How to Cook a Sweet Potato on a GI Diet

How to Cook a Sweet Potato on a GI Diet

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A sweet potato has a lower glycemic index than a white potato.

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The glycemic index diet advises followers to eat foods that have a low glycemic index, such as vegetables, legumes and whole grains, because they do not cause a sharp increase in blood sugar levels. Avoiding high-GI foods may promote weight loss and help prevent diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. A 150-gram, medium-sized sweet potato has a glycemic index of 70, putting it into the category of high-GI foods. However, a 2005 study published in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" reported that cooked potatoes tossed with vinegar dressing and then cooled have a reduced glycemic index, making them an acceptable food on the low-GI diet.

Low-GI Cooking Method


Rinse the sweet potato under running water, using a vegetable brush to gently remove any dirt or debris. Dry it with paper towels or a dish cloth.


Use a fork, metal skewer or thin-bladed knife to poke several holes into the flesh of the sweet potato.


Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Put the sweet potato onto the prepared pan.


Bake the sweet potato until you can easily pierce it with a fork. Allow approximately one hour of cooking time for a medium-sized potato baked at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.


Let the sweet potato cool until you can handle it easily. Cut it into bite-sized chunks, leaving the peel intact to increase your fiber intake and keep the glycemic index low.

Further Reducing the GI


Whisk a vinegar-based dressing in a large bowl. Choose from vinegars such as white wine, balsamic, sherry, red wine or plain white vinegar paired with olive oil. Use about 1/4 cup of vinegar and 1/2 cup of oil for every four sweet potatoes. Combining potatoes with a vinegar dressing reduces the final dish's overall glycemic index.


Mix the cooked sweet potato chunks into the dressing, tossing them gently with a large spoon until they are completely coated.


Cover the bowl with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate until it is chilled, at least 12 hours.


Remove the bowl from the refrigerator and allow the potato mixture to come to room temperature before serving.

Things Needed

  • Vegetable brush
  • Paper towels or dish cloth
  • Fork
  • Metal skewer or thin-bladed knife
  • Rimmed baking sheet
  • Aluminum foil
  • Sharp knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large bowl
  • Whisk
  • Vinegar -- white, white wine, red wine, balsamic or sherry
  • Olive oil
  • Measuring cups
  • Seasonings, including salt, pepper, spices, herbs, grated orange zest, onions, scallions or mustard
  • Large spoon
  • Plastic wrap or aluminum foil, optional


  • According to studies published in "Food Science Research" and the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition," cooked, chilled potatoes have a lower glycemic index than hot or warm potatoes regardless if the potatoes were boiled or baked. To boil instead of baking the sweet potatoes, cut them into chunks and simmer the pieces in water until they are very tender.
  • For additional flavor, add seasonings like mustard, cumin, onions or scallions, grated orange zest, freshly chopped herbs, salt and pepper to the vinegar dressing before tossing it with the cooked sweet potatoes.
  • Store unused sweet potatoes in a cool, dark place but not in the refrigerator.


  • Discard cooked sweet potatoes after they've been in the refrigerator for three days.