The Difference Between Yams and Sweet Potatoes

Yams vs sweet potatoes

Yams and sweet potato

Difference between yams and sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes and yams as the same potatoes often cause a lot of confusion.

It is true that yam and sweet potato are completely different plants and not even closely related. In fact, these delicious starchy vegetables actually belong to two different plant families.

Yams are members of the genus Dioscorea and belong to their own special family, Dioscoreaceae. These are potato-like tubers and are mostly grown in tropical regions of the world. A number of different yams species are grown for food and the color of the flesh ranges from white to yellow, pink or purple. The skin is usually brown and rough, like the bark of a tree. They range in taste from sweet to bitter and from dry to starchy.

Sweet potatoes, from the species Ipomoea batatas, belong to the Morning Glory family. Edible roots are actually true roots and usually, the flesh inside is orange or white, although smooth skin can be of different colors. Sweet potatoes are widely grown in South America and are common in tropical America and parts of the Pacific Ocean. These are usually sweet-tasting and moist.

Why is there so much confusion surrounding the words yams and sweet potatoes?

Both names are used interchangeably and are often labeled in supermarkets and incorrectly. But they are completely different vegetables. A few reasons can explain how this mixture happened.

Africans brought to the United States call the local sweet potato- Niami, which translates to yam in English. Because it reminds them of the real- yam, in Africa they knew a food staple.

Also, the dark-skinned, orange-fleshed sweet potato variety was introduced in the United States decades ago. To distinguish it from pale-skinned sweet potatoes, the producers labeled them yams.

Most vegetables labeled as yam in US supermarkets are actually a variety of sweet potatoes.

Sweet potato vs yam nutrition

113gm serving of sweet potatoes Nutritional Info:

Cal: 129

Carbs: 32 g

Dietary Fiber: 3 g

Sugar: 6 g

Fat: 0 g

Saturated: 0 g

Polyunsaturated: 0 g

Monounsaturated: 0 g

Trans: 0 g

Protein: 1 g

Sodium: 44 mg

Potassium: 348 mg

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Vitamin A: 338 %

Vitamin C: 29 %

Calcium: 1 %

Iron: 1 %

136gm serving of Yam’s potatoes Nutritional Info:

Cal: 158

Carbs: 37 g

Dietary Fiber: 5 g

Sugar: 0 g

Fat: 0 g

Saturated: 0 g

Polyunsaturated: 0 g

Monounsaturated: 0 g

Trans: 0 g

Protein: 2 g

Sodium: 11 mg

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Vitamin A: 3 %

Vitamin C: 27 %

Calcium: 2 %

Iron: 4 %

How do make Sweet potatoes and yams and eat them separately?

How do make Sweet potatoes?

Sweet potatoes are usually found in US supermarkets. It is used in a wide range of traditional western dishes both sweet and savory.It is often baked, mashed or roasted. It is commonly used to make fried sweet potatoes. It can be used in soups and desserts.

How do make yams?

True yams are rarely found in Western supermarkets. However, these staple food especially in Africa. In Africa these are often boiled, fried and steamed. Purple yam is commonly found in Japan, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines and is often used in desserts. Yams are available in a variety of shapes, including whole, powder or flour and as a supplement.

Wild yam powder is available in some healthy food and supplement stores under different names. These include wild Mexican yam, colic root or Chinese yam.

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