Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? (2024)

Yes, sweet potato skins are totally edible, so put the peeler down and step away from the tuber. Find out why you should be eating sweet potato skin.


Alex Loh

Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? (1)

Alex Loh isEatingWell's associate food editor. As part of the food team, she creates healthy, delicious recipes for theEatingWellaudience. Alex also writes informative food and cooking articles that range from how to store ground beef to the best picks from Trader Joe's. Alex conducts product and taste tests to find the best options, from salad spinners to salsas.

Published on April 21, 2022

Reviewed by Dietitian

Jessica Ball, M.S., RD

Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? (2)

Reviewed by DietitianJessica Ball, M.S., RD

Jessica Ball, M.S., RD, is nutrition editor for EatingWell. She is a registered dietitian with a master's in food, nutrition and sustainability. In addition toEatingWell, her work has appeared inFood & Wine,Real Simple,Parents,Better Homes and GardensandMyRecipes.

Whether you fry them, mash them or roast them, sweet potatoes are as versatile as they are nutritious. When prepping the tuber to use in recipes like Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing or Air-Fryer Sweet Potato Chips, you may be asking yourself, "Can you eat the skin of a sweet potato?" We dive into the research on whether sweet potato skins are edible, and the potential benefits of eating sweet potato skins.

Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin?

Yes, you can eat sweet potato skin, whether it's an orange, white or purple sweet potato. So the next time you make sweet potatoes, try keeping the skin on. Not only will it save you prep time and add a textural component to the dish, but there are also nutritional benefits to leaving the peel on. Sweet potatoes are known for being good sources of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber, and research suggests the peel is important for fiber intake.

A 2021 study published in Agronomy examined various nutritional values of purple-fleshed sweet potatoes that were unpeeled and peeled, and also analyzed the peel itself. They found that peeling the sweet potato led to a 64% loss of fiber compared to the unpeeled version. Researchers concluded that keeping the skin on a sweet potato "is the best condition to maintain the high fiber content."

Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? (3)

Similarly, a 2022 study published in Food Research examined the potential health benefits of incorporating powdered sweet potato peel in cookies (the study refers to biscuits, a common term for cookies in English-speaking countries outside the U.S.). The study found that dietary fiber content increased significantly when orange or purple sweet-potato-peel powders were added to the cookie dough. In fact, the cookies with sweet-potato-peel powders had over double the dietary fiber of the control cookies (increasing from 0.8% to 2.3% fiber by weight).

So, why is fiber so important? Well, fiber has a slew of health benefits, including helping lower your risk of heart disease, promoting healthy gut bacteria and helping you stay regular. Plus, fiber can help you feel full for longer periods of time, which may be beneficial for weight loss if that is your goal. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends eating at least 25 grams of fiber each day for women and 31 grams of fiber for men. For reference, a medium baked sweet potato has about 5 grams of fiber (it's also one of the top high-fiber diet foods). Just remember that much of that fiber resides in the sweet potato's skin.

The Bottom Line

You can eat sweet potato skin. It's a good source of fiber, a nutrient that may help lower the risk of heart disease and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. The next time you make a sweet potato dish, whether it's a roasted side dish or a hearty, cozy casserole, leave the peel on.

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Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? (2024)


Can You Eat Sweet Potato Skin? ›

Yes, it is safe to eat sweet potato skin. In fact, the skin of sweet potatoes is a good source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Just make sure to wash the sweet potatoes thoroughly before cooking to remove any dirt or pesticides, and enjoy the added nutritional benefits of the skin.

Is it okay to eat the skin of a sweet potato? ›

The Bottom Line. You can eat sweet potato skin. It's a good source of fiber, a nutrient that may help lower the risk of heart disease and keep you feeling full for longer periods of time. The next time you make a sweet potato dish, whether it's a roasted side dish or a hearty, cozy casserole, leave the peel on.

Is it hard to digest sweet potato skin? ›

Mashing sweet potatoes is helpful because it saves your digestive tract some of the effort of breaking down food. It's also important to remove the potato skin because this can be hard to digest, says Carrie Dennett, MPH, a registered dietitian nutritionist and owner of Nutrition By Carrie.

Is eating potato skin fine? ›

To get the most antioxidants, leave the skins on and choose colorful varieties like red and purple potatoes. The more color, the more antioxidants. Plus, the skin of some potatoes can have up to 12 times more antioxidants than the flesh. Baked potato skin is a great source of potassium and magnesium.

How much sweet potato is enough? ›

Pro-vitamin A.

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A. Just 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of this vegetable provides the recommended daily amount of this vitamin.

Is it better to cook a sweet potato with skin on? ›

Removing the skins removes some of the nutrients from the potato, so don't peel them if you're making healthy sweet potato recipes.

How much fiber is in sweet potatoes without skin? ›

Sweet potato, cooked, boiled, without skin, 1 medium
Protein (g)2.07
Energy (kcal)114.76
Sugars, total (g)8.67
Fiber, total dietary (g)3.78
Calcium, Ca (mg)40.77
34 more rows

What does sweet potato do to your gut? ›

Along with anti-inflammatory properties, sweet potatoes have plenty of gut-friendly fiber, especially if you eat the skin. They are a mixture of soluble fiber, which can lower cholesterol and balance glucose, and insoluble fiber, which helps keep your bowels healthy and regular.

Why does my stomach hurt after eating sweet potatoes? ›

Consuming sweet potatoes in excess can result in sweet potato side effects such as Vitamin A toxicity, which is manifested in skin rashes and headaches. Due to high fibre content, excess intake of sweet potatoes can result in bloating, stomach pain and diarrhoea.

Do potato skins trigger IBS? ›

Some people with IBS find cooked potatoes are easy to digest, which is good news because baked or boiled potatoes are a natural source of nutrients like potassium. Depending on how well a person with IBS tolerates fiber, the skin of the potato may need to be removed before it's cooked.

What are the benefits from eating potato skins? ›

As well as fibre, potato skins also contain other important nutrients including antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C. Vitamin C supports a healthy immune system, and potassium can help regulate blood pressure which keeps your heart healthy.

What are the side effects of potatoes on skin? ›

Rubbing potatoes on your skin or applying potato juice on face way too often can cause itching and irritation of the skin. Women with sensitive skin who are quick to get an allergic reaction must not use potato for the face. Other side effects may include a runny nose, breathing difficulties, and hives.

What are the healthiest potatoes to eat? ›

All potatoes can fit into a healthy diet, but purple potatoes, red potatoes, and sweet potatoes—which are often grouped with potatoes—stand out due to their high amounts of protective plant compounds and essential nutrients.

What is the healthiest way to eat sweet potatoes? ›

Boiling sweet potatoes retains more beta-carotene and makes the nutrient more absorbable than other cooking methods such as baking or frying. Up to 92% of the nutrient can be retained by limiting the cook time, such as boiling in a pot with a tightly covered lid for 20 minutes.

When not to eat sweet potatoes? ›

How to tell if sweet potatoes have gone bad. If your sweet potato is soft in spots, smells rotten, or oozes a mysterious liquid, that potato should be discarded. Another sign that sweet potatoes have taken a turn for the worse is if they start growing stalky purplish sprouts.

Can I eat a whole sweet potato everyday? ›

If you enjoy sweet potatoes, you can absolutely enjoy them daily. However, eating multiple sweet potatoes every day could cause a harmless condition called carotenodermia, where your skin turns yellow-orange. You may also want to be cautious about your sweet potato intake if you have a history of kidney stones.

Can I eat sweet potatoes raw? ›

“Sweet potato, often associated with oven baked, roasted or mashed, can actually be consumed raw,” says Cox. But you'll want to grate the flesh first to make it more palatable: “Grated into a slaw, sweet potatoes are a super source of beta carotene, vitamin C and fibre.”

Should I peel sweet potatoes for fries? ›

You can peel the sweet potatoes if you like, but I prefer to leave the skin on. It's packed with fiber, and I think it makes the fries crispier! Cut each potato lengthwise into 1/4- to 1/2-inch planks.

Are yams and sweet potatoes the same thing? ›

No, yams and sweet potatoes are not the same. Yams have rough, dark brown skin that is often compared to tree bark, and their flesh is dry and starchy like a regular potato. Sweet potatoes have smooth reddish skin, softer flesh (when cooked), and a sweet flavor.

Are sweet potatoes better for you than regular potatoes? ›

Though they can both be part of a healthy diet, sweet potatoes are generally healthier than regular potatoes, partly because of their incredibly high vitamin A content. Sweet potatoes are also lower on the glycemic index, meaning that they are less likely than regular potatoes to make your blood sugar spike.

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