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Are sweet potatoes and potatoes from the same family?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 03, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Hi I've been having a disagreement with a friend who seems to think that sweet potatoes and potatoes are of the same family.

I think she was confusing tuber vegetables as being a particular "family" of vegetables. But even then they're not of the same elk since sweet potatoes are root tubers and potatoes are stem tubers.

But after researching a bit I found from the various vegetable families that the potato is from the solanaceas family and the sweet potato is from the convovulaceae family, so I don't see how the two can be from the same family.

Could someone please tell me if I'm correct and if so, what I can do to drive home my point or if there are bits missing which I should tell her.

07154e6d8e42065f230d06249700fe5b

(2057)

on September 03, 2011
at 10:49 PM

Hehehehe... "elk" Luls ^_^ That's quite a paleo slip :P

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 09:06 PM

I suppose that's true, but it's likely leaching it out along with nutrients with those cooking methods. I don't think that baking would result in much of a decrease. I always just microwave my sweet potatoes.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:48 PM

cooking decreases the oxalate content http://www.springerlink.com/content/m236x3655w3853ng/

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:32 PM

I'm not sure about the bioavailability of that calcium, since sweet potatoes contain a fair amount of oxalates. They have less in the way of oxalates than spinach, but they also have less calcium. The bioavailability in spinach is about 5%

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I'm not sure about the bioavailability of that calcium, since sweet potatoes contain fair amount of oxalates. They have less in the way of oxalates than spinach, but they also have less calcium. The bioavailability in spinach is about 5%.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:24 PM

sweet potatoes also have a decent amount of calcium compared to white potatoes

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 03, 2011
at 08:03 PM

yep, they are dif parts and dif families.

8aa3fa60c0a3151b0047f6733b7dabe6

(45)

on September 03, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Potatoes are specialized plant stem material and are called tubers. (Ever notice the buds that will grow out of a potato's eye? Just like the buds on a stem.) A sweet potato is a tuberous root.

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2 Answers

2
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 03, 2011
at 07:42 PM

Potatoes are Solanum AKA Nightshades

Sweet potatoes are Convolvulaceae AKA "morning glory family"

Yam are * Dioscoreaceae*

This is information available in any botanical text and on the internet. I think your friend is confusing parts of the plant with botanical families. Here is a free botany book on Google Books.

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on September 03, 2011
at 08:03 PM

yep, they are dif parts and dif families.

8aa3fa60c0a3151b0047f6733b7dabe6

(45)

on September 03, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Potatoes are specialized plant stem material and are called tubers. (Ever notice the buds that will grow out of a potato's eye? Just like the buds on a stem.) A sweet potato is a tuberous root.

1
Medium avatar

on September 03, 2011
at 08:01 PM

More importantly, they're largely interchangeable nutritionally (assuming you have two white-fleshed varieties) so if someone is intolerant to one, they don't really lose out on much by eating the other.

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2558/2

http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2668/2 (orange-fleshed, so significantly more beta carotene)

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 09:06 PM

I suppose that's true, but it's likely leaching it out along with nutrients with those cooking methods. I don't think that baking would result in much of a decrease. I always just microwave my sweet potatoes.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:32 PM

I'm not sure about the bioavailability of that calcium, since sweet potatoes contain a fair amount of oxalates. They have less in the way of oxalates than spinach, but they also have less calcium. The bioavailability in spinach is about 5%

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:31 PM

I'm not sure about the bioavailability of that calcium, since sweet potatoes contain fair amount of oxalates. They have less in the way of oxalates than spinach, but they also have less calcium. The bioavailability in spinach is about 5%.

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:48 PM

cooking decreases the oxalate content http://www.springerlink.com/content/m236x3655w3853ng/

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on September 03, 2011
at 08:24 PM

sweet potatoes also have a decent amount of calcium compared to white potatoes

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