In Weight Watchers last week, we had a very detailed discussion about the difference, nutritional and otherwise, between sweet potatoes, yams, and potatoes. There seemed to be a lot of misinformation floating around the room, so I thought I'd figure it out.
There is a lot more you can find on Wikipedia, but suffice it to say, the yummy, sweet, orange vegetable you know as a sweet potato in Canada is in fact a sweet potato. However, if you are American (which I am certain you are not because like 9 people read my blog and most of you live within 500 km of me) then what you know as yams are actually sweet potatoes. For some reason, sweet potatoes were given the name yams over the years. The actual yam is barely distantly related to the sweet potato, has a different taste and look, and is native to Africa, whereas the sweet potato is native to South America. But apparently, sweet potatoes are often even labeled as yams in many North American supermarkets.
How do these two vegetables compare on the nutrition front? Well, compared to all other vegetables actually, the sweet potato basically kicks total ass. According to Wikipedia, in 1992 "Center for Science in the Public Interest compared the nutritional value of sweet potatoes to other vegetables. Considering fiber content, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron, and calcium, the sweet potato ranked highest in nutritional value. According to these criteria, sweet potatoes earned 184 points, 100 points over the next on the list, the common potato."
There. Argument settled. If we spend 3/4 of the next Weight Watchers meeting arguing about this, I'm just going to have to pull this info out. Will it point me out in the crowd as an uber-nerd? Yes. Do I care? Very little.