Sweet Potatoes as Diabetes-Friendly Diet

Sweet potatoes are a tasty and nutritious addition to any diabetes-friendly diet. The underground tubers are a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and they have a lower glycemic index than regular potatoes, meaning they cause a slower and more gradual increase in blood sugar levels.

Varieties of Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes carry antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that help prevent diseases. It helps reduce the risk of heart disease, a major cause of death in people with diabetes. Indeed, heart disease is the leading killer among all men and women in major countries witnessing propelling lifestyle trends.

The potatoes come in many varieties, some of which are listed here −

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

Japanese sweet potatoes are typically purple on the outside and have a white or yellow interior. They are known to be sweeter in taste.

The extract from Japanese sweet potatoes—Caiapo—may potentially help people with diabetes. Caiapo is an agent that can help in the treatment of type 2 diabetes. These potatoes have a beneficial effect on the plasma glucose and cholesterol levels in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Purple Sweet Potatoes

Purple sweet potatoes are known to have many health benefits. The color is due to the anthocyanins, a water-soluble element that is also known for pigmenting other fruits and vegetables that are purple, red, and blue.

Purple sweet potatoes contain anthocyanin known for their high level of antioxidants and are also known to −

  • Help reduce the risk of certain diseases

  • Improve vision

  • Treat diabetes

A recent study compared purple potatoes to yellow potatoes and found that the polyphenol-rich purple potatoes lowered glycemia, inflammation, and insulin. The glycemic index for the purple sweet potato is 77.0.

Orange Sweet Potatoes

Orange sweet potatoes are the most common sweet potato and are known for having contents of −

  • Vitamin C

  • Potassium

  • Fiber

  • Vitamin B6

They also have beta-carotene and a high glycemic index. Another ingredient is anthocyanin which is known for its antioxidant properties. On average a boiled orange sweet potato has a glycemic index of 44.1 Sweet potatoes are also known to regulate blood glucose concentration.

How to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes?

It is important to note that sweet potatoes should be consumed in moderation and in combination with other healthy foods in a balanced diet. People with diabetes should also monitor their portion sizes and regularly check their blood sugar levels to ensure they are staying within their recommended range. It is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before making any significant dietary changes.

Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Cut sweet potatoes into thin, even wedges and toss them with a little bit of olive oil and your favourite spices. Arrange them on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until crispy and golden brown.

Sweet Potato Mash

Boil sweet potatoes until tender, then mash them with a little bit of butter or coconut oil, cinnamon, and a touch of brown sugar. This makes a delicious and healthy side dish that pairs well with roasted meats or fish.

Sweet Potato Hash

Chop up sweet potatoes, onions, and bell peppers and sauté them together in a little bit of olive oil until tender and lightly browned. Add some crumbled bacon or turkey sausage for a savory breakfast or brunch dish.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

This hearty and flavourful chili is made with sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, onions, and spices. It's a great vegetarian option that's packed with fiber and protein.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Rosemary

Toss sweet potato wedges with olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, and a sprinkle of sea salt. Roast in the oven until crispy and tender for a simple and delicious side dish.

Sweet Potato and Quinoa Salad

Cook quinoa according to package instructions and mix it with roasted sweet potato cubes, chopped kale or spinach, dried cranberries, and a simple vinaigrette dressing. This salad is packed with nutrition and makes a great lunch or light dinner.

Sweet Potato and Apple Bake

Thinly slice sweet potatoes and apples and layer them in a baking dish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup. Bake in the oven until tender and caramelized for a sweet and satisfying dessert or side dish.

Sweet Potato and Turkey Meatballs

Combine ground turkey, grated sweet potato, onion, garlic, and your favorite spices to make these healthy and flavourful meatballs. Bake them in the oven until cooked through and serve with a side salad or steamed vegetables.

Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry

This fragrant and spicy curry is made with sweet potatoes, coconut milk, curry powder, ginger, garlic, and other flavourful ingredients. Serve it over brown rice or quinoa for a satisfying and nutritious meal.

Sweet Potato and Chocolate Brownies

These fudgy and decadent brownies are made with mashed sweet potatoes, almond flour, cocoa powder, and dark chocolate chips. They are a healthier alternative to traditional brownies and make a great dessert or snack.


Sweet potatoes are a good option for people with diabetes as they have a low glycemic index and can help regulate blood sugar levels. Sweet potatoes are also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a healthy addition to any meal.

Updated on: 03-Apr-2023


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