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Yams vs Sweet Potatoes



Yams vs sweet potatoes, they are different but many people often mistake one for the other. Agricultural products have always been the main source of healthy food. Potatoes, yams, corn, rice, beans and sweet potatoes are among the crops that are most frequently consumed.

Sweet potatoes and yams are different types of crops that have some similarities. They are all good but some people enjoy some more than others. Yams and sweet potatoes are very popular for their taste and nutritional value. Strangely, people have been confusing them and actually believe they are the same thing.

The yam is a plant that is related to the lilies. Yams are native of Africa and in some parts of Asia. The size of the yams can vary drastically some of them might be as small as a normal potato while others can manage to weight over 100 pounds. There are more than 600 types of yam and most of them can be found in the African continent.


The skin of yams is quite rough and a bit difficult to peel but you can soften the skin by heating it. 

Yams vs sweet potatoes

The outside color of the yams usually ranges from dark brown to pink. The inside can be white, yellow, purple and sometimes pink when they are fully developed. One of their main advantages is they can be stored without refrigeration for a good amount of time, something that cannot be done with other vegetables. Yams tend to be drier and starchier than sweet potatoes.

The main confusion probably has its origin with the African slaves. They used to call sweet potatoes “yams” because they had a similar look to the real yams in Africa. 

Yams vs sweet potatoes, which one is best? The answer lies on each individual taste.


The skin color of sweet potatoes can be white to yellow, red, purple or brown.

Sweet potatoes in halves and whole
Sweet potatoes are way more popular in the United States than the real yam and their origin is usually linked to the new world.


The inside color of the tuberous root can go from white to yellow and orange and as the name implies they are sweet.

Sweet potatoes and yams can be stored for a similar period of time which is around 2 weeks but they should never be refrigerated. They both have similar nutritional values in vitamin C, potassium, fiber and have amazing properties that help fighting heart diseases. The main difference is the higher content of vitamin A in the sweet potato. They both can be prepared in a similar way like normal potatoes; they can be baked, steamed, boiled and even done in the microwave.










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