Sweet potatoes have long been popular in the health and fitness community for many of their health benefits. Still, people who are looking to control their carbohydrate intake for health reasons or because of the new diet they are trying want to know one thing: are sweet potatoes low carb?
The short answer is no, not really.
The long answer is much more complicated than that, of course. Really, it depends on your definition of low carbohydrate. Eating 1 small or medium sweet potato in a day won’t wreck most diet plans and most conservatively low carb diets have no problem with sweet potatoes as long as they are not eaten in excess.
Being on a low carbohydrate diet seemly means that you are limiting yourself in the total amount of carbs you have in a day. So asking “are sweet potatoes low carb?” depends on the total amount you are allowed in a day. For example, if low carb for you is 150 grams per day, 1 or even 2 medium potatoes can definitely fit well under that with room to spare.
According to the USDA, 1 average sweet potato provides 26 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, and practically 0 fat. This is based on a 5 inch potato, that is 130 grams or 4.58 ounces. It also provides about 4 grams of fiber.
Most low carb diets allow much more than 26 grams of carbs per day for the average person. Only the most extreme low carbohydrate or ketogenic diet wouldn’t allow 26 grams of carbohydrates in a day. Diets like this may sometimes be recommended by a doctor for health reasons or chosen by an individual as there personal preference.
Deciding if sweet potatoes fit in your diet is totally up to you, your doctor, and your nutritionist. Sweet potatoes have a ton of health benefits that you may want to take advantage of. They provide tons of Vitamin A and countless other vitamins and minerals that are needed in your diet.
Sweet potatoes also have other great benefits. They have large amounts of antioxidants, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and many more benefits. Restricting them from your diet entirely would mean you would have to replace those nutrients in some other way.
People constantly get caught up asking if a certain food fits a certain diet. In general, most foods can fit in almost any diet if consumed in moderation. The most important part is knowing where that food will put your overall macro-nutrient levels for the day. Only the most extreme diet plan would completely restrict the consumption of any 1 macro-nutrient in total.
Ultimately, the average low carb diet program should have plenty of room for the carbohydrates from sweet potatoes. The most important thing when being on a nutrition plan like this is paying attention to the overall intake in your diet on a daily basis.
Sweet potatoes can be a great choice on most nutrition plans for their overall health benefits. It only makes sense to restrict them in unique situations as ordered and overseen by your doctor.