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Ask the Expert Archive

What are the nutritional differences between yams and sweet potatoes? I was under the impression that the deeper the color of the vetetable, the more nutritious it is, but my sister heard on TV news clip, that sweet potatoes are more nutritious than yams. Can you help?

Supermarkets often label orange-colored sweet potatoes as "yams," causing much confusion between the two. Compared to sweet potatoes, yams are actually starchier and drier. Actual yams do not contain vitamin A, while sweet potatoes are extremely rich in this vitamin.  It is true that colorful and darker colored fruits and vegetables are very nutritious.  Therefore, the sweet potato is more nutritious than a yam.

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  1. Thanks for the information. Very useful. I even thought they were about the same. Not thinking that one was a deeper color than the other, even though there are white yams.

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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