Can I eat sweet potatoes if I have diabetes?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Many cases of diabetes, especially type 1 diabetes, come from problems with the ability of the pancreas to regulate insulin, which is important in controlling blood sugar. The pancreas-shaped sweet potato helps to balance blood sugar in diabetics. Research shows that sweet potatoes contain adiponectin, the same hormones that are released from fat cells. Adiponectin tends to improve metabolism and insulin regulation. Unlike other starchy vegetables, sweet potatoes are considered to be an “anti-diabetic food.”
This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com
Judy Caplan
Nutrition & Dietetics

Yes diabetics can eat sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes contain carbohydrates which can raise blood sugar levels. However if you eat the right serving size of a sweet potato you can control the amount of sugar you take in. Also what you put on the potato is important. Avoid added sugars or sweeteners.

Marisa Moore
Nutrition & Dietetics

Absolutely! Sweet potatoes are perfect for any plate but especially for people with diabetes. Compared to white potatoes, sweet potatoes are lower on the glycemic index and deliver chart topping vitamin A for eye health. The fiber helps with blood glucose control and weight management and the potassium helps control blood pressure.

One important note... Take care to prepare your sweet potatoes without all of the added sugar, butter or marshmallows that many recipes call for. Go beyond the norm and try sweet potatoes roasted, mashed or even pureed into soup.

One sweet potato contains 26 grams of carbs, but that’s partially offset by the 4 grams of fiber. Sweet potatoes contain healthy phytochemicals, too. One idea is to eat just half a sweet potato (topped with butter rather than sugar) and pair it with a protein food.

Continue Learning about Diabetes

Diabetes

Diabetes mellitus (MEL-ih-tus), often referred to as diabetes, is characterized by high blood glucose (sugar) levels that result from the body’s inability to produce enough insulin and/or effectively utilize the insulin. Diabetes ...

is a serious, life-long condition and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Diabetes is a disorder of metabolism (the body's way of digesting food and converting it into energy). There are three forms of diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that accounts for five- to 10-percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes may account for 90- to 95-percent of all diagnosed cases. The third type of diabetes occurs in pregnancy and is referred to as gestational diabetes. Left untreated, gestational diabetes can cause health issues for pregnant women and their babies. People with diabetes can take preventive steps to control this disease and decrease the risk of further complications.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.