Sweet potatoes - baking or boiling?

by 15070 · December 28, 2011 at 07:39 AM

Most of us eat sweet potatoes... do you find blood sugar differences depending on your cooking method?

This study is pretty interesting


The GI varied between 41–93 for the tubers studied. Samples prepared by boiling had the lowest GI (41–50), while those processed by baking (82–94) and roasting (79–93) had the highest GI values.

Would this change your preparation methods?

Does this effect the 'safe starches' argument?

Especially if you add in a bunch of grass-fed butter to the boiled sweet potatoes? A GI of 41 without butter, I'm sure a big hunk of butter would bring it down to the low 30s.

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9 Replies

681 · December 10, 2011 at 06:57 PM

The mini sweet potatoes I buy literally ooze with caramelized sugary sweet goodness after roasting in the oven. Top them with coconut oil or butter, and enjoy a little taste of heaven. GI value be damned.

40550 · December 10, 2011 at 06:55 PM

Higher oven temperatures over stove-top boiling may cause breakdown of more starch. More starch converted to glucose means a higher GI.

235 · December 28, 2011 at 07:39 AM

anyone interested in some more quantitative (and objective) data on the potato vs. sweet potato, baking vs. boiling and other related issues may want to take a look at my "Potato Manifesto" > Part 1 and Part 2 at the SuppVersity

5100 · December 10, 2011 at 09:57 PM

I've experimented with boiling vs. microwaving. Boiling definitely produces lower BG. When you microwave, you basically suck out all the moisture from the sweet potato and make it more dense. It's about 30% less volume. So it's no brainer. When you boil, you're increasing the volume with water, which stays in the sweet potato, thus diluting the net carbs of the pre-boiled sweet potato.

The effect is the same with potatoes, yuca and yams.

5351 · December 10, 2011 at 05:35 PM

Baked or boiled? Fried. In my bacon grease.

11071 · December 10, 2011 at 05:51 PM

This makes sense to me...the sugars concentrate the most when roasting, that's why they taste all carmelized and yummy. I don't eat very many sweet potatoes, so I'll stick with roasting in plenty of delectable fat.

14843 · December 10, 2011 at 05:31 PM

I vaguely remember an episode of Cook's Illustrated that involved braising sweet potatoes in cream rather than boiling them in water. Their rationale was something along the lines of sweet potatoes boiled in water absorb (or hold onto) water, resulting in a poor texture when mashed. Perhaps this explains the lower GI as well?

Re the "safe starches" argument, I think Paul Jaminet makes a very good case for the various other factors affecting GI, so I'll stick to roasting sweet potatoes and just making sure that the rest of my meal compensates!

10004 · December 10, 2011 at 08:28 PM

I think the potatoes will retain more nutrients if baked. I'm not sure how much of the nutrients are lost when boiled, but I do know that some of them are leeched into the water when boiled.

77342 · December 10, 2011 at 06:26 PM

Baked/roasted, rubbed with butter or coconut oil and sitting beside a chicken or turkey to add flavour. Boiled just wouldn't be the same.

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