Is Sweet Potato Good for Diabetes?

Reviewed By Dietition Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian) April 29, 2023

Last updated on October 15th, 2023

The importance of the right food choices in diabetes is essential. According to a recent study published  by Tufts School of Medicine in Boston, out of every 7 of 10 cases are associated with poor food choices. Therefore, diabetes patients should carefully scrutinise every food they plan to gulp. Walking on this road today, we figure out if sweet potato is good for diabetics. Diabetics may scratch their heads when the name “sweet potato” comes. You may wonder if can I eat sweet potato. Is it safe for my sugar levels? The answer is yes, but with conditions. Read this comprehensive blog to know all in and out of “Can Diabetics Eat Sweet Potatoes?”

Here’s why.

Do you know there are more than 400 variations of sweet potatoes present worldwide? Some variants are considered healthier for diabetics than others. However, the cooking approach and portion size are two important factors in this.

Sweet Potato Glycemic Index

The glycemic index of sweet potato is around 41. Therefore, the sweet potato GI index is categorized in the low GI category. Although the GI of sweet potato is low, it has a medium glycemic load of 11.3. So, wondering whether sweet potato is good for diabetes or not. We won’t keep you waiting for long. Find the answer in the next few paras.

Read More: Is Coconut Milk Good for Diabetics?

Nutrient Profile of Sweet Potato

A few nutrients present in sweet potatoes, as per USDA, include;

Nutritional Value of Sweet Potato
Nutrients per 100 g Amount
Calories 86 kcal
Carbs 20.10 g
Protein 1.57 g
Fat 0.05 g
Starch 12.60 g
Sugar 4.18 g
Magnesium 25 mg
Potassium 337 mg
Phosphorus 47 mg
Folate 11 ug
Vitamin A 709 ug
Carotene, beta 8510 ug

Read More: Is Rice Good For Diabetes?

Can Diabetics Eat Sweet Potatoes?

So, Can diabetic patient eat sweet potato? The answer is yes; diabetic patients may consume them in moderate amounts. Sweet potatoes of all types are excellent options over their white counterpart. This veggie contains a rich amount fiber and nutrients like magnesium and beta-carotene says the WebMD website. These nutrients help in regulating sugar levels as well as improving insulin absorption. However, you should limit its consumption because it also contains heavy amounts of carbs which can make your blood sugar rise. Moreover, some varieties of sweet potatoes, like the Japanese sweet potato, contain nutrients like Caiapo, which also aid in diabetes management.

There are various forms of sweet potatoes that benefit individuals worried about their diabetes or sugar levels. Together with their nutritional value, sweet potatoes in moderation consist of properties that might reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Effect of Sweet Potatoes on Blood Glucose Levels

Now its time to decode the sweet potato and diabetes connection. Sweet potato for diabetics is rich in carbs, so they can raise blood glucose levels. So is sweet potatoes good for diabetes?

As said earlier, yes, with conditions. Firstly, the fiber content in sweet potatoes for diabetics aids in slowing down their digestion rate. Therefore, now comes the importance of the cooking process. If you eat boiled or baked sweet potatoes rather than fried ones, the fiber content in them will be higher. There are studies by the National Institute of Health that suggest sweet potatoes help control diabetes and should be part of a diabetes-friendly diet. Since there are over 400 varieties of sweet potatoes, eat those varieties which are lower in sugar and carbs.

Like there is orange sweet potato which has a higher glycemic index value than other sweet potato variants. This may enhance the levels of blood glucose than other sweet potato varieties. Therefore this variety of sweet potato for diabetic patients should be avoided. Moreover, there are also some sweet potato benefits for women sweet potato is good food for gestational diabetes. Regardless of the kind of sweet potato a person selects, it is important to limit its amount.

Also Read: Can Diabetics Eat Potatoes?

Types of Sweet Potatoes and their Effects on Diabetes

Types of Sweet Potatoes

Purple Sweet Potatoes

This variant of sweet potato for sugar patients packs several health benefits. The color is owing to the presence of anthocyanins, a water-soluble ingredient in them. It is also known for pigmenting other fruits and veggies (blue, purple, or red in color).

The National Institute of Health says anthocyanin contains rich amounts of antioxidants. They help in:

  • lowering the risk of ailments.
  • improving vision.
  • treating and managing diabetes.

A study published on the Research Gate website compared yellow and purple forms of sweet potatoes. It was observed that the polyphenol-rich purple potatoes reduced inflammation, blood sugar, and insulin. The GI value of the purple sweet potato is around 77.

Japanese Sweet Potatoes

These are characteristically purple externally and white or yellow internally. They have a sweet taste. Caiapo is the Japanese sweet potato form. And its extract is known to help diabetic patients.

It was concluded that Caiapo is a constituent that may aid in treating type 2 diabetes. The study by the American Diabetes Association found that this sweet potato variety had a positive effect on the cholesterol and plasma glucose levels in type 2 diabetics.

Orange Sweet Potatoes

Orange sweet potato for diabetes patients is one of the ideal types. It is the most common form and contains:

  • Fiber
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin C

Also, they contain a high GI and nutrients like beta-carotene. Another constituent is anthocyanin, beneficial for its antioxidant properties. Normally, a boiled potato contains a GI of about 44. Sweet potatoes control the blood sugar concentration as well.

Also Read: Best glucometer in India

Sweet Potatoes for Diabetics

The major reason why they work great for people with diabetes is their low GI value. Food products with high GI values increase glucose levels. And they are a big no-no for people with type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, sweet potatoes consist of a carotenoid known as beta-carotene. It is a rich source of vitamin A and offers this vegetable an orange color.

Also, sweet potato comprises high amounts of vitamin C. This vitamin is found to strengthen immunity. Besides, sweet potatoes contain high amounts of iron. It aids the RBCs in producing oxygen and transferring nutrients all over the body.

In addition, this superfood delivers plant-based protein. It aids in keeping a person full for a long and speeds up weight loss. This is great news for people who wish to increase their insulin sensitivity. Finally, sweet potatoes contain fiber, which spells astonishing news for people’s guts.

All these properties make sweet potatoes a superfood. They contain high amounts of vitamins A and C that aid in fighting off inflammation. However, people must remember to control portion size, which is very important.


Sweet potatoes pack vital vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. They pack slow-release carbs and fibre, which maintain proper glucose control. The anti-diabetic activity of sweet potato comes from the phytochemical adiponectin. It reduces the levels of blood sugar in type 2 diabetics. Also, veggie comprises fibre and aid in lowering cholesterol levels.

What is the Suggested Quantity of Sweet Potato for Diabetics?

Even if, a sweet potato is a good option for diabetics, it’s vital to remember that they comprise carbs! For this reason, it becomes important to exercise portion control. It is also suggested that one-half cup of sweet potatoes is good enough. It is equal to 15 grams of carbs. Thus, it is good to discuss with a doctor, as the best portion size may vary from individual to individual.

Also Read: Can Quitting Alcohol Reverses Diabetes?

Benefits of Sweet Potatoes for Diabetics

For diabetics, sweet potato is a safe alternative to include in their diets in moderation. These comprise high amounts of fibre and have a low GI. This gives rise to a less instant impact on blood sugar levels. Even, this may aid diabetics in better controlling their blood glucose.

For any diabetic to consume sweet potatoes, the amount and way of preparation is vital. There was a study that found that out of 71000 individuals having 3 servings per week of mashed, baked, or boiled potatoes, the risk of type 2 diabetes increased by 4%.


Cooking has a huge impact on the GI of sweet potatoes. Boiled forms contain a low GI score of 46, then a high GI of 94 for baked forms and 82 for roasted sweet potatoes.

Ways to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes

Ways to Enjoy Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato good for diabetes in moderation and are healthy. Sweet potato benefits is that, they are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals. People may safely add them to their diabetes-friendly meal plan.

Below are a few diabetes-friendly recipes a person can try:

  • Broccoli-stuffed sweet potatoes
  • Boiled sweet potato salad
  • Avocado and sweet potato salad
  • Crispy oven-roasted purple sweet potato fries
  • Baked sweet potato stir fry

Any Risks of Having Sweet Potatoes for Diabetics?

Sweet potato is an improved nutritional alternative in comparison to white potatoes. Even so, people enjoy this veggie in moderation. Or, sweet potatoes can have a negative impact on people’s blood sugar levels. Few sweet potatoes are very huge in size, making it simpler to consume in excess. It is always better to choose a medium-sized potato. Also, people must ensure to add other healthy food products in their diets more often.


Sweet potatoes in moderate limits may be a part of a healthy food plan for any diabetic person. Few kinds of sweet potatoes might even offer great benefits to managing their condition. These involve purple and Japanese forms of sweet potatoes. Sweet potato is completely packed with nutrients but comprises carbs as well. Keeping its portions small and using the boil method rather than baking helps in maintaining a lower GL.

Also Read:Can Diabetics Eat Grapes?

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can diabetics eat sweet potatoes everyday?

Yes, diabetes patients can have sweet potatoes in the boiled or baked form daily. On a regular basis a half cup of sweet potatoes with an occasional mix of other green veggies is good to go for diabetes patients.

What is the suggested number of sweet potatoes for a diabetic per day?

A characteristic serving size is half a cup. Studies recommend ½ of a medium-size sweet potato for many diabetics as it is equal to 15 grams of carbs.

Is there any side effect of sweet potato?

Sweet potato comprises good amounts of oxalates. These might enhance the risk of calcium-oxalate kidney stones. Also, the vegetable consists of beta-carotene, and their unnecessary intake may cause toxicity of vitamin A. In this condition, too much vitamin A builds up in the liver.

Can people with diabetes consume sweet potato daily?

If a person has diabetes, he or she can have sweet potatoes every day. As far as a person calculates the carb count of the veggie into their meal planning. Sweet potato is a good source of carbs, which elevates the blood sugars.

When is not a good time to have sweet potatoes?

Mostly, sweet potatoes would not rot or become damaged. However, their taste alters with time. A person would not enjoy having wrinkled or soppy vegetables that have turned brown or black.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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