Home / Common Questions / What is a White Sweet Potato?

What is a White Sweet Potato?

What is a White Sweet Potato?

Now, pretty much all of us are familiar with the age-old debate here in the U.S. about whether a sweet potato is the same as a yam or not. A white sweet potato, though? What? Is that a yam? Or is it actually a sweet potato? Let’s discuss the possible answers.

Sweet Potatoes and Yams

A yam is imported into the U.S., whereas we grow sweet potatoes here. Sweet potatoes are exactly that — sweet — while yams tend to have the starchy taste we’re familiar with in potatoes. Genetically speaking, sweet potatoes are only distant cousins with potatoes. A lot of markets do label them as the same thing, but there is a difference. The outer skin gives this difference away very easily. If the skin is smooth, you’re looking at a sweet potato; if the skin is rough and rigid, it’s a yam!

Quick Nutritional Facts About the Two:

  • They both contain beta-carotene, which is a nutrient believed to help protect against certain types of cancers. Sweet potatoes do have more of this than yams.
  • Yams have a bit more potassium and fiber than sweet potatoes.
  • Sweet potatoes have less calories and carbs than yams.

So, back to the original question.

What is a White Sweet Potato?

It’s not a yam, even though all this information may lead us to believe so. It’s a sweet potato! There are different varieties of colors of sweet potatoes. I knew there were purple sweet potatoes, but apparently there are more!


The most commonly known and reported colors of sweet potatoes don’t extend too terribly far. The colors include white, purple, yellow, light/average red, and our beloved orange.

The sweetness changes with each different color. The purple ones tend to be a bit more dry and slightly bitter tasting. The white ones are said to have a nice balance between sweet and unsweet and are used fairly often in cooking. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to make some sweet potato casserole now!


About Brittany Davidson

Brittany is the main writer and content creator for Food Questions. She believes life is worth living if you're constantly learning, enjoying, and admiring things. Passion is her backbone and she tries not to do anything without it. Sharing information is as valuable as sharing a smile, Brittany says.

Check Also

raspberry clafoutis fruit

What is a Raspberry Clafoutis?

What is a Raspberry Clafoutis? The beloved raspberry clafoutis is a complete and total fraud! …

One comment

  1. I had never heard of a white sweet potato! Thank you so much for that information!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *