Sweet Potatoes: Not Just for Thanksgiving

17 Sep

Every year for Thanksgiving my mom makes a sweet potato dish that is a huge crowd-pleaser. It’s made by mashing sweet potatoes and then combining them with lost of butter, lots of brown sugar, and lots of marshmallows. It ends up looking like this:

Thanksgiving Sweet Potatoes

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Yum.

Just so you don’t get confused, I should be clear: um, no, these sweet potatoes are nowhere close to healthy. Sad, but true. So when I tell you that sweet potatoes are one of the healthiest superfoods out there (whether pregnant or not), you should know that my mom’s sweet potatoes don’t make the cut. Sorry mom!

Before you read about how awesome sweet potatoes are, I want to take everybody back to a very dark time. No, not to the poverty of the Great Depression, the fashion trends of the ’90’s, or the BYU loss on Saturday. We’re talking about the early 2000’s when the world thought that carbohydrates were Evil.

Thankfully, there aren’t very many low-carb options on restaurant menus anymore and people don’t avoid pasta like it’s the plague, but there’s still a little residual fear of carbs lingering in our society. Well. I’m here to tell you that there is no reason to fear carbs anymore! After all, they are one of the 3 macronutrients that make up our diet, so it would be a bad idea to cut them out of your diet completely.

Atkins Diet

Thanks for the good times, Dr. Atkins, but we’ve moved on.

Sure, carbs can be pretty high in calories, but they aren’t bad for you. At least when you eat the right ones. If you’re a fan of grains, go for whole grains instead of processed and make sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and you should be fine.

So now that we’ve cleared up any potential resistance to carbs, let’s talk about sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Nutritional Information
(most of this info is from The 100 Healthiest Foods to Eat During Pregnancy by Jonny Bowden & Allison Tannis)

Serving size: 1 cup

Calories: 180

0.6mg Vitamin B6: This vitamin is involved in the formation of red blood cells and antibodies, which are a huge part of your immune system. For your baby, vitamin B6 will aid in his (or her) brain and nervous system development.

700% Vitamin A Daily Value: You’ve probably heard that eating too much vitamin A during pregnancy can cause birth defects, but you’re completely fine if you don’t eat sweet potato (or other veggies that are high in vitamin A) every single day. Vitamin A is great when it comes from your diet (as opposed to supplements) because it is also less likely to cause birth defects. It will help with your little baby’s eye, ear, heart, and limb development as well, so don’t avoid vitamin A altogether!

If you want to start eating healthy but don’t really know where to begin, start by buying a few sweet potatoes at the grocery store. Seems simple enough, right? I’m going to make a few easy and healthy recipes this week that contain sweet potatoes so you can see how easy it is to incorporate this superfood into your diet.

Happy cooking!

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2 Responses to “Sweet Potatoes: Not Just for Thanksgiving”

  1. Emily Thomas September 18, 2012 at 3:21 pm #

    I love sweet potatoes and yams! I’m excited to see what recipes you come up with!

  2. Hannah September 27, 2012 at 8:51 am #

    I eat sweet potatoes all. the. time. I’m so relieved ‘Merica’s anti-carb stint is over!! Love the belly!!!!

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