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Secret Side Effects of Eating Sweet Potatoes, Says Science

These healthy vegetables can benefit your body from head to toe.
FACT CHECKED BY Olivia Tarantino

With the rising popularity of ketogenic diets, carbs have been getting a particularly bad rap as of late. However, not all carbs are created equal when it comes to your wellbeing.

In fact, there's ample research that suggests that sweet potatoes may be a particular boon to your health, from lowering your risk of certain diseases to helping you achieve the body you've always wanted. Read on to discover the secret side effects of sweet potatoes, according to science. And for more great additions to your diet, check out The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

You may lose weight.

woman on scale weight loss

While you may have considered giving up carbs to lose weight, research suggests that eating sweet potatoes may actually make it easier to shed those extra pounds. A 2019 study published in Nutrients found that, among a group of overweight adult workers between 30 and 50 years of age, those who replaced two meals a day with sweet potato-based meal replacement shakes lost weight, body fat, and lowered their BMI. And for more simple ways to slim down, check out these 15 Underrated Weight Loss Tips That Actually Work.

You may have better regulated blood sugar.


If you've been dealing with major blood sugar fluctuations, eating some sweet potato on a regular basis can help you avoid those crashes after your blood sugar drops. The same 2019 Nutrients study found that sweet potato meal replacement shakes helped study patients stabilize their blood sugar, and the four grams of dietary fiber in each medium-sized sweet potato can help with this goal.

Your digestion may become more regular.

woman doubled over in pain holding her bloated stomach suffering from gi gastrointestinal distress

If you've found that your digestion hasn't been as predictable as you'd like, incorporating more sweet potato into your diet can help. A 2016 controlled trial published in Cancer Nursing found that, among a group of leukemia patients, those who added 200 grams of sweet potato to their diet per day had reduced rates of constipation. For more ways to keep your GI tract working like clockwork, check out The Best Supplements for Digestion, According to Dietitians.

Your vision may improve.

Sight of old woman verifying by apparatus

When your parents said that certain fruits and vegetables were good for your eyesight, they weren't lying. According to research presented at the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) – Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology (MEACO) Joint Meeting, beta-carotene was found to be effective at improving vision among certain patients with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable hereditary disorder affecting the retina that can lead to blindness.

You may improve your longevity.

Older woman

Want to enjoy a longer, healthier life, try making sweet potatoes a regular part of your meal plan. According to a 2016 review of research published in Scientific Reports, individuals with higher levels of circulating beta-carotene were less likely to die from any cause mortality than those with lower beta-carotene levels.

For more reasons to make sweet potatoes part of your regular diet, check out One Major Side Effect of Eating Sweet Potatoes, Says Science, and for more healthy eating news delivered to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter!

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Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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