The American sweet potato has been literally bred for sweetness. If you are trying to tease out the nuances of your potential carbohydrate foods, it’s worth noting the differences in the varieties.
The American sweet potato has nearly half the sugar content (6.5g per 100g) of grapes (15.5g per 100g). They are sort of half fruit, half starch! By contrast, yams are far less sweet, with only 0.5g of sugar per 100g. White potatoes actually contain more sugar than yams, at 1.2 g.
The Bottom Line
My conclusion is that there is a certain minimum carbohydrate threshold that you should not drop below. The sweet spot for most is 20 to 30 percent of your diet as carbs, but most likely 25 to 30 percent. Most of those calories can come from non-starchy vegetables, but you’ll probably need some starchy carbs, such as white potatoes or white rice, and starchy vegetables like carrots and squash.
Breast milk is considered by many to be the perfect food for infants. Breast milk is 40 percent carbohydrate, which is great for babies because they have an increased glucose demand related to their rapid brain development. Adults simply need less.
Regardless of which starchy foods you put on your plate, make sure they are as organic and unprocessed as possible, free of pesticides and chemical additives and NOT genetically modified. I believe that low toxicity, high quality nutrient-dense foods are the MOST important consideration for you and your child’s optimal health, as well as your child’s brain development.
Regardless of your dietary choices, please remember ALWAYS to listen to your body, as it will give you feedback about whether or not the approach you’ve chosen is right for your unique biochemistry and genetics. Listen to that feedback and adjust your program accordingly.
For more information on this topic, you can follow the still-ongoing discussion between Dr. Rosedale and Dr. Jaminet in Perfect Health Diet: Safe Starches Symposium.