Fit Pantry - a Fit Foodie's thoughts, tips and recipe

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What's So Sweet About Them Yams?

Purple Yams Demistified 

(...not really. Just to explain why I boil them)

Ever since I did the Beachbody Ultimate Reset, this purple sweet potato (which in US is called "purple yam" or in Asia is known as "ube") has been my go to snack for pre workout and quick reload after workout. I find it fulfilling and just right to give me the boost before a workout and restore my energy after workout just enough until I got home and get some real meal.

I have been posting it on Instagram and Facebook often enough to raise interest among friends and got them hooked on it. They asked me how I prepared my purple yams, to which I told them I boiled the yams and sometimes, boiled then steam. Second questions immediately came right after "Won't that diminish the nutrients?" Well... hm..., I guess because that's how my family always prepare it? Or, It's troublesome to bake it, plus I like to eat the skin. Not good enough, ya? Ok. Seriously, this is why I boil my sweet potatoes rather than bake them. It's all in the GI (Glycemic Index):

The way you prepare sweet potatoes makes a difference in their GI. The GI of a 150-g sweet potato, boiled with its skin for 30 minutes, is 46. That number rises to 94 if the same sweet potato is baked for 45 minutes. These dramatic differences come from the way the starches in sweet potatoes gelatinize during cooking. Foods that turn viscous, or jelly-like, in your digestive tract have a lower GI because the gelatinous substance slows the release of the nutrients in the food. Baking your sweet potatoes instead of boiling them changes the quality of their starches and transforms this root vegetable from a moderate-GI food to a high GI-food. [...]

And... there is more. We all heard about GI, but not so often about GL (Glycemic Load). Knowing both GI and GL can help you determine what food is right for you, especially if we are talking about diabetic condition.

The glycemic load is a way to take a food's carbohydrate content into account when figuring its impact on blood sugar. The GL considers both the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates in a food. A boiled sweet potato has a GL of 11, compared to a GL of 42 for a baked sweet potato. Because the GL doesn't take a food's nutritional content into account when measuring its metabolic effects, it's important to consider the health benefits of the sweet potato's vitamins and phytonutrients when making your food choices. [...]

Ok. So that should answer your question personally as well as scientifically :)

Now lemme finish and enjoy my purple yams.... nomnomnom~

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