Are Sweet Potatoes Really Good for Diabetes?

diabetes and sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a great choice of food for anyone including those who have diabetes. Despite being a starchy vegetable, they are rich in fiber and are known to have low glycemic index. Foods with low glycemic index usually have less impact in your blood glucose. Thus, it can help in controlling your blood sugar levels.

However, the method in which the sweet potatoes are cooked can affect its glycemic index. Certain methods of cooking can spike its glycemic index and make them less desirable for diabetes patients.

Glycemic Index

Glycemic index is the measurement of how carbohydrates can affect the blood sugar. It helps in tracking the rate in which carbohydrates are absorbed into your blood after consumption. The lower the glycemic index, the better it is for those with diabetes. Eating foods with low glycemic index helps to keep blood sugar level at bay. The glycemic index of sweet potatoes is 44 which falls within the low glycemic index category of 55 and less. This means that sweet potatoes are safe for diabetes patients to consume.


Another reason why sweet potatoes are good for diabetes is because it has a good amount of fiber. This is especially true if you eat it with the skin. The amount of fiber in the food can help to slow down the digestion rate of its carbohydrate contents. This result in a lower glycemic index and helps keep blood sugar levels more manageable.


Caiapo is an extract of a Japanese grown sweet potato that is being sold as a treatment for diabetes in Japan. According to a study, patients with type 2 diabetes that were treated with the caiapo have seen a significant decrease in blood sugar levels. It also greatly improved their overall blood glucose control. The researchers also concluded that white sweet potatoes are good for those with diabetes.

Cooking Method

As mentioned, the manner in which the sweet potatoes are cooked can affect its glycemic index. Despite popular, mashed sweet potatoes are not ideal for diabetes because they are digested faster. Thus, it increases the glycemic index of sweet potatoes, which can also possibly cause spikes in your blood sugar level. Just like fiber, fats can slow the rate of digestion. Thus, the best method of cooking sweet potatoes for diabetes is to sauté it in olive oil and with its skin on.

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