spud has taken a mashing in the recent low-carb years. Yet, in spite of the recent low-carb, here is the thing: Both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes are healthy, awesome, and very delicious heritage foods.

Therefore we can eat and enjoy both, regardless of our goals. However, I think that it is time that we set the record straight on spuds. With that in mind, let us dig up the truth about our tuberous friends.

We have all notice that in recent years, and in certain “healthy eating circles”, they continue to crown the sweet potatoes as the “super food” while the regular potato has continue to be treated like the “bad” guy.

Believe you me, I have nothing against regular potato, but I prefer sweet potato. Moreover, we all know that both potatoes are filled up with high carb, high glycerinindex(GI), loaded with anti-nutrients but still the question that has continued to follow regular potato is, Are they really that bad?

However here is the real deal: It is a fact that sweet potatoes and regular potatoes each deserve a prominent place in our diet. Therefore, we can eat both as part of a well-balanced, whole food diet and still have a lean and healthy body. But of course, like everything in life as usual, there is a catch or two. Here is what we need to know.

In defense of starchy carbohydrates: We have been warned by Diet Gurus and the Health Experts to stay away from “starchy carbs” and to moderate our carbohydrate intake (or as they so gentle put it, timing our consumption of carbs around our daily exercise program). It probably may be a good thing, depending on our goals, body type, and the type of activity levels.

Please, however, keep in mind that there is a difference between high-carb processed foods and whole foods that contain resistant starch.

But what they (Gurus and Health Experts) forgot to tell us is that resistant starch refers to complex starch molecules that we cannot digest because to break these molecules down, our gut bacteria in our large intestine need to go to work, and that break down process takes time and effort.

In fact, both sweet potatoes and regular potatoes contain starch, some of which is resistant starch and that is one of the reasons why they are considered “slow-burning,” because they make us feel full for hours because it takes our body longer to process them.

In addition, they also provide energy and satiation (Satiation is to completely satisfy our self or a need, especially with food or pleasure, so that we could not have any more. There is an old saying that goes like this: He/she drink/eat greedily until he/she thirst/hunger was satiated), a satisfied, full feeling that is especially important if we are trying to eat less.

Thus, resistant starch is one of the reasons why we should not lump potatoes together with high-carb processed foods, because a plain baked potato is going to behave differently in our body than a bag of chips or a donut will.

As time is of the utmost importance given the short week, we shall stop here for today, but will continue where we left off by continuing to look at what the glycerin index has to say.As I close here for today, I leave with you a quote by Sarah Dessen,potato poem by Jessa, a sweet potato bread recipe, and a sweet potato song by An Unknown Author.

“Don’t give me no rotten tomato, ‘cause all I ever wanted was your sweet potato.”– Sarah Dessen.

Potatoes:

Poem by: Jessa
I like my potatoes,Any way they are cooked,Hash browns or French fries,Plain boiled and salted,Mash potatoes,Potato salad,With golden butter on top,Spicy wedges or chips,I’d even eat it without dip,Too much isn’t good,But I give in to pleasure,The possibilities to have potatoes,Are just an endless measure.

Sweet Potato BreadRecipe by: Mary E. Crain.
This recipe is a Southern delight with a ‘more-ish’ taste. After taking just one bite it leave you wanting more! This bread freezes well!
Ingredients:
1½ Cups white sugar.½ Cup vegetable oil.2 Eggs.1¾ Cups sifted all-purpose flour.1 Teaspoon baking soda.¼ Teaspoon salt.½ Teaspoon ground cinnamon.½ Teaspoon ground nutmeg.? Cup water.1 Cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes.½ Cup Chopped pecans.

Directions:
1. Combine sugar and oil; beat well. Add eggs and beat. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with water. Stir in sweet potatoes and chopped nuts.2. Pour batter into greased 9X5 inch loaf pan (or small loaf pans). Baked at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about one hour.

Sweet Potatoes

By An Unknown Author.
Soon as we all cook sweet potatoes,Sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes,Soon as we all cook sweet potatoes,Eat ‘em while they’re hot.
Soon as supper’s gone, Mamma calls us,Mamma calls us, Mamma calls us,Soon as supper’s gone, Mamma calls us,Get along to bed.
Soon’s we touch our heads to the pillow,To the pillow, to the pillow,Soon’s we touch our heads to the pillow,Go to sleep right smart.