Are Sweet Potatoes Good for High Cholesterol? (Expert Answer)

Short Answer: Sweet potatoes are good for high cholesterol. Because they have soluble fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, and they can lower your LDL cholesterol, protect your blood vessels, and prevent blood sugar spikes.

High cholesterol is a condition that affects your blood.

In high cholesterol, your body has too much of a waxy substance called cholesterol, which can stick to the walls of your arteries and narrow them.

This can lead to various health problems, such as heart attack, stroke, and peripheral artery disease.

One of the key factors in managing high cholesterol is diet.

What you consume can affect your blood cholesterol levels, which can impact your high cholesterol symptoms and overall health.

To effectively manage high cholesterol, you should consume foods rich in unsaturated fats, soluble fiber, and omega-3 fatty acids, like olive oil, oatmeal, and salmon, and avoid foods rich in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, like butter, pastries, and egg yolks.

Now, sweet potatoes are starchy root vegetables that have a sweet flavor and a yellow, orange, or purple flesh.

People usually eat them boiled, baked, roasted, or fried.

Sweet potatoes are good for high cholesterol because they contain soluble fiber, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

Soluble fiber can reduce the absorption of cholesterol into your bloodstream and lower your LDL cholesterol, the “bad” cholesterol.

One medium-sized sweet potato provides about 4 grams of soluble fiber, which is 16% of your daily needs.

Soluble fiber can also help you feel full and prevent overeating.

Beta-carotene is a type of antioxidant that gives sweet potatoes their orange color.

Beta-carotene can protect your blood vessels from oxidative damage and inflammation, which are risk factors for high cholesterol and heart disease.

One medium-sized sweet potato provides about 14,000 micrograms of beta-carotene, which is 280% of your daily needs.

Vitamin C is another antioxidant that can boost your immune system and prevent infections that can trigger inflammation and high cholesterol.

One medium-sized sweet potato provides about 22 milligrams of vitamin C, which is 37% of your daily needs.

Furthermore, sweet potatoes are a complex carbohydrate and have a low glycemic index, which means they do not cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar levels can increase your triglycerides, another type of fat in your blood that can raise your risk of heart disease.

You can eat one to two medium-sized sweet potatoes per day safely.

More than that can cause gas, bloating, and diarrhea, because of the high fiber content.

Also, you should not eat sweet potatoes if you have kidney stones or gout, to prevent the formation of uric acid crystals.

Because sweet potatoes are high in oxalates, which can bind to calcium and form kidney stones, and purines, which can increase uric acid levels in your blood.

You can buy fresh sweet potatoes in your local market or can order them from online.

Always choose firm, smooth, and blemish-free sweet potatoes.

Because bruised or sprouted sweet potatoes can have mold or bacteria growth.

You can store them in a cool, dark, and well-ventilated place for up to two weeks.

Finally, remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a balanced diet, regular exercise, stress management and essential medical care is key to managing high cholesterol effectively.

I always recommend my high cholesterol patients to follow a high cholesterol-friendly diet to improve their overall well-being, and enjoy a longer and healthier life.

About the Author

Abdur Rahman Choudhury

Abdur Rahman Choudhury is a nutrition coach with over 7 years of experience in the field of nutrition.

He holds a Bachelor's (B.Sc.) and Master's (M.Sc.) degree in Biochemistry from The University of Burdwan, India. He was also involved with a research project about genetic variations in the CYP11A gene among PCOS and Metabolic Syndrome patients.

He has completed the following online courses: Stanford Introduction to Food and Health by Stanford University (US) through Coursera, Certificate in Nutrition from Fabulous Body Inc. (US), Lose Weight and Keep It Off certificate course from Harvard Medical School (US), and Nutrition and Disease Prevention by Taipei Medical University (Taiwan) through FutureLearn.

Abdur currently lives in India and keeps fit by weight training and eating mainly home-cooked meals.

Leave a Comment