Sweet potatoes in an air fryer or pressure cooker are the healthiest option for your family. Not only sweet potatoes are packed with nutrients, but also the cooking method is important for preserving the nutrients, and avoiding the use of excess oil.
Nutrition facts of sweet potatoes
According to the USDA, sweet potatoes are nutrient-rich vegetables.
Sweet potato is a starchy, tuberous root vegetable. Even the young leaves are edible.
Sweet potatoes are mainly water (73%). Moreover, 100 gr contains:
- calories: 107 kcal,
- protein: 1.92 gr,
- fat: 2.54 gr,
- carbs: 19.7 gr,
- fiber: 3.1 gr
- sugars: 6.1 gr
As you can see, sweet potatoes contain both protein and fat, besides carbs.
Actually, about 7% of the calories come from protein, 20% from fat, and 73% from carbs.
Above all, sweet potatoes are rich in dietary fiber. Just 100 gr contains 11% DV (Daily Value).
Is regular potato or sweet potato the richest in fiber? What’s the best way to cook them? Find out here.
Remember…Sweet potatoes are 7% protein, 20% fat, 73% carbs.
Additionally, sweet potatoes contain many vitamins and minerals.
They are particularly rich in vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, and beta-carotene.
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene are linked to good vision.
- Vitamin C is linked to an improved immune system. You can find other common foods rich in vitamin C here.
Did you know that sweet potatoes contain more beta-carotene than carrots? See all the foods rich in beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin here.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are important for good eyesight, as well.
Furthermore, sweet potatoes contain traces of many other minerals.
Better consume the skin as well, in order to consume more nutrients.
Are sweet potatoes a healthy food?
Sweet potato is truly an amazing food. All parts are edible. Tubers, leaves, stems, and stalks all can be eaten.
Certainly, sweet potato is nutrient-rich. It contains carotenoids, anthocyanins, phenolic acids in all different parts. Besides carbs, proteins, lipids, and minerals.
So, scientists believe that this unique composition contributes to various health benefits.
Hence, sweet potatoes have potent health effects (1):
Who could imagine? Sweet potatoes can help you lose weight, look younger, or fight inflammation…
Glycemic Index of sweet potatoes
According to the University of Sydney, sweet potatoes have a Glycemic Index (GI) between 44-94. That mainly depends on the cooking method, variety, or on the removal of the skin.
The Glycemic Index created in order to measure the effect of food on blood sugar. The lowest the better:
- 55 or less. Low GI
- 55 to 70. Medium GI
- 70 or greater. High GI
So, are sweet potatoes bad for you? Not exactly…
The Glycemic Index is a little misleading, as it doesn’t take into consideration the amount of carbs of food.
Glycemic Load of sweet potatoes
A better way to look at the effect of food on blood sugar is the Glycemic Load (GL).
Glycemic load is calculated by the amount of carbs in a food multiplied by that food’s Glycemic Index.
Similarly, the lower the GL the better:
- 10 or less. Low GL
- 11 to 19. Medium GL
- 20 or greater. High GL
In most cases, sweet potatoes have a GL of 11-19. So, it’s medium Glycemic Load food.
Is this bad? Of course not…But better consume the whole vegetable.
Don’t remove the skin, as it has a great fiber content, delaying the spike of blood sugar.
Do you worry about your daily fiber intake? Don’t. So many common foods are rich in dietary fiber. For instance, regular potatoes, oatmeal, rice, spinach, broccoli, bananas, apples, carrots, or avocados are all high in fiber.
Why cook sweet potatoes in air fryer?
Fried sweet potatoes are an excellent choice. You can eat them as a healthy snack or as part of a meal.
Dietary fiber content of sweet potatoes
Fried potatoes have a great dietary fiber content. Especially fried sweet potatoes have about 6 grams of fiber per 100 gr. Or about 12 gr of fiber per cup. That’s 49% DV (Daily Value). That’s huge…
Most noteworthy, 95% of Americans fail to consume the recommended daily amount of fiber. It’s about 28 grams.
That’s why it’s good for you to consume fried sweet potatoes. Not only they are packed with nutrients, but also they taste great, kids love them, it’s a healthy snack, and it significantly contributes to the fiber intake.
Why should we cook sweet potatoes in air fryer?
It’s good for you to avoid fried sweet potatoes. This way you avoid all the extra calories from the oil.
Less oil, fewer calories
Even the purest organic vegetable oils are high in calories.
So, sweet potatoes in an air fryer are the best option. No extra oil, no extra calories.
Avoid excess saturated oil
In any case, don’t eat French fries that aren’t homemade. You don’t know the quality of the used vegetable oil. In most cases is of low quality, rich in saturated fats and trans fat.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), we shouldn’t consume more than 5% of calories from saturated fat. That’s only 120 kcal or 13 grams per 2,000 diet. Moreover, high amounts of saturated fats have linked to increased LDL cholesterol, high risk of heart diseases, and stroke.
Why you should avoid trans fat?
Furthermore, when we heat vegetable oils a new type of fat is created. The trans fat…
Trans fat is simply the worst type of fat you can consume. It’s highly linked to a high risk of heart diseases, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Please keep in mind, that by law, companies can say that their products have “0 grams of trans fats”, even if they contain up to 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
Not “per 100 grams”, but “per serving”. That’s tricky…
Also, look at the nutrition facts for ingredients such as “partially hydrogenated oil”. That’s another name for trans fat.
Also, keep in mind that trans fat can be found naturally in meat and dairy.
To sum up…Homemade sweet potatoes in the air fryer are the healthiest option. No extra calories, no saturated or trans fat.
Why cook sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker?
Another healthy option is the cooking of sweet potatoes in a pressure cooker.
It’s a nutrient-dense, super-fast meal.
As a rule of thumb, use whole organic sweet potatoes in order to increase the fiber content and the amount of nutrients.
As sweet potatoes won’t be in the water, we won’t lose as many nutrients.
Finally, boiled potatoes are among the most satiating foods (2). They can keep us full for a much longer time, comparing to rice or pasta.
There is no wonder why scientists have effectively used sweet potatoes to reduce the bodyweight of overweight people. Most noteworthy, patients lost body fat and improved their BMI (3).
- Food Research International: Chemical constituents and health effects of sweet potato.
- University of Otago-Department of Human Nutrition: Subjective Satiety Following Meals Incorporating Rice, Pasta and Potato
- A 2019 study: White Sweet Potato as Meal Replacement for Overweight White-Collar Workers: A Randomized Controlled Trial