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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