For a longer, disease-free life, it is imperative to keep your weight in check.
However, unhealthy junk food is now more popular and accessible than ever before.
Due to this, many people struggle with unintended weight gain that can interfere with their fitness goals.
Luckily, regular workouts and healthy eating habits can help you with your weight loss journey.
Many people incorporate sweet potatoes into their diets, thinking that it will help them lose weight. But does that even work?
In this article, we will discuss whether this starch-filled tuber is actually conducive to your plans or is it simply another dietary supplement adding to your overall calorie intake.
Are Sweet Potatoes Healthy?
Sweet potatoes are very nutrient-dense. This means that they can provide you with many essential nutrients you need in a single intake.
They have a significantly high amount of fat and water, allowing you to feel full very quickly and preventing you from binging on other unhealthier foods in your diet.
One medium sweet potato contains:
- Calories: 112
- Carbs: 26 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Fat: 0.1 gram
- Fiber: 3.5 grams
- Vitamin A: 102% of the daily value (DV)
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 11% of the DV
It serves as a rich source of complex carbs that break down into glucose and give you the optimal energy boost for your day-to-day activities.
Your metabolism is also affected in a positive manner as this root provides you with Vitamin B6- a compound responsible for regulating your metabolism levels.
Overall, Sweet potatoes are a pretty healthy snack for people of all ages and can be consumed at any time of the day.
Plus, it is also very easy to prepare and even easier to eat.
How can Sweet Potatoes help in weight loss?
Fiber is a substance that goes through the body without getting digested.
It is great for the digestive tract as it cleans the tube and takes away any harmful or waste products produced by the body.
Sweet Potatoes have a very high percentage of fiber in it. The fiber content is viscous and soluble in the digestive fluid.
This forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract that slows down digestion and makes you feel that hunger has subsided.
Therefore, consumers tend to feel full for longer periods without even getting a lot of calories in.
Since the feeling of hunger has subsided, you shall not be tempted to eat additional meals, despite your body not getting the usual amount of calories you are used to.
By continuing to consume a diet of fewer calories by incorporating sweet potatoes, you shall gradually start shedding away the extra carbs stored under your skin.
This shall be the consequence of the body using up your stored fat to compensate for the lower amount of calories.
Besides controlling the intake of unhealthy fats, the sweet potato itself does not contribute to any weight gain problems.
This is because all the nutrients it provides are already in readily usable form and are rapidly digested by the body for energy.
What is the science behind losing weight?
The equation is simple.
If you eat more calories than you burn, you shall gain weight and vice versa.
The intake of fewer calories compared to the amount you burn can make you lose weight.
By promoting fullness, Sweet Potatoes allow you to maintain a calorie deficit and hence, help you lose weight.
According to data from 48 different studies, it was found that consuming fiber for more than 12 months allowed the participants to sustain a weight loss of at least 5% of the participant’s body weight.
In another study, participants that consumed a diet with a significant portion of sweet potatoes lost a minimum of 5% of their body weight and body fat percentage compared to a control group.
Much other experimental data also provides evidence to support this claim that sweet potatoes do, in fact, facilitate weight loss.
However, it needs to be noted that sweet potatoes only facilitate weight loss.
This means that if you are not already on a calorie deficit diet, meaning if you do not limit your daily calorie intake, sweet potatoes can do little to contribute to your weight loss regime.
Do sweet potatoes cause belly fat?
If your consumption of this sweet tuber increases your consumed calorie to burnt calorie ratio, then yes, sweet potatoes can become the reason you gain weight.
These extra carbohydrates will be stored as body fat in the body since they will not be getting used up for energy release.
Body fats can be stored in many locations in the body, and the belly is one of the first positions that the body uses as a storage space.
Unless you are actively participating in sports and burning out all the extra calories, an excessive amount of calories will contribute to more belly fat.
It all really boils down to the simple relation of weight gain/weight loss with the quantity of consumed and burnt calories.
And so the answer to whether sweet potatoes can cause you belly fat lies in the overall net amount of calories you consume.
More sweet potatoes + lesser carbs from other sources will also mean your overall body mass remains the same.
For this to actually work, you want to ensure that you consume sweet potatoes in limited amounts and refrain from consuming any additional calories that reverse any work it does.
Are there any side effects of consuming sweet potatoes?
While having many positive effects on the body, such as promoting weight loss, sweet potatoes may not be the best food option for everyone.
As sweet potatoes do not contain a lot of protein and fat in them, they have a huge percentage of readily usable carbohydrates.
Such rapid breakdown of carbs into glucose can cause spikes in your blood sugar levels which can be a concern for those with diabetes.
After all, the name has the word ‘sweet’ in it for a reason.
Sweet Potatoes are a healthy and nutritious alternative to other snacks.
They can indeed be an effective aid in your weight loss journey by promoting a calorie deficit diet that can lead to weight loss.
However, sweet potato is not the magic fruit that will relieve you of all your problems.
For a healthier and safe transition to reducing the scale, you must incorporate a healthier lifestyle with workout routines along with conscious eating decisions.
Being healthy is not a destination but a lifelong habit, and we hope this article will help you in building the life you want to live.