The sweet potato is a warm season root crop. In North America, sweet potatoes are often referred
to as “yams” to distinguish from the white variety of potato, but a sweet potato is not a yam, as they are botanically quite different. Yams belong to a different cultivar group, have rough, scaly skin and are very low in beta carotene. In contrast, sweet potatoes have smooth skin and are rich in beta carotene among other nutrients. Because the two words are used interchangeably in the United States (and Canada), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) requires “yam” labels to always be accompanied by “Sweet Potato” in an attempt to alleviate confusion. Actual yams are rarely found in North American supermarkets.
Sources: USDA, UC Davis Postharvest website
There are hundreds of varieties of sweet potatoes and not all are the familiar orange color. Some varieties are purple, others are white, and many are variations of the orange we typically see. The most popular variety planted in North Carolina, the top producer of sweet potatoes in the United States, is the Covington.
Sources: North Carolina SweetPotato Commission, USDA
Serving Size 1 5" long
Amount Per Serving
Calories from Fat 1Calories 112
% Daily Values*
Total Fat 0.06g 0%
Saturated Fat 0.023g 0%
Polyunsaturated Fat 0.018g
Monounsaturated Fat 0.001g
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 72mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 26.16g 9%
Dietary Fiber 3.9g 16%
Vitamin A 369% Vitamin C 5%
Calcium 4% Iron 4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrition Values are based on USDA Nutrient Database SR18
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