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Which Orange Veggie Will Save You 100 Calories?

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
10/6/2012 10:00 AM   :  42 comments   :  34,375 Views

See More: food showdown,
With the start of fall last month, it seems like everyone has sweet and starchy orange produce on the brain. Butternut squash and sweet potatoes have officially taken the place of summer's zucchini bounty. Not only are these orange fall foods delicious and comforting, but they are also nutritional powerhouses that are high in fiber and vitamins A and C. But is there much of a difference when it comes to calorie content? In a food showdown between sweet potato and butternut squash, which one will give you more nutritional bang for your calorie buck in your fall dishes?

The Winner: Butternut Squash!


One cup of baked sweet potato with skin is 180 calories. The butternut squashes the competition at 82 calories per cup! It also contains less sugar and fewer carbohydrates than the sweet potato, and is a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, and folate. However, the sweet potato has some amazing nutritional benefits as well. A cup of sweet potato contains nearly 7 grams of dietary fiber (vs. just 2 grams in the butternut squash), and is also slightly higher than the squash in both vitamins A and C. So, even though the sweet potato might be higher in calories than the squash, it's definitely still a worthwhile addition to your fall menu in moderation.

TIP: As always, remember that your preparation method is key to keeping your calories in check. If you mash up your squash or sweet potatoes and douse them in brown sugar and butter, you're not doing yourself any favors! Instead, roast your veggies on a baking sheet with just a small drizzle of olive oil or a spritz of cooking spray, and season with your spices of choice.

What's your favorite orange fall veggie?




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Comments

  • 42
    I like them all, but sweet potatoes are definitely my fave because I like them just plain baked. I bake a bunch of them and have them on hand for healthy snacks anytime. - 12/17/2013   11:41:51 PM
  • 41
    I like most root veggies, roasted , steamed in soups or stews ..I like a little spice with my sweet potatoes and add a little chili powder to them if I make them into "fries". I think I'm going to go get some buttercup or acorn Squash today, And some small turnips(less bitter). Cold weather makes me crave these foods more. - 12/17/2013   8:29:48 AM
  • 40
    I actually like butterCUP squash better than butternut. Same healthy veggie, just a little sweeter. Just tried sweet potatoes a few weeks ago. I thought they tasted a lot like a mix between a squash and a pumpkin - 3/7/2013   4:23:39 PM
  • 39
    I have never tried sweet potatoes and only had butternut squash once. I bought it already diced & ready to microwave in the bag just to see how it tastes. It didn't have much taste at all. The whole ones are pretty intimidating but I probably should give them a try before making my mind up that I don't care for them.
    I do love carrots though. - 1/30/2013   10:02:15 PM
  • 38
    I love roasted butternut squash with garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Yum!! - 11/18/2012   4:04:51 AM
  • 37
    Not a major fan of sweet potatoes. The sweetness turns me off because when I eat something like that (root veggies etc) I am not looking for sweetness - like more spicy, savory, salty for regular food and save my sweet for desert items. I do love all kinds of squash though and have just cut up a butternut squash and looking for different ways to prepare it. Recently read an article about eating veggies in season so trying to vary my veggies from the same old, same old. - 10/15/2012   1:51:39 PM
  • 36
    I love both--but I have to say that roasted butternut squash is absolutely delicioso (sp?) cut into chunks, drizzled with a little olive oil and topped with fresh rosemary! I'm salivating thinking of it! Sweet like candy............ - 10/10/2012   4:03:53 PM
  • HEALTHYSAGG
    35
    I actually love sweet potato but I haven't ever tried butternut squash. I'll give it a go and see. I heard its really good as a soup though. - 10/10/2012   2:08:06 PM
  • RBENNETT42
    34
    I love sweet potatoes (yams actually) I cut them like fries, spray a baking sheet, and toss with a little olive oil and bake. delicious. - 10/9/2012   11:55:00 PM
  • 33
    We just harvested about 4 bushels of butternut squash from our garden, so I'm delighted to read this ;-). We had a 'bumper' crop last year too, and I learned to use butternut squash in almost everything-- including grating it up and adding to my morning hot cereal! It's great pureed in any sort of soup (especially homemade crockpot bean soups...), added to tomato sauce & spaghetti, added to 'stir fries', made into Chanukah 'latkes' and veggie 'kugels', and great for desserts. And now I'm going to add *roasting* them to my repertoire ;-). Btw, butternut stayed healthy and good for us for literally 12 months-- the SECRET to its keeping power was storing it in *baskets*, along with being sure to *leave* a bit of *stem* still attached. I literally just grated up the *last* butternut from last year today! Still fine ;-) - 10/9/2012   8:19:38 PM
  • 32
    never had butternut squash so Sweet Potatoes , until I go get the squash lol. - 10/9/2012   10:33:28 AM
  • 31
    I enjoy butternut squash, but I have never been able to force myself to eat sweet potatoes. Blech! - 10/9/2012   7:54:03 AM
  • 30
    I like sweet potatoes but i am not going to eat them without anything on them
    that is just bland. I do kind of like the butternut squash though, when i am in the
    mood for it . - 10/8/2012   8:27:54 PM
  • 29
    Just had roasted butternut squish with balsamic vinegar. Yummy. But tomorrow night it will be roasted sweet potatoes, naked. They need no butter or spicing up! - 10/8/2012   3:01:50 PM
  • KAMILLAVIRAG1
    28
    I prefer butternut squash but I haven't really looked into the ways one can use them. I sort of stopped at the soup option and the "bake it in the oven and give the pure to the baby" stage. Now that everyone's much older I should cook it differently. - 10/8/2012   5:10:58 AM
  • 27
    Just don't go nuts. It takes less than you might think to turn you orange... - 10/7/2012   11:45:30 PM
  • 26
    I love them both. I will bake either one with cinnamon or sugar free maple flavored syrup. - 10/7/2012   5:57:30 PM
  • 25
    I steam my butternut squash and sweet potatoes. YUM! YUM! - 10/7/2012   2:31:31 PM
  • 24
    I steam my butternut squash and sweet potatoes. YUM! YUM! - 10/7/2012   2:31:19 PM
  • 23
    I just had a baked sweet potato for lunch. For the first time ever, I skipped the butter and just ate it plain and it was awesome! I was surprised how great it was without the butter. I have been eating much healthier the last 8 days and I am enjoying the natural flavor and sweetness of foods. I have been eating mainly vegetarian and want to convert to a vegan diet soon. - 10/7/2012   12:29:50 PM
  • 22
    Sweet potatoes! - 10/7/2012   11:46:51 AM
  • 21
    sweet potatoes might be a slight favorite, but i love all winter squashes and use them interchangeably in all sorts of autumn dishes. they're so versatile!
    i baked an enormous butternut down yesterday, pureed it in the blend-tec, and it's freezing in batches in ice cube trays. i'll be nomming on that bad boy all winter.
    :) khairete
    suz - 10/7/2012   7:35:57 AM
  • 20
    I eat sweet potatoes but I don't really "like" them. - 10/7/2012   7:33:44 AM
  • 19
    Squash may contain fewer calories than sweet potatoes (cup for cup), but if you are replacing (for example) french fries with sweet potatoes, you're still doing better than you would have before working to be mindful of what you're eating. Sometimes it makes more sense to compare what you're eating now to what you used to eat. - 10/7/2012   6:45:09 AM
  • 18
    sweet potatoes ! They're not just for Thanksgiving. I eat them year round. - 10/7/2012   5:41:36 AM
  • 17
    Curried butternut squash soup, YUM! - 10/7/2012   3:24:12 AM
  • DNEGRON1
    16
    I am big on sweet potatoes. I will give butternut squash a chance now that is have new information. - 10/7/2012   12:36:48 AM
  • DLGILBERT
    15
    Sweet Potatoes! Awesome! - 10/6/2012   9:14:24 PM
  • 14
    I still really like pumpkin . - 10/6/2012   8:48:03 PM
  • TCLADY
    13
    Hi I have never met a squash or a sweet potato that I didn't like, in one form or another. in fact I just did a small pie pumpkin. Peel, cut into bite size peices, add a bit of oil or cooking spray and a bit of cinnamon and a suger substatute and salt to taste. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender, strirring once. - 10/6/2012   6:10:11 PM
  • 12
    Sweet Potatoes! No Contest. I Like To Bake Them Without The Skin Sprinkle With Cinnamon and Sunflower Kernals or Walnuts; And Sometimes A Littl Stevia. So Good And Filling! - 10/6/2012   5:39:49 PM
  • 11
    Hmmm, never tried butternut squash but will now that I've read this blog. - 10/6/2012   4:53:44 PM
  • 10
    Thanks - 10/6/2012   3:34:29 PM
  • 9
    I love sweet potatoes. Got some for 79 cents a pound last night. Can't wait to bake them! - 10/6/2012   1:05:57 PM
  • 8
    Or make a yummy pureed soup out of em! - 10/6/2012   12:46:06 PM
  • 7
    I'm a winter squash junkie! It's all about butter squash and kabocha squash now. For soups mostly. Sweet potatoes at this time of year are for pies and for the times when these squash aren't available. - 10/6/2012   12:43:01 PM
  • 6
    Don't like butternut squash so sweet potatoes wins for me. - 10/6/2012   12:27:31 PM
  • 5
    I love to quarter sweet potatoes and put them in the crockpot with a chuck roast and some pepper and beef bouillon. They sit there all day soaking up the flavor of the meat! - 10/6/2012   12:21:31 PM
  • 4
    Love them all, but I'm definitely going to go get some butternut squash today! - 10/6/2012   11:54:24 AM
  • 3
    I only like yams baked with a little butter, or even just plain. I have a recipe for curried lentil soup with sweet potatoes in it... I've decided I only like them cooked that way, and think they'd be great it any stews or similar dishes. - 10/6/2012   11:45:11 AM
  • CLIP53
    2
    I love Squash, sweet potatoes and yams!! - 10/6/2012   10:55:45 AM
  • 1
    Sweet potatoes are my hands-down favorite. They are to die for roasted with some chile flakes and coconut oil. I have them for lunch baked and topped with cottage cheese too! - 10/6/2012   10:38:26 AM

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