Sweet potatoes are a healthier choice than regular white potatoes.
As meal portions get smaller after weight loss surgery, the nutrition in every bite counts. Lets take a look at the top 7 reasons why you should be eating sweet potato to help fill the nutritional gaps in your diet.
Weight loss after bariatric surgery can trigger elevated levels of the amino acid homocysteine, in the blood stream. This can have detrimental affects on health such as increasing the risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke. A diet rich in Vitamin B6, B12 and folate can help to reduce the levels of serum homocysteine. Just 100g of sweet potato provides 11μg of folate and 0.2mg of Vitamin B6.
Drinking enough water each day is difficult. This gets even harder to achieve with a Lap Band. Rather than settling for an inadequate water intake, keep yourself hydrated by eating water laden vegetables. Sweet potato is an excellent dietary source of water in fact it’s made up of 77% water!
Iron is important for carrying oxygen around your body, ensuring it reaches the muscles and cells. Inadequate dietary iron can significantly affect energy levels leaving you feeling tired and lethargic. Sweet potato offers a good amount of dietary iron with 0.6mg in 100g of the vegetable. Best of all, sweet potato is also a rich dietary source of vitamin C. Eating vitamin C at the same time as iron ensures your body is absorbing the iron well.
One of the biggest frustrations after lap band surgery is the poor tolerance of fibre rich vegetables. Sweet potato is generally well tolerated with a lop band thanks to its firm consistency and easy to chew texture.
Sweet potato is a low GI vegetable meaning that it’s natural sugars are slowly digested and released into the blood stream. This helps to maintain steady blood sugar levels resulting in greater weight loss, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and less food cravings.
With reduced portions, poor tolerance of fibrous foods and a supressed appetite, it’s extremely difficult to eat the recommended 30g of fibre daily after weight loss surgery. A low fibre diet often leads to constipation and poor bowel health. Sweet potato is a great source of soluble and insoluble fibre. With 3.2g per 100g it’s well worth adding to your next meal!
Calcium deficiency is common after weight loss surgery, in fact supplementation is recommended from day one. Even if you are taking your regular calcium tablet, you still need to eat some calcium rich foods to meet the recommended daily intake. The main role of calcium is to ensure strong bones while losing weight and into older life, as this reduces the risk of osteoporosis. In 100g of sweet potato there is 30mg of calcium which offers a good start to meeting your 1000-1300mg for the day.
Sweet potatoes are usually orange but can come in purple, white, pink and yellow varieties also. To lock in all their nutritional goodness, the best ways to cook them are steaming or baking. Try using sweet potato to make chips, mash, jacket potato, soup and as a nutritious addition to roasted veggies.