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Sweet potato skin - to eat or not to eat?

Answered on April 02, 2014
Created March 29, 2014 at 6:10 PM

Any idea what's really in the sweet potato skin? Is there a good reason to or not to eat it with the sweet potato?

I usually eat the skins when I get organic. Just not sure if it's a significant gut irritant and my n=1 has produced mixed results.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 02, 2014
at 08:37 PM

That's probably why the results are inconclusive. I sometimes eat them with, sometimes without. I sometimes get a stomach ache or heart burn but not sure if it's just too much butter or what. I really should conduct a more rigorous test(s).

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 02, 2014
at 08:35 PM

The fiber is a concern to me. I definitely do not need more fiber! And I noticed that too but I chocked it up to preparation. I may be wrong but I think potassium chloride is hydrophilic and so would naturally be sucked out when boiling. Vitamin C also readily disolves in water.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 29, 2014
at 06:39 PM

On the other hand, the most nutritious part is often in that outer protection.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00107a003?journalCode=jafcau

I see "~78% of the phenolics were found to be localized in the skin and outer 5mm of tissue."

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5 Answers

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Be157308a0438e382b88d9db4c12ab30

on April 02, 2014
at 09:16 PM

Go for it, it won't kill you. If it's organic then the most it could do is give your liver a bit of a workout via hormesis. We are human, hence well adapted omnivores, so our ability to handle plant toxins is actually quite good, except for certain people with deficiencies in the the enzymes cytochrome P450, required for Phase I detoxification, or glucuronosyltransferase, required for Phase II detoxification (I have Gilbert's syndrome, so this one applies to me). So you should be fine, eat up.

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6fece842bd1bcf5724f458a302a2156e

on March 29, 2014
at 10:16 PM

Most of the good stuff is usually in skins. You might be better off eating the skin and not the middle if it had to be a choice! I had sweet potato with skin on last night. Lovely.

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Medium avatar

(238)

on March 29, 2014
at 10:15 PM

The fact is that when drenched in grass fed butter I can't stop from eating the skin. Better than a handful of Oreos for you.

btw - how are you doing n=1 on the skins? are you eating just a plate of skins? if not how would you really know this? curious.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 02, 2014
at 08:37 PM

That's probably why the results are inconclusive. I sometimes eat them with, sometimes without. I sometimes get a stomach ache or heart burn but not sure if it's just too much butter or what. I really should conduct a more rigorous test(s).

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on March 29, 2014
at 09:08 PM

A cursory comparison on the USDA food database shows twice the potassium and 60% higher vitamin c for sweet potato baked skin on vs boiled skin off. Whether that's prep method or the effect of the skin you can't say for sure, but no one is saying the cooked skin is inedible, so it is probably adding some vitamins and minerals, and fiber.

Medium avatar

(624)

on April 02, 2014
at 08:35 PM

The fiber is a concern to me. I definitely do not need more fiber! And I noticed that too but I chocked it up to preparation. I may be wrong but I think potassium chloride is hydrophilic and so would naturally be sucked out when boiling. Vitamin C also readily disolves in water.

0
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on March 29, 2014
at 06:15 PM

In many plants the outside skin/shell is the plant's protection. This is true of regular white potatoes. I'm not sure whether sweet potatoes or yams contain any toxins in the skin, but if they did, that's one place they'd be.

http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=pjn.2009.1894.1897&org=11 indicates phytate, oxalates, and tannins, but didn't say if it was limited to the skin. Of course phytate isn't that big of a deal, and you'd cook them anyway.

Cf08ad26759fdd206a2c9f9385080a57

(995)

on March 29, 2014
at 06:39 PM

On the other hand, the most nutritious part is often in that outer protection.

http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf00107a003?journalCode=jafcau

I see "~78% of the phenolics were found to be localized in the skin and outer 5mm of tissue."

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