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What Are the Benefits of Sweet Potatoes?

Are sweet potatoes a healthier choice? Here’s what our dietitians have to say about one of fall’s favorite foods, the sweet potato.

This time of year, we see more and more sweet potatoes showing up in recipes, restaurants and blogs. While they are available year-round, sweet potatoes are technically in season during late fall and have become a staple of cooler days. Whether you’re roasting them with a touch of sweet spice, like nutmeg, baking them with a sprinkle of salt for a more nutritious alternative to traditional French fries, mashing them for a sweet and “creamy” side or going wild with a sweet potato risotto or ravioli at your favorite restaurant, these vegetables can be a healthy addition to your diet for several reasons.

• Fiber – Sweet potatoes are a good source of fiber. Most Americans fall short of daily fiber recommendations, so adding more fiber-rich veggies like sweet potatoes to your diet can help you meet those goals. Try this Sweet Potato and Bean Chili Recipe.
• Vitamins A and C – Sweet potatoes are high in both of these essential vitamins, making them a good choice not just for healthy eyes but also a strong immune system.
• Potassium – This mineral plays a variety of roles in the body, including helping to regulate blood pressure. As we head into the holiday season, a little blood pressure regulation may be just what you need.

Wondering how sweet potatoes stack up to standard white potatoes? This infographic from the Cleveland Clinic gives you the skinny on the two tubers.

Look for new sweet potato choices on restaurant menus in the weeks to come. Whether you opt for sweet potatoes or not, be sure to make half your plate fruits and vegetables for health benefits.
Wherever you are in your journey, add flavor and variety with dietitian-recommended menu choices at restaurants. Search for Healthy Dining picks near you, loaded with nutrition, on HealthyDiningFinder.com.

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