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Nutritional Value of Sweet Potatoes & Carrots

Sweet potatoes and carrots provide good sources of several essential nutrients, including vitamin A, potassium and dietary fiber. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate dietary guidelines place both sweet potatoes and carrots in the orange and red vegetables group. Women ages 51 and over should eat 4 cups of orange and red vegetables per week, while women ages 19 to 50 should eat 5 1/2 cups per week, recommends the USDA.

Calories and Fat

Sweet potatoes contain more calories per serving than carrots and most other vegetables. One serving of sweet potato, or one medium potato, contains 100 calories, while one serving of carrots, or one long carrot, contains only 30 calories. Like most vegetables, sweet potatoes and carrots contain no fat or cholesterol.

Carbohydrates

Carrots and sweet potatoes both contain more sugar than many other vegetables, but sweet potatoes have a higher fiber and total carbohydrate content than carrots. One medium sweet potato contains 23 grams of carbohydrates, including 4 grams of dietary fiber and 7 grams of sugars. One long carrot contains 7 grams of carbohydrates, including 2 grams of dietary fiber and 5 grams of sugar. Fiber provides a feeling of fullness with fewer calories and promotes healthy digestion. The Harvard School of Public Health recommends that women consume at least 20 grams of fiber per day.

Vitamins

Sweet potatoes and carrots both provide excellent sources of vitamin A, a nutrient required for eye and skin health and the protection against infection. One long carrot provides 110 percent of the recommended daily vitamin A intake, and one medium sweet potato provides 120 percent of the recommended daily vitamin A intake. Sweet potatoes contain slightly more vitamin C than carrots. One medium sweet potato provides 30 percent of the recommended daily intake, while one long carrot provides 10 percent. Vitamin C plays an important role in tooth and gum health and tissue growth and repair.

Minerals

Sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, with 440 milligrams per serving. Carrots provide 250 milligrams per serving. Potassium plays an important role in blood pressure control, and healthy diets rich in potassium may slow bone loss and lower the risk of kidney stones. Carrots and sweet potatoes also provide some iron and calcium. One long carrot provides 2 percent of the recommended daily iron and calcium intake, and one medium sweet potato provides 4 percent of the recommended daily iron and calcium intake.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.