Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potatoes: Main Image

Buying Tips

Look for sweet potatoes that have smooth skins and no bruises.


There are two main types of sweet potatoes. The one most commonly called a sweet potato has flesh that is relatively dry and fluffy, with a yellow color and starchy texture. Sweet potatoes that are moister, sweeter, more slender, and have skins that range from orange to purple are often mistakenly referred to as yams. In fact, they are another variety of sweet potato. True yams, which are grown in the tropics, are almost ivory in color, and are more starchy than sweet.

Sweet potatoes are sold either fresh or canned. The canned ones are either vacuum-packed or packed in a syrup.

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The information presented in the Food Guide is for informational purposes only and was created by a team of US–registered dietitians and food experts. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements, making dietary changes, or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2023.

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