Food Information

Sweet Potatoes vs Yams

Image copyright NatalieMaynor.

It was only a few years ago that I realized that sweet potatoes and yams weren’t the same food. Many people use the terms interchangeably.  Both veggies looking a lot alike. Today I am writing about the differences to help you when shopping at the market.

Sweet Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes are grown in the southern states of the US.
  • These potatoes are sweet.
  • Sweet potatoes have a smooth, thin skin.
  • The shape is short and blocky.
  • Sweet potatoes offer more protein per serving – 5 grams vs 2 for yams.
  • Sweet potatoes are much higher in Vitamin A than yams.


  • Yams are grown in the Caribbean and are imported.
  • Yams are more starchy.
  • Yams have a coarse, scaly skin.
  • The shape is long and cylindrical.


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