Imagine this: you’re eating at your favorite restaurant with your friends. Everyone is having a great time, devouring delicious sweet potato fries when it suddenly hits you – how many calories am I consuming? What if this sweet potato dish interrupts my desired weight loss goal?
Unlike regular fries, sweet potato fries are crispy orange sticks on the outside and soft on the inside. While the taste of each variant is unique, sweet potato fries are less common than conventional French fries. Therefore, there is little knowledge among people regarding their nutritional profile.
This article can be a good start if you love sweet potatoes and want to understand their caloric content. We aim to provide the information you need to savor your fries without any calorie-related guilt. So, let’s prepare to evaluate potato fries’ calories and make informed choices about our favorite snack!
How Many Calories Are in Sweet Potato Fries?
The number of calories in sweet potato fries can change depending on how you prepare them and how many of them you consume. When talking about sweet potato fries vs. regular fries calories, you should know that the calories in ½ a cup of raw sweet potato equals 86. At the same time, there are 69 calories in ½ a cup of raw white potato (4).
It’s important to remember that the exact number of calories can differ due to the thickness of the fries, how you cook them (baking, frying, or air-frying), and what you put on them. If you want to know exactly how many calories are in your sweet potato fries, you should check the package if you buy them from a store or use a kitchen scale if you make them at home.
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Do Sweet Potatoes Contain More Nutrients?
From their vibrant orange hue to their satisfying crunch, sweet potato fries are a treat for your taste buds and a source of essential nutrients.
Here is a quick comparison between the nutrition in half a cup of the two types of raw potatoes (4).
- Sweet potatoes contain 20 grams of carbohydrates, compared to 15.7 grams in white potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes contain 0.05 grams of fat, while there are 0.1 grams of fat in white potatoes.
- There are 3 grams of fiber in sweet potatoes, compared to 2.4 grams in white potatoes.
- Sweet potatoes contain 1.6 grams of protein, compared to 1.7 grams in white potatoes.
- They also have different micronutrient profiles. For example, both are high in potassium, but sweet potatoes are much higher in vitamin A than white potatoes.
It is important to note that the specific nutrient content can vary depending on the sweet potato variety and how you prepare it. Baking or steaming sweet potatoes with their skin on is a healthy way of retaining their nutrients. In addition, white and sweet potatoes can both be part of a balanced diet, and their choice is dependent on individual preferences and dietary goals.
Are Sweet Potato Fries Healthier than French Fries?
Sweet potato fries are often considered to be a healthier alternative to traditional white potato fries. Determining which is healthiest depends on how they are prepared and consumed. The following are key points to consider:
Sweet Potato Fries
As mentioned earlier, sweet potatoes are rich in micronutrients such as potassium and vitamin A. When turned into fries, they retain some nutrients that may benefit the body.
Healthier Cooking Methods
Air-frying or baking sweet potatoes is healthier than deep frying them. This reduces their overall calories and fat content.
Lower Glycemic Index
Sweet potatoes have a lower glycemic index than white potatoes. This means they may have a milder impact on blood sugar levels when eaten (2). However, once they are fried or baked, the glycemic index of sweet potato fries becomes similar to that of regular white potato fries.
Sweet potatoes have a natural sweetness, which enhances their appeal without excessive salt or unhealthy toppings.
Lower in Some Nutrients
Regular white potato fries generally have fewer vitamins and minerals than sweet potato fries, although they are similarly rich in potassium.
Higher Glycemic Index
White potatoes have a higher glycemic index. This can result in a quicker spike in blood sugar levels when they are eaten. However, in the form of fries (baked or fried), the two potatoes have similar glycemic indices.
Although sweet potato fries are higher in some nutrients than regular French fries, variables such as cooking methods and dipping sauces can significantly impact the health factor of each category. In moderation and as part of a balanced diet, sweet potato fries can be a flavorful and nutritious choice.
How Many Calories Are in 100 Grams of Sweet Potato Fries?
The number of calories in 100 grams of sweet potato fries can vary according to their thickness and the cooking method used. On average, baked or roasted sweet potato fries contain 130-150 calories per 100 grams.
At the same time, when sweet potato fries are deep-fried, the calorie count is higher, typically ranging from 150-180 calories for a 100-gram serving (11).
Are Sweet Potato Fries Less Fattening?
Sweet potato fries often contain more of certain nutrients than white potatoes. They are mostly baked or air-fried when made at home, preserving their nutritional value and making them lower in calories and fat than deep-fried fries of either type.
The fact that they are air-fried or baked makes them less fattening. To make healthier choices, you should air-fry your sweet or white potatoes as this maintains their nutritional value.
The calories in the following sweet potato fries (air-fryer) recipe are only 84 per serving, compared to 165 calories in regular fries. The air-fried sweet potato fries contain 4g of fat, 12g of carbs, and 1g of protein per serving (3).
To make air-fried sweet potato fries, you need:
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- ¼ tsp. sea salt
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
- Two peeled and sliced sweet potatoes
- Slice the sweet potatoes into ¼-inch sticks
- Sprinkle olive oil in the air fryer.
- Mix the sea salt, peppers, and cinnamon in a bowl and toss the sweet potatoes until fully coated.
- Place them in the air-fryer.
- Cook them at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until they turn brown. Flip them and cook them for approximately 14 minutes.
- Take them out and serve them on a plate.
Makes 4 servings.
Do Sweet Potato Fries Contain a Lot of Fat?
Neither sweet potatoes nor white potatoes contain a huge amount of fat. The fat comes from that which is added during cooking, so the way your fries are cooked will determine how much fat they contain. Baking and air-frying are cooking methods that add significantly less fat than deep-frying.
Cooking French fries and sweet potato fries by deep-frying them may double the amount of calories you can get from baking them. This means that if you have a large enough serving of deep-fried fries, you will be eating the same amount of calories as an additional meal (12).
What Are the Benefits of Consuming Sweet Potato Fries?
Sweet potato fries have gained immense popularity worldwide due to their potential health benefits. They come in different varieties and colors and provide many potential benefits, which include:
May Improve Gut Health
Sweet potato fries may significantly improve gut health as they contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps it move through the digestive tract. Soluble fiber absorbs water and helps soften your stool, which makes it easier to pass. Soluble fibers are also fermented by the bacteria in your colon, which creates short-chain fatty acids that keep your intestinal lining healthy (7).
May Help to Fight Cancer
Purple sweet potatoes contain antioxidants known as anthocyanins that may slow the growth of cancer cells. As orange sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, they can also fight free radicals and potentially reduce the risk of cancer (1).
Can Improve Brain Functioning
Anthocyanins may also reduce inflammation markers and improve memory. While this has been observed in mice, it has yet to be tested on humans. However, eating fruits and vegetables is generally associated with a lower risk of dementia (8).
May Promote Healthy Vision
Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision. This is formed by beta-carotene, which is abundant in sweet potatoes. One cup of baked sweet potatoes contains over double the daily amount of required vitamin A for an adult (in the form of beta-carotene) (13).
In addition, consuming sweet potatoes can reduce the risk of xerophthalmia, an eye condition that is caused by severe vitamin A deficiency (14).
Helps to Support Immunity
The vitamin A in sweet potato fries can help regulate a healthy immune system and fight harmful pathogens. This is essential as a vitamin A deficiency plays an important role in the immune system (10).
Helps to Maintain Weight
Consuming sweet potatoes for weight loss may seem counterintuitive, but they can also regulate weight as they are fiber-rich. Consuming fiber-rich foods keeps you feeling full for longer and prevents overeating, which helps maintain a healthy weight.
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What Are the Risks of Consuming White Potato Fries?
Consuming white potato fries, particularly when they are prepared in certain ways, has several health risks:
Studies have shown that consuming more fried foods such as French fries can increase the risk of weight gain, obesity, and type II diabetes (5). This isn’t specific to white potatoes, though, and also applies to sweet potato fries that are deep-fried.
Eating a lot of fried foods can contribute to obesity, which can increase the risk of certain chronic diseases. Again, this isn’t specific to white potatoes and is about the deep-fried preparation method.
Sweet Potato vs. White Potato: Which One Should You Consume?
Choosing between sweet and white potatoes is dependent on your nutritional goals and dietary preferences. Both potato types offer a variety of health benefits and can be consumed as part of a balanced diet.
Here is a comparison to help you decide:
- They have less of certain nutrients, but are rich in potassium.
- They have a more neutral, savory flavor.
- They are rich in vitamin A and other nutrients.
- They have a sweeter flavor.
Of greater importance than the type of potatoes is the way the fries are prepared. Baked or air-fried fries with a small amount of added oil are far lower in calories and fat than deep-fried fries.
How Should You Consume Sweet Potato Fries?
Sweet potato fries can be made in a few minutes and enjoyed as a meal with different seasonings. You can make the following sweet potato dishes:
- Make sweet potato chips by thinly slicing, baking, or air-frying them.
- Make sweet potato fries by peeling, cutting them into wedges, baking, or air-frying.
- Make sweet potato toast by slicing, toasting, and topping them with nut butter.
- Make mashed sweet potatoes by peeling and boiling them. You can also season them.
- Make baked sweet potatoes by baking them till they are tender.
- Make stuffed sweet potato hash by peeling, dicing, and cooking in a pan.
- Make spiralized sweet potatoes by cutting them into spirals and enjoying them with a sauce.
If you want to enjoy healthy fats, you should use olive oil or avocado oil when preparing your sweet potatoes.
The Bottom Line
We have explored the world of sweet potato fries, those tasty, crispy sticks of goodness. Not only are they delicious, they also have some health benefits. Sweet potato fries contain more of certain nutrients such as vitamin A.
Try to air-fry or bake your fries if you want to make healthy choices.
Essentially, both types of potato are the same with some minor differences. What really matters is the way in which they are prepared.
Remember that it’s okay to enjoy them, but don’t overdo it. Eating sweet potato fries in moderation will help you savor their deliciousness while remaining healthy.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are sweet potato fries junk food?
Sweet potatoes have more of certain nutrients than white potatoes, but deep-fried foods in general tend to be high in calories and unhealthy fats. Baked or air-fried fries are a healthier choice.
Which is healthier, baked potato or sweet potato fries?
Sweet potatoes contain slightly more fiber than regular white potatoes. Fiber is important for the gut as it softens the stool and promotes healthy gut bacteria. As the stomach does not easily digest fiber, it can keep you feeling full for longer and prevent overeating. Sweet potatoes contain more vitamin A, but both sweet and white potatoes are high in potassium. Baked sweet or white potatoes will contain fewer calories and fat than fries of either type.
Are sweet potatoes high in calories?
Raw sweet potato contains 86 calories per half cup. The preparation method and how much fat is added will determine the final calorie count of your sweet potato dish.
How many calories are in cooked sweet potato chips?
25g of cooked sweet potato chips contains 132 calories. Their nutritional index contains 8g fat, 0.7g protein, and 14 g carbs. They also contain 0.7g of saturated fat and zero cholesterol.
Are sweet potato fries good for weight loss?
Sweet potato fries are high in calories and fat, particularly when they are deep fried, which may not be helpful for weight loss, but it is dependent on your overall diet. Baking or air-frying your sweet potato or white potato fries will help lower their calorie content.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- A Review on Free Radicals and Antioxidants (2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- A review on benefits of sweet potato for the management of diabetes mellitus (2019, jetir.org)
- Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Fries (2019, eatingwell.com)
- Are Sweet Potato Fries Healthier Than Regular Fries? (2021, houstonmethodist.org)
- Consumption Of Specific Foods And Beverages And Excess Weight Gain Among Children (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Clinical Uses of Probiotics (2016, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Dietary fiber and prebiotics and the gastrointestinal microbiota (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Increased Consumption of Fruit and Vegetables (2017, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Potato intake and incidence of hypertension (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Role of Vitamin A in the Immune System (2018, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Sweet Potato Fries (n.d., fatsecret.com)
- Sweet Potato Fries vs. French Fries: Which Is Healthier? (2019, healthline.com)
- Sweet potato, cooked, baked in skin, flesh, without salt (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Vitamin A deficiency and xerophthalmia in children of a developed country (2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)