Even though the 3.6 grams of protein in a sweet potato seems kind of low, a medium, baked white potato (173 grams) also has 3.6 grams of protein. You might think eating white potatoes instead of sweet potatoes makes an even swap in terms of protein content, but these potatoes have less in common than you think, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Although they’re both root vegetables and bear the name “potato,” the sweet potato is part of the morning glory family while white potatoes are considered nightshades. Some people with inflammatory or auto-immune conditions might not be able to tolerate the solanine found in nightshades (per WebMD).
Sweet potatoes are superior to white potatoes in terms of vitamin A and beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes have more than 1,000 times more vitamin A and almost 2,000 times more beta-carotene than white potatoes. Beta-carotene is a key antioxidant that helps ward off diseases like cancer. Sweet potatoes might have more sugar (11 grams) than white potatoes (2.6 grams), but they’re low on the glycemic index, which means they don’t increase your blood sugar as quickly. White potatoes are high on the glycemic index (per Diabetes Canada).