yam vs sweet potato tolerance

Commented on January 13, 2015
Created May 19, 2012 at 2:58 AM

These two foods always get lumped together, but I believe they are fairly different.

I've noticed that hannah sweet potatoes (the yellow ones) give me no problems at all, but garnet yams (the orange ones) give me upset stomachs. Japanese yams (white) seem okay.

Anyone else notice this? Anyone know what the differences could be? maybe something in the oxalate content?


on January 13, 2015
at 04:33 PM

I too have noticed upset stomach from garnet yams but golden Hannahs are great even in larger portions. I am going to begin baking with Hannah flour soon. Might have to make some myself. 

I find also that purple potatoes are quite painful and upsetting, despite being my favorite. Even a bite or two hurts for hours. Russets and similar, dark, rough skinned potatoes are tolerable with skin removed, golden potatoes are a little better and the small red ones are the best. I can't stop eating them. I may try to bake with that also. 

I also find them most gastrically pleasing when either hannah or potato are boiled in large chunks with sea salt in high quantity while removing the foam accumulating on top of boiling water throughout last ten minutes of boil. Drain water away completely and make it all swim in Grass Fed Butter, preferably raw- It hits the spot for savory for me, or I drizzle raw honey on top for a dessert still swimming in butter of coarse.



on May 19, 2012
at 12:35 PM

definitely they are different. Im fine with regular potatoes but orange sweet potatoes send me into a major insulin crash less than an hour from consuming. White sweet potatoes dont. I see someone posted the difference below, makes sense.

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4 Answers



on May 19, 2012
at 02:11 PM

The items sold in American supermarkets as "sweet potatoes" and "yams" are the same thing. True yams are big, not-so-sweet tubers found mainly in Africa. Of course, there are different varieties of sweet potatoes and they could theoretically provoke different reactions in people.



on May 19, 2012
at 10:47 AM

There is a distinct difference in the nutritional breakdown of yams and sweet potatoes:

Yams (per 100g serving) Calories - 177 Total Carbohydrate - 41.8g Sugar - 0.7g

Sweet Potatoes (per 100g serving) Calories - 114 Total Carbohydrate - 26.8g Sugar - 5.6g

As you can see, yams are denser and starchier, while sweet potatoes are higher in sugar. Of course, you're not really asking the question you think you're asking; there's a bit of confusion in the American market regarding yam/sweet potato nomenclature; though the two are used interchangeably for sweet potatoes, it's unlikely you've ever encountered a true (African) yam in the generic produce aisle. Garnet yams and standard sweets are both sweet potatoes.

In short, yes, there's a big difference between yams and sweet potatoes, which belong to entirely different taxonomic families. But to answer the question you meant to ask, there are variations in sugar and starch content of the different sweet potatoes, though the differences are probably miniscule because they're so closely related.

Some relevant articles: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/difference-yams-sweet-potatoes/#axzz1v1F6IcIr - Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

http://www.all-about-sweet-potatoes.com/sweet-potato-varieties.html - Different Types of Sweet Potatoes


on May 19, 2012
at 05:11 PM

I have definitely noticed this. I can only do the Japanese ones and the purple ones.



on May 19, 2012
at 12:55 PM

I hate when I go to the grocery store and ask for sweet potatoes and they show me yams. I'm like, "Nooooo! They aren't the same thing!!!" I like sweet potatoes that are yellow on the inside and purple on the outside. I crash hardcore after eating yams, however, I'm fine after eating a sweet potato. I don't think most Americans could name half the veggies at the super market. I swear I am also the only person that asks for turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, and Chinese radish. I'm always getting strange looks.

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