The Healthy Secrets of Thanksgiving Foods
Mashed Potatoes or Sweet Potatoes?
“This one’s a toss-up,” says Sass. The sweet potatoes have the same beta-carotene that you find in squash, but white potatoes are good sources of potassium and have another little-known benefit. According to Largeman-Roth, they are a richer source of “resistant starch,” a carbohydrate that is not digested so it acts more like a fiber in your body, helping you feel fuller faster. Depending on the preparation, sweet and white potatoes can either be healthy choices or calorie-bombs. If you like sweet potatoes candied or topped with marshmallows, you’ll get an unnecessary helping of sugar; butter and cream, meanwhile, make mashed potatoes a fat-rich side. Instead, try recipes that call for minimal fat (leave on the skins for a fiber boost). For mashed potatoes, Sass likes using vegetable broth, organic skim milk, and flavorful elements such as garlic and rosemary. And with the sweet potatoes’ natural sweetness, they don’t need a lot of added sugar and calories, which Largeman-Roth says she prefers to “spend on dessert.”
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So maybe you can’t change your health overnight. But you can get a head start.