Sweet potato chips are a variant of potato chips produced using sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. Sweet potato chips are not as easily available or popular as regular ones. However, these chips are healthier than French fries or white potato chips.
Sweet potatoes have high fibre, vitamin, and mineral content. They are also abundant in antioxidants, shielding the body from free radicals and chronic medical conditions. In addition, studies show that sweet potatoes contain soluble and insoluble fibre, which protects the intestinal wall, keeping the digestive system healthy and robust.
Nutrition Value of Sweet Potato
According to the USDA, 100 g of raw sweet potato includes:
- Energy: 86 kCal
- Water: 77.3 g
- Protein: 1.5 g
- Carbs: 20.1 g
- Sugar: 4.18 g
- Fibre: 3 g
The HealthifyMe Note
Sweet potatoes are nutrient-dense, fibre-rich, satiating, and tasty. You can consume it by boiling, baking, steaming, or frying.
Health Benefits of Sweet Potatoes
Improves Gut Health
Sweet potato chips have a significant impact on their consumer’s gut health. Since sweet potatoes are high in fibre and antioxidants, they are beneficial to intestinal health. In addition, sweet potatoes have soluble and insoluble fibre. Our body can digest neither kind. Hence, these fibres remain in our digestive tract and deliver several gut-related health advantages.
Viscous fibres are the soluble fibre that absorbs water and softens the stool. Non-viscous, insoluble fibres do not absorb water, increasing the bulk of the stool and facilitating movement out of the body. As per studies, some soluble and insoluble fibres are digested by bacteria inside the colon, resulting in short-chain fatty acids, which stimulate and strengthen the cells inside our intestinal lining. It maintains their health and strength.
Improves Immune System
Consumption of sweet potato chips can improve the body’s immune system. Also, sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, a plant-based molecule that the body converts to vitamin A. According to research, a lack of sufficient vitamin A in the blood levels causes weakened immunity. It’s also essential to have healthy mucous membranes, particularly in the stomach lining.
Several unhealthy microorganisms are primarily present in our stomach. As a result, a healthy stomach is crucial to a robust immune system. Vitamin A deficiency exacerbates inflammation in the gut and weakens the immune system’s capacity to react appropriately to potential harms.
Reduce Cancer Risk
Sweet potato chips can help prevent cancerous risks too. Since sweet potatoes contain high beta-carotene content, it works as an antioxidant in our body. It is a provitamin as well.
Sweet potatoes contain anthocyanins, which are antioxidants. According to research, they delay the development of cancer cells in the bladder, colon, stomach, and breast. These antioxidants obtained from food can aid in the prevention of diseases such as cancer.
Antioxidants can aid in lowering the incidence of prostate and lung cancer. Antioxidants like beta-carotene are effective in preventing cellular damage. This cellular damage is a result of free radicals present in our bodies. Free radicals are volatile molecules. Cellular damage occurs when there is an increased amount of free radicals in the body.
Healthy for Vision
Consumption of sweet potato chips can be beneficial for people with vision problems. Also, sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene. Beta carotene is an antioxidant that gives vegetables their bright orange colour. Inside the human body, beta-carotene gets transformed into vitamin A, which subsequently gets utilised to create light-detecting receptors in our eyes.
Studies suggest that vitamin A deficiency can cause xerophthalmia, a kind of blindness. Therefore, eating beta-carotene-rich foods, like orange-fleshed sweet potatoes, can assist in avoiding this disorder. The anthocyanins that they contain protect eye cells from harm.
Regulates Blood Pressure
Patients with high blood pressure can try substituting their snacks with sweet potato chips. Sweet potatoes have potassium in abundance. Food items high in potassium benefit those with high blood pressure. In addition, potassium helps to lower blood sodium levels. Both components contribute to maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system by lowering blood pressure. It is advisable for people with high blood pressure to avoid meals that are rich in salt.
Sweet Potato Chips vs White Potato Chips
These chips’ main ingredient determines which will be healthier for consumption. Although both kinds of potatoes are nutritious, sweet potatoes are richer in nutrients such as vitamin A, which provide additional health advantages.
Sweet potatoes and potatoes are similar in a lot of ways. They are identical in terms of calories, carbs, and protein. However, there are few health-related factors where sweet potatoes get an edge over regular potatoes, so sweet potato chips are a better option.
The glycemic index (GI) is a scale from 0 to 100 that evaluates how rapidly a meal elevates blood sugar. There is a significant difference between potatoes and sweet potatoes regarding GI. The GI of boiled potatoes is approximately 78, whereas the GI of boiled sweet potatoes is around 63. Therefore, this implies that white potatoes break down pretty fast during digestion resulting in sudden blood sugar spikes in the body. Such factors are significant because consuming meals with a low glycaemic index will assist you in controlling your blood sugar and weight.
Several of the compounds in potatoes and sweet potatoes are antioxidants that help shield the body’s cells from oxidative stress. Protecting cellular damage is vital since oxidative stress is related to heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.
Sweet potatoes contain higher amounts of essential antioxidant vitamins such as A and C. In addition, sweet potatoes have antioxidant plant pigments that are not in white potatoes, such as beta-carotene and anthocyanins in orange and anthocyanins in purple sweet potatoes.
Home Baked Sweet Potato Chips
Prepare crisp and flavourful sweet potato chips at home, baked in the oven. Perfect for sandwiches, burgers, chilli, and other similar dishes.
- Sweet potatoes: 2 (150 grams each)
- Olive oil: 2 tbsp
- Sea salt (optional): ¼ tsp
- Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F (121 degrees C). Put the oven rack in the centre of the oven.
- Wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly before cutting them into thin slices (1/8 inch thick). Remember that excessively thick chips in some areas will not crisp up completely.
- Mix the sliced potato in a light coating of olive oil and season with salt.
- Put the salted and oiled slices on a parchment-lined baking sheet and let it bake for around 2 hours. Keep rotating chips halfway through to achieve uniform cooking. Note that the overall baking time depends on the potato slices’ thickness.
- Remove when golden brown and crunchy. Few of the chips may feel soft in the centre, but remove them and set them aside for about 10 minutes to cool slightly before eating. After cooling, chances are, soft chips will also turn relatively crispy. Serve right away.
Precautions and Food Safety
Some people are allergic to sweet potatoes. People prone to allergic reactions can develop an allergy to the cooking oils used to fry the chips. According to research, if you consume too much beta-carotene, you may get minor skin discolouration. Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene. However, it’s important to note that sweet potato chips don’t have only sweet potatoes as the ingredient.
Other components in these chips may trigger allergic reactions in some individuals. Bloating can also be caused by eating too many salty chips. It is also high in sodium and potassium. Therefore, people with kidney issues should avoid eating it frequently.
The HealthifyMe Note
You must monitor your potassium consumption if you have kidney issues. For someone with weak kidney function, excess potassium intake can significantly harm their kidneys. Furthermore, pesticide contamination in these root vegetables is also risky. Therefore, make sure you buy these chips after carefully reading the label on the packet.
Sweet potato chips are high in nutrients because of their main ingredient, sweet potatoes. They’re abundant in fibre and antioxidants, which help keep the damage from free radicals away while promoting gut and overall health. Additionally, they are high in beta-carotene and support the immune system and vision. Sweet potato chips are rich in flavour, and one can consume them without considering their impact on health.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: Are Sweet Potato Chips healthy?
A: Yes, sweet potato chips are incredibly healthy because their main ingredient is sweet potatoes. They are abundant with fibre, antioxidants and potassium. It helps improve gut health, vision and overall prevention of cellular damage. In addition, the potassium content of sweet potatoes is beneficial for people with high blood pressure. However, people who are easily prone to allergies should be careful with their consumption.
Q: Why are my sweet potato chips always soggy?
A: Distribute them evenly across two frying trays or fry them in separate batches rather than putting them all onto one. Packing them together in one frying pan will steam, resulting in mushy fries. Moreover, if the mix is thick, it will take longer to get baked. Therefore, this will result in chips not being crispy enough.
Q: Why are sweet potato chips better than potato chips?
A: Traditional white potato chips have less fibre than sweet potato chips. A standard 28g packet of regular potato chips has roughly 149 calories, 9.5 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbs, but just 0.9 grams of fibre. A single bag of sweet potato chips provides approximately three times the amount of fibre as a single bag of potato chips. Fibre-rich meals are healthy for gut health and the overall metabolic system. In addition, it makes one feel full with limited calorie consumption.
Q: Are fried sweet potato chips healthy?
A: It depends on how it’s deep-fried; frequent consumption can be harmful. Eat fries that are baked and not deep-fried. Baked fries don’t require as much oil as deep-fried fries. Moreover, try to consume a limited amount of fries.
Q: Is sweet potato good for weight loss?
A: Sweet potatoes contain a lot of fibre. Fibre gives the feeling of being full and prevents binge eating. In addition, sweet potatoes have a low-calorie count, making them a suitable snack option at times of hunger. However, please do not eat the deep-fried chips with additives. Rather, roast or grill it for a healthy weight loss.
Q: Should you soak sweet potatoes in water before baking?
A: Yes, soaking sweet potatoes before baking them is advisable. Surface starch gets released by soaking sliced pieces of sweet potatoes. The release of surface starch allows the potatoes to become crispy when baked. Place the sweet potato pieces in a container full of chilled water. Then cover and refrigerate until set to bake.
Q: Why are my sweet potato fries not crispy?
A: If the assortment is crowded, they will take a long time to get baked. It will result in chips not being crispy enough. Distribute the pieces evenly across two frying trays or fry them in separate batches rather than putting them all onto one. Packing them together in one frying pan will steam, resulting in mushy fries.
Q: Can diabetics eat sweet potato fries?
A: Sweet potato fries have a low GI. A Low GI index indicates that they take a long time to get digested. Therefore, this keeps you satiated for longer and prevents sudden blood sugar spikes.
Q: Is sweet potato fries healthier than regular fries?
A: Yes, they are. Sweet potatoes contain high fibre content as compared to other fries. Therefore, they provide more nutrients with low-calorie levels. However, deep oil-fried sweet potato fries are harmful regardless.
Q: Is frying sweet potatoes in olive oil healthy?
A: Olive oil is considered a healthy fat. Olive oil aids in the better absorption of beta carotene from sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have a lot of beta-carotene, which is a beneficial ingredient. Bake your fries in this oil and reap the added benefits of a low GI.