I know you have Googled, “Why Can’t I Digest Sweet Potatoes?”

And do you know how I know this? Because 5 Reasons Why You Might Not Be Able to Digest Sweet Potatoes still remains a top blog post on my website, and I wrote it back in 2012.

But furthermore, most people don’t stop with reading the post.

They instead email me with their own stories, and ultimately end up grabbing A Gutsy Girl’s Bible: a 21-day approach to healing the gut, so they can figure out how in the heck to be able to properly digest sweet potatoes.

Why Can't I Digest Sweet Potatoes Whipped Coconut Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potato Hash sarahkayhoffman.com Food Processor

I don’t blame you for Goggling, and I don’t blame them for reaching out.

Sweet potatoes are so good; I have a mini-obsession with them.

And today I tolerate them perfectly. 

Why Can't I Digest Sweet Potatoes Sweet Potato Hash sarahkayhoffman.com Sweet Potatoes

However, like many of you, I used to also Google,

Why Can’t I Digest Sweet Potatoes?

So yes, I do get it.

In my previous post on the topic I named these 5 reasons:

  1. Oxalates
  2. Fiber
  3. Root Vegetable
  4. Combinations
  5. Amylose

Let’s investigate some more.

Why Can’t I Digest Sweet Potatoes?

Click HERE to save this post for later.

Why Can't I Digest Sweet Potatoes #sweetpotatoes #bloating


Sweet potatoes contain a type of sugar called mannitol.

If you have SIBO (or any other intolerance to FODMAPs), the mannitol found in sweet potatoes might be too much for your body to handle.

Mannitol is a polyol and only one-third of the polyols consumed are actually absorbed by our bodies. (source)


Going along with the point on mannitol is SIBO in general.

According to The Monash University App (which I recommend everyone who has SIBO gets for their phone immediately), sweet potatoes are okay for up to 1/2 cup.

SIBO sweet potatoes fodmap agutsygirl.com #sibo #fodmapdiet

At 2/3 cup (100 g), they contain a moderate amount of FODMAPs (from the Mannitol – as noted above). At 3/4 cup and above (112+ g), sweet potatoes become High FODMAP (again from the Mannitol).

This tells us that if SIBO is your issue, you might want to try starting with 1/2 cup (or less), then proceeding from there. Want more FODMAP information via graphics? Grab Reasonable SIBO now.


Part of the premise for overall gut healing says that all starches should be avoided in the early days.

I know this is debatable, but it worked for me when I did it for the first time in 2009.

I have studied, and will always be a student of Breaking the Vicious Cycle and Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

Sweet Potatoes are, obviously, a starch. That just might be your main issue with them.


Raffinose is a specific type of Oligosaccharide. Beans also contain raffinose.

Humans are missing an enzyme required to break down raffinose sugars found in beans. The bacteria in our gut feast on these sugars, giving off hydrogen and carbon dioxide and causing intestinal gas. source

I didn’t want to give up my sweet potatoes. I desperately wanted to live life. So I healed to a place where I could eat them again. I did many, many things, and I continue to do many, many things.

I started with an appropriate diagnosis. And, of course digestive enzymes to help BREAK DOWN what I was having a hard time breaking down.

Then, I did the things I preach in A Gutsy Girl’s Bible because for me it was tried and true.

It didn’t happen overnight, but I enjoy sweet potatoes often these days. Thank God!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Start Here
  2. Sweet Potato Hash
  3. Imagine Your Gut Healed


Similar Posts


  1. I am a Type 1 Diabetic and cannot digest a sweet potato. I go to bed with a decent blood sugar and in the middle of the night my blood sugar rises and I wake up with a high reading.. Any suggestions?
    Joan Brunett

  2. Recently, I notice getting excessive gurgling and tightness in my sternum when I eat sweet potatoes (especially sp starch noodles) or chicken. I don’t experience any burning like gerd or heartburn. I simply cannot figure out why.

  3. Thanks for the information. I have SIBO, but never thought about sweet potatoes giving me problems. I’ll certainly cut back on them. I’d been blaming the other foods I ate with them, but I see, that like so many foods, I can only tolerate a very small amount. My stomach thanks you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *