[[UPDATE MARCH 2017]]
BEFORE YOU READ THIS:
1. Read Microbiome Myths and How To Really Help Your Digestion from Laura Thomas PhD, particularly the section called “Candida overgrowth leads to ‘leaky gut’”
2. Read Captain Science vs The Army of Fungus from Angry Chef (includes swearing)
3. Read my blog post on Why Yeast Free Isn't The Answer
I have changed my views a lot about candida and yeast free over the last few months and want you to learn with me! This historical post is here for reference so you can see my journey. But please read the three articles above for more up-to-date opinions.
So I’ve been wondering: we all love sweet potatoes right? They’re ‘better’ than white potatoes aren’t they? They’re a so-called superfood, so surely that’s a yes!
It’s just… if a yeast free diet should be low in sugar, surely something called a ‘sweet’ potato has more sugar in it than a regular potato? That’s what’s inspired me to do some research and write this blog post.
I found these tables helpful as a starting point from Precision Nutrition:
Things definitely swinging in the sweet potatoes’ favour at the moment: less calories (although the Live Strong website disputes this), less carbs and more fibre. I don’t eat a potato for protein to be honest, so I’m less worried about that!
However then we break down the carb content:
So there we have the obvious displayed in black and white. Sweet potatoes contain 7 times the sugar of regular potatoes and 54% more fructose.
But let’s be realistic, this isn’t exactly a huge amount is it? If we compare it to the fruits we were discussing on my blog post on fruit, sweet potatoes are coming in around the same as cranberries (4g per 100g) and raspberries (5g per 100g) for sugars. That’s really reassuring for me. And backed up by Sarah Wilson on I Quit Sugar, she’s embracing sweet potatoes in many of her recipes.
Sugar and yeast-free issues aside we should also celebrate the fact that sweet potatoes are the Vitamin A King! Vitamin A is a powerful antioxidant and as such is great for boosting your immune system, maintaining healthy vision and skin. Per 100g sweet potatoes contain 19,218 IU (International units), which is 348% of your recommended daily allowance. WOW.
That is closely followed by carrots (17,033 IU), kale (13,621 IU) and butternut squash (11,155 IU). I did read some stuff about overdosing on Vitamin A but unless you’re living on a diet of polar bear livers (no I’m not joking, read here!) or dining exclusively on sweet potatoes, carrots and kale I think it’s all about a balanced diet.
And let’s not forget the trusty white potato. Because he’s not ALL bad. I noticed when I was at my little sister’s birthday party the other week that when faced with a buffet spread, eating yeast-free meant I chose to eat the boiled new potatoes rather than the bread-sticks, sandwiches or sausages. Going for the natural ingredient, over the processed and refined sugar and flour options was a simple choice to make. And in a restaurant it's the same - picking the humble white potato dish over a pastry means sticking to yeast-free.
What do you reckon?
Here are a few websites I used for research: