Thursday, October 27, 2011

Yams and sweet potatoes--like OWS and the Tea Party

Our Monday exercise class instructor challenged the class to track calories for one week, so I've been reading labels and checking the internet. I'm a bit bored with the usual fare of peas, beans and corn, so today at Giant Eagle I looked at sweet potatoes--or thought I did. I actually almost picked up a yam, which isn't even close in nutritional value to a sweet potato. The two aren't even related. Yam has 3% vit. A; sweet potato has 770%. Yam is inflammatory; sweet potato is highly anti-inflammatory.

Sweet potato
770% vit. A
65% vit. C.
180 Calories
Highly anti-inflammatory
This food is low in Sodium, and very low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Manganese.

3% vit. A
27% vit. C
158 calories
Moderately inflammatory
This food is very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese

Sweet potatoes: Popular in the American South, these yellow or orange tubers are elongated with ends that taper to a point and are of two dominant types. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light yellow skin with pale yellow flesh which is not sweet and has a dry, crumbly texture similar to a white baking potato. The darker-skinned variety (which is most often called "yam" in error) has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a vivid orange, sweet flesh and a moist texture.

The true yam: is the tuber of a tropical vine (Dioscorea batatas) and is not even distantly related to the sweet potato. The word yam comes from African words njam, nyami, or djambi, meaning "to eat," and was first recorded in America in 1676.

The yam tuber has a brown or black skin which resembles the bark of a tree and off-white, purple or red flesh, depending on the variety. They are at home growing in tropical climates, primarily in South America, Africa, and the Caribbean. Yams are generally sweeter than a sweet potato.

So, from now on, I'm buying only sweet potatoes--better nutrition and highly anti-inflammatory.

For lunch I'm having sweet potato sticks, with some fresh spinach. Not sure it will exactly this in appearance, but all the nutritional stuff should be there.

1 comment:

Norma said...

Today I visited a very high end market---organic stuff, beautiful displays, high prices, and I noticed all the yams were posted as sweet potatoes. So I asked the produce person, and she said they were the same thing, and I said no they're not, and she offered to let me see the packing box and slip, so I took her up on that. Waited. Waited. Waited. Finally she came out with her manager, who told me they no longer had the box, but sometimes they come labeled sweet potatoes, sometimes yams, but it's all the same. No, they aren't, I said--so you don't actually have sweet potatoes, only yams? And she agreed--and I left the store without a sweet potato.