If you are even moderately involved in dieting or substituting things for nutrition you have heard that switching French fries for sweet potato fries is a good win. Most people agree that the white taste better but the sweet potato fries are healthier. But is that really true? Or is it a product of misleading information in the many nutritional myths?
The hard truth is you are not really doing much for your body nutritionally.
In terms of raw nutritional value concerning macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) the difference between the two potatoes is very small. Both potatoes are around the same calories (ranging from 100-140 calories) and roughly the same carbs (25-30 grams) for a medium sized potato. The fiber content is similar as well at about four grams while both offer less than one gram of fat before any additional condiments are added. The only real difference, not that big of a difference, is that white potatoes tend to have a higher number of grams of protein. Although both are under about four grams.
When it comes to micronutrients (vitamins) the white potatoes contain more iron, potassium, and vitamin C. White potatoes contain less natural sugar as well. Sweet potatoes are higher in fiber (barely), calcium, and vitamin A. So much vitamin A that one sweet potato will serve you more than your daily recommended amount.
The main difference is how the potatoes are prepared. If sweet potatos are deep-fried like French fries in oil, then they aren’t any better than fast food drive-thru. When fried, both will typically land around 300 calories
The best thing to do is get your fries baked, no matter your choice of potato. Make sure to ask your server how they are cooked before ordering. Eat both to get your nutritional buck but remember moderation is key.