Difference between Potato & Yam


1. Yams are a food crop grown mostly in Africa and are popular in many parts of the world. They are larger than potatoes and have a higher sugar content, making them closer to sweet potatoes.
2. Yams have more complex carbohydrates than potatoes, which means they are digested more slowly and do not contribute to sugar or diabetes with excessive consumption.
3. Yams should not be consumed raw as they contain toxic ingredients and should be boiled before eating, similar to potatoes.


Potato vs Yam

Potatoes have been a staple in households worldwide, known for their versatility in various recipes. They rank as the 4th largest food crop globally, following wheat, maize, and rice. However, there is another tuber that resembles a potato and tastes similar to it, called yam. While yams are popular in many parts of the world, they can often be confused with potatoes. This article will highlight the differences between potatoes and yams.

Differences Between Potato and Yam

1. Size and Color: Yams are generally larger than average potatoes and come in orange, and sometimes even purple, varieties. They are closer to sweet potatoes in appearance.

2. Carbohydrates: Both potatoes and yams are excellent sources of carbohydrates. However, the carbohydrate content in yams is more complex than that of potatoes. As a result, yams are metabolized slower and can contribute to weight gain faster than potatoes.

3. Sugar and Diabetes: Despite the higher sugar content in yams, they do not contribute to diabetes or cause sugar-related issues when consumed excessively, unlike potatoes.

4. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes from Louisiana are often mistaken for yams due to their similar appearance. However, yams are predominantly grown in Africa, with Nigeria accounting for over 70% of the world’s yam production.

5. Appearance: Yams belong to the genus Diascorea and are perennial herbs with tubers that can grow up to 1.5m in length. On the other hand, potatoes are typically smaller in size, ranging from 3-4 inches.

6. History and Importance: Yams have been around since about 8000 B.C, yet many people are still unaware of their existence. In Nigeria, yams play a vital role in ensuring the survival of poor communities. They are easy to grow, abundant, and can be stored without refrigeration for up to 6 months.

7. Raw Consumption: Yams should not be eaten raw as they contain certain toxic ingredients. They are typically boiled and peeled before use, similar to potatoes.

Overall, while potatoes are widely consumed globally, yams have their own distinct characteristics and are a significant food crop in Africa, particularly Nigeria.

Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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