Sweet Potato Facts

• Sweet Potatoes are commonly referred to as "yams".

• Native Americans were already growing sweet potatoes when Columbus arrived on America's shores in 1492.

• The sweet potato is not a potato, not even a distant cousin. Potatoes are tubers; sweet potatoes are roots.

• Sweet potatoes have been growing in the South since as early as 1648.

• Louisiana offers ideal soil and climate conditions to grow sweet potatoes.

• The sweet potato was ranked number one in nutrition of all vegetables by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

• The CSPI ranked the sweet potato at 184 in nutritional value, more than 100 points ahead of the baked potato, spinach or broccoli.

• Sweet potatoes provide twice the recommended daily allowance of vitamin A.

• Sweet potatoes provide more than one-third of the daily requirements of vitamin C.

• Sweet potatoes are an important source of beta-carotene, vitamin B6, iron, potassium and fiber.

• Studies have consistently shown that a high intake of beta-carotene rich vegetables and fruits, like sweet potatoes, can significantly reduce the risks for certain types of cancer.

• Sweet potatoes contain virtually no fat or sodium.

• Our medium sweet potato holds only about 150 calories.

• Sweet potatoes that are a pretty, bright orange color are richest in beta-carotene.

• The popular "Sugarbusters" diet strongly recommends sweet potatoes as a substitute for other foods that should be avoided such as white and red potatoes, rice, pasta and corn.

• Sweet potatoes are a more nutritious if cooked with the skin on.

• Sweet potatoes should be washed and dried thoroughly before being cooked.

• Sweet potatoes should not be refrigerated unless cooked. Storage at low temperatures can cause flavor loss.

• Sweet potatoes should be stored in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area at approximately 55 degrees to 65 degrees F.

• Ideally, sweet potatoes should be used within a week or two, however they may be stored for up to one month.

• Always use a stainless steel knife when cutting a sweet potato. Using a carbon blade will cause it darken.

• Always choose firm, fairly well-shaped sweet potatoes with skin somewhat even in color and free of blemishes.

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