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I yam what I yam.

For those of us old enough to remember Popeye in the comic strips, a yam wasn't necessarily a sweet potato, and the sweet potato was something that usually appeared on the table only at Thanksgiving for most Northerners. Even in this enlightened era, the lowly sweet potato seems to be merely an occasional side dish in most households. Perhaps because it usually appears in the "candied" state, the sweet potato is thought to be more fattening than its white namesake. Ounce-for-ounce, however, it has no more calories than the white potato and is a rich source of vitamins A and C. A 4 oz. serving provides more than half the recommended dietary allowance for the former, and as much as five times the RDA for the latter, through its content of beta carotene (from which it derives its orange color), which the body then converts to vitamin A. For good measure, that same serving contains about three grams of fiber and as much potassium as an orange.

Whether you prefer the lighter yellow or the darker orange variety (a true yam is grown on a vine; sweet potatoes are the roots of a totally different variety of plant), one can use the sweet potato in many different and tasty ways. Cook them in the skin to preserve the vitamin content-a small one will cook in five minutes in a microwave at full power. If you don't like the skins, scoop the pulp, mash it and add any spice, fruit, or whatever comes to mind for a great main dish. They also make delicious pies, muffins and other baked goods.
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Title Annotation:nutritional analysis of yams and sweet potatoes
Publication:Medical Update
Date:Jan 1, 1991
Words:269
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