Sweet potato offers biggest nutritional gain for your buck

March 14, 2014 at 4:41 PM
| License Photo

WASHINGTON, March 14 (UPI) -- Physicians urge U.S. adults and children to eat more fruits and vegetables, but a food advocacy group says the sweet potato provides the most bang for a buck.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest in Washington ranked vegetables by giving each points for content of dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars and complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium. In addition, points were deducted for fat content -- especially saturated fat -- sodium, cholesterol, added refined sugars and caffeine. The higher the score, the more nutritious the food.

The CSPI ranked the sweet potato tops in nutrition of all vegetables.

With a score of 184, the sweet potato outscored the next highest vegetable -- a potato, baked -- by more than 100 points, foodreference.com reported.

The sweet potato scored high for dietary fiber, naturally occurring sugars, complex carbohydrates, protein, vitamins A and C, iron and calcium.

Among root vegetables, sweet potatoes offer the lowest glycemic index rating. The sweet potato digests slowly, causing a gradual rise in blood sugar so people feel satisfied longer. The lower the glycemic index in a food, the less it will cause weight gain.

The vegetables ranking included:

-- Spinach 76.

-- Kale 55.

-- Mixed vegetables 52.

-- Broccoli 52.

-- Winter squash, baked 44.

-- Brussels sprouts 37.

-- Cabbage, raw 34.

-- Green Peas 33.

-- Carrot 30.

-- Okra 30.

-- Corn on the Cob 27.

-- Tomato 27.

-- Green Pepper 26.

-- Cauliflower 25.

-- Artichoke 24.

Related UPI Stories
Latest Headlines
Trending Stories
One arrested after Philadelphia college lockdown
Boehner delays House vote for new speaker
NASA releases thousands of Apollo mission photos on Flickr
Snowden: U.S. won't respond to offers to serve prison time
FDA approves new treatment for advanced lung cancer