Did you know...the traditional favorite, sweet potatoes, can be made the healthy way?

Did you know? Sweet potatoes have no fat and are naturally packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals! With a few simple steps you can enjoy sweet potatoes the healthy way and avoid extra fat and calories.

A Traditional Source of Nutrition

Sweet potatoes and yams have been a traditional staple in the diets of many cultures, especially in Caribbean and African-American cooking. Sweet potatoes have a long history. Native Americans were growing sweet potatoes when Christopher Columbus arrived in the Americas in 1492. Recognized for its flavor and nutrition, this vegetable spread to many countries, helping to feed people around the world.

Packing a Nutritional Punch

Sweet potatoes are loaded with nutrients, including fiber and vitamin A, as well as calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. One cup of cooked sweet potatoes has 200 calories and no fat.

Naturally Sweet

There is a good reason they are called sweet potatoes: they contain natural sugars. To get the most nutritional benefit from this vegetable make sure you prepare them in a healthy way, by avoiding butter and sugar. We've provided a few easy recipes below.

Healthy Cooking Tips for Sweet Potatoes

Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fricasse Recipe

Here is a new and healthy twist on fricasse, roasted in the oven.

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Peel the sweet potatoes. (Peel one potato per person)
  3. Slice into little sticks or fricasse shape.
  4. Coat a baking sheet with a little olive oil, so the fries don't stick to the pan.
  5. Arrange the fricasse evenly across the pan.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, or cinnamon.
  7. Spray or brush ½ teaspoon of olive oil on top of the fries.
  8. Place pan in oven.
  9. Bake at 400°F for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.

Oven Baked Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes can stand alone for an easy and healthy side dish.

  1. Preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Clean and rinse the sweet potatoes to remove any dirt
  3. Dry the potatoes, then using a fork make holes in the skin. Four or five across the top should be plenty. (This is to let the steam escape as they cook.)
  4. Place the potatoes on a baking sheet, and place in oven at 375°F.
  5. Bake for around 45 minutes, or until the inside gets soft. (The time may vary depending on the size of the potato)
  6. Remove from oven and slice open lengthwise to serve.
  7. Instead of butter, top the potato with a drizzle of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper, or cinnamon.

Content developed with support from the Foundation for Integrated Medicine,, and adapted from The Fat Resistance Diet. Copyright© 2005 by Leo Galland, M.D. Recipes by Jonathan Galland. For more information on healthy eating visit

Did you know? is a series of health articles written by HHPC and approved by our Health Advisory Board.

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