You must’ve listened to tales about yam, been a starchy food, high in carbohydrate and this makes it a weight loss food not to be included as diet.
In fact, I’ve been challenge privately via email in response to one of my article.
Note: I’ve reframed the message for privacy but that’s the sense it made.
“How possible can you regard yam as weight loss food considering it highly rich carbohydrates food?”
Well, before I dig further into my personal view and sincere points, let me share a little information about yam which I believe will enrich you.
Yam is a root tuber crop, cylindrical in shape and usually long in size.
It’s characterized by rough surfaces which are the most distinguishing factor when compared to sweet potatoes.
Some people confuse yam for potatoes but it rough surfaces should always give you better clue.
Yam skin is usually brown in color here in Africa while in Asia, is usually light pink.
When the skin is peel, you’ll be left with the whitish part to eat.
This can be boiled, fried, baked or roasted and the healthiest option, especially for weight loss, is to boil.
Yam is popularly believed and agreed to have originated from Africa, especially West-Africa.
Even before the adventurers and colonial masters took their first step on the soil, yam is one of the crops predominantly grown by our Forefathers, which serves as a symbol of wealth in every community.
Yam is now well cultivated in Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Oceania.
There are over 200 varieties of yam with many species.
This includes white yam which is the most predominant species in Nigeria and water yam.
Others are yellow yam, winged yam, and purple yam which is famous among the Asians.
What can make yam a weight loss food?
Yam is highly made up of complex carbohydrate (a good carb).
It composes 95% carbohydrate, 4% of proteins, 1% of fat and what really make yam a weight loss food is its glycemic index.
Glycemic index is the rate at which food is eaten is being converted into sugar, thereby increasing blood sugar (glucose) beyond the normal healthy level in the body.
When you eat food rich in carbohydrates such as white yam, it increases your blood sugar which leads to excess quantity.
This reaction signals the pancreas to produce more insulin, whose job is to store them in your liver for future use.
But what happens to its excesses, it stored them in your fat cells, especially if you’ve got the gene to be fat which can be an indication of your whole body or specific region such as arms, buttocks, and hips for most female, belly for most male.
This is how fat continues to build–up till it becomes excess which poses risk to diseases and ailment later in life.
Basically, if your food contains a lot of yams, it can be fattening.
So, if you eat 2 or more per meal, I believe you can visualize the figure.
And that’s for yam alone.
What about other food you’ll dish along with it?
What if you fried the yam?
Some people love to eat their yam that way, and if you’ve been eating like that, definitely, you’re adding more calories.
Fat and oil has 9 calories per gram compared to carb and protein, whose calorie is 4, that’s more than double
So, you’ve to take it easy on fried and oily food.
Food such as yam porridge should be out of your diet except you can modify the preparation this way: you prepare your yam porridge using less red palm oil with all the pepper, condiments and seasoning.
By the time you want to dish, you eat 1 cup size or you cupped your hand and visualize that size.
Eat it with vegetable sauce which must contain fish or any rich protein food.
It makes eating yam better that way as a weight loss food.
And I’m sure; you’ll feel full and satisfied till your next meal of about 3 to 4 hours.
If you want to lose weight eating yam, it’s better prepared boiled or baked.
A cup of boiled or baked yam has 158 calories which makes it relatively low in calorie, considering you’ll be eating other meals during day or night.
Yam makes a right choice as breakfast or lunch when your body metabolism will still be active to burn energy.
You can eat it with vegetable sauce or soup which is enriched in nutrients than a fried egg.
It doesn’t mean the fried egg is not allowed, it only needs review.
Pounded Yam and Weight Loss
“Can You eat Pounded Yam While Working to Lose Weight?”
I got this question from a loyal fan and my advice is the same clue as you read above.
The only difference, yam is being pounded.
Eat the right quantity with a good amount of vegetable soup 2 to 3 ladles and protein.
Believe me, while you try it, but you’ll feel fine and satisfied till the next meal.
Pound 1 cup of boiled yam or 2 slices, perhaps you’re in a restaurant or you pound largely for family, eat a cupped size of your hand.
That’s better for weight loss.
Yam and pounded yam is our cultural food, and we can’t give it up for anything.
Health Benefits of Yam
Apart from weight loss, yam has tremendous health benefits which corroborate to what makes it good for weight loss and healthy eating.
1. Despite the fact that yam has high carbohydrates, its glycemic index is much lower compared to sweet potatoes.
This means sweet potatoes releases more blood sugar to the body compared to yam.
According to SFGate, 150 gram of sweet potato has a glycemic index score of 70 while yam has 54, making yam much more healthful and preferable for weight loss.
In fact, a score of 70 is considered high glycemic index but when you consume sweet potatoes in smaller quantity in addition to other food ingredients, it could have minimal effect on your blood sugar level.
This doesn’t mean sweet potatoes is wrong for weight loss, it’s actually right.
When we’re talking of degree of what food decrease blood sugar level, yam is the winner here.
2. Yam is rich in potassium; a mineral that helps with fluid balance makes muscle, cardiac and nerve impulse function well.
3. Yam is rich in vitamin A. This helps with healthy mucous membranes and skin, night vision, healthy bone, and provides protection from lung and mouth cancers.
4. Yam is a great source of vitamin C, which prevents infections such as colds and flu and it helps wound heals quickly.
5. Yam has vitamin B6 which helps with neurotransmitters: this is the process of transporting signals from one nerve cell to another.
In addition, it controls and reduces the effects of homocysteine: a condition associated with heart diseases and stroke.
6. Yam is rich in vitamin A and beta-carotene which are strong antioxidants for the prevention of free radicals that can lead to cancer.
Nevertheless, Nigeria is the largest producer and exporter of yam with over 38 million tons.
Other producers are Ghana, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Togo, Papua New Guinea, and Colombia.
In conclusion, yam is a food rich in abundant nutrients and all its health benefits; thus, it makes a healthy food for weight loss if you follow the modification.
With these abundant health benefits, it makes the reason why some cultures in Nigeria and Ghana, celebrate yam from historical times as a mark of an annual festival for great harvest and wealth.
Share your thought, what do you think about yam.
Are you convinced to start eating yam for weight loss?
Image credit: HopeforNigeriaonline, farmersalmanac, thebfitteam