Russet Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes

Aug 9, 2009Updated 2 months ago

Large Russet Potato
Potatoes are the most common side dish in the U.S., Canada and Northern Europe. The potato can be prepared in just about everyway possible. They can be baked, boiled, deep fried, mashed, fried, grilled and broiled, just to name a few cooking methods. The potato of old was an important staple to many areas of the world. In the mid 19th century, the Great Irish Famine was caused by reduced potato production due to diseased potatoes, which caused the death of over 20% of the Irish population.

Nutritional Value of the Potato

It’s important to note that the skin of the potato has a lot of the valuable nutrients in a potato. For a healthier meal, the whole potato should be eaten. The potato gets a bad rap as being unhealthy due to a lot of the added ingredients, like butter that are added to the potato. In fact if baked, the potato has a lot of nutritional value. Just keep them away from the deep fryer and use a butter alternative as part of a healthy diet.

Russet Potato - Large with Skin, 300 grams, Baked

The Russet Potato is the most common potato consumed. For a quick side dish, the Russet can be baked and served whole, boiled, mashed, or fried. The following values have no added ingredients and are the values for a potato that’s baked. Other values of most commin non sweet potatoes are similar to the russet potato.

  • A large russet potato has about 280 calories and is very low in fat content, with less than a gram.
  • Dietary fiber is 7 grams or about 25% of the daily value with a 2,000 calorie diet.
  • The potato is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin B6 with nearly 50% of the daily value of these vitamins.
  • For those watching their carbohydrates, the potato may not be a good option. Alarge russet potato has about 63 grams of carbohydrates, which is about 20% of a daily value based on 2,000 calories.
  • The potato is also high in starch, with about 52 grams.
  • The russet is fairly low in sugar content with 4 grams
  • As far as minerals, the potato is a good source of potassium and manganese.

Sweet Potato – Large with Skin, 300 grams, Baked

The sweet potato takes a back seat to the Russet Potato but is increasing in popularity because of it delicious sweeter flavor. The nutritional values are somewhat different and are a good alternative to a russet potato. The following values have no added ingredients and are the values for a sweet potato that’s baked.

  • A large sweet potato has about 270 calories and no fat content.
  • The sweet potato has a whopping 9 grams of dietary fiber, which is more than 30% of the daily value of a 2,000 calorie diet.
  • Like the russet, the sweet potato is an excellent source of vitamin C with almost 100% of the daily value. The sweet potato is also a good source of vitamin B6 with about 40% of the daily value.
  • For those watching their carbohydrates, the sweet potato like the russet may not be a good option. A large sweet potato has about 62 grams of carbohydrates.
  • The sweet potato has less than half the starch that the russet potato has with about 22 grams.
  • Unlike the russets lower sugar content, the sugar content in a sweet potato is about 19 grams. After all it is a sweet potato.
  • As far as minerals, the sweet potato, like the russet is a good source of potassium and manganese
It’s a pretty close contest between the russet and sweet potato. The winner by a nose is the sweet potato due to the increased amount of vitamin C, higher dietary fiber, the lower starch content and the lower fat content. If sugar is a major consideration to the winner or loser, than the contest may have to go to the russet potato.