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Banana vs. Potato — Health Impact and Nutrition Comparison

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Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on June 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan Article author photo Astghik Baghinyan
Banana
vs
Potato

Introduction

The main goal of this article is to compare bananas and potatoes in terms of nutrition. These products are different in many ways; nutrition, taste, and appearance. However, they both are very healthy.

Varieties

Bananas belong to the Musa genus and are categorized as fruits. They have many different varieties. The most common species are Cavendish Bananas and Lady's Finger Bananas.    

On the other hand, potatoes are considered to be vegetables. They are part of the Solanaceae family, the Solanum genus. The Solanaceae family of flowering plants also includes tomatoes, chili, and bell peppers.

The most known species are Classic Russet and Bannock Russet potatoes (1, 2).

Uses

Bananas and potatoes are some of the most popularly consumed foods in the world. 

Potatoes are grown around the world and have become a staple crop in many countries. They are mainly used boiled, baked, roasted, and fried in a massive range of different dishes.

Bananas can be eaten both raw and cooked. They are used in various dishes, salads, muffins, smoothies, etc. 

Nutrition

Bananas and potatoes have very different nutritional profiles; the cooking methods may also alter the composition. We will be comparing the nutritional profiles of raw bananas and baked, unsalted potatoes

In this section, we will explore their macronutrient composition, as well as compare their mineral and vitamin contents. 

Macronutrients and Calories

The NLEA serving of cooked potato is 148 grams, while for bananas, it is a bit lower and equals 126 grams.

In order to make the comparison easier, we will be comparing a 100-gram serving of each. 

As can be seen from the macronutrient composition charts below, their percentage distributions of the macronutrients are surprisingly similar. Both potatoes and bananas consist of 75% water

Macronutrient Comparison

Macronutrient breakdown side-by-side comparison
Banana
3
:
2
Potato
Contains more Fats +153.8%
Contains more Protein +129.4%
Contains more Other +60.2%
Equal in Carbs - 21.15
Equal in Water - 74.89
23% 75%
Protein: 1.09 g
Fats: 0.33 g
Carbs: 22.84 g
Water: 74.91 g
Other: 0.83 g
3% 21% 75%
Protein: 2.5 g
Fats: 0.13 g
Carbs: 21.15 g
Water: 74.89 g
Other: 1.33 g
Contains more Fats +153.8%
Contains more Protein +129.4%
Contains more Other +60.2%
Equal in Carbs - 21.15
Equal in Water - 74.89
 

Calories

Potatoes and bananas contain similar amounts of calories. 

Bananas contain about 89 calories per 100g serving, while the same serving of potatoes contains 93 calories.

Proteins

Neither bananas nor potatoes are protein-rich food options, although potatoes contain 2 times more protein than bananas.

Per 100-gram serving, there are only 1.09 grams of protein in bananas and 2.5 grams of protein in potatoes. 

Carbohydrates

Potatoes and bananas also contain similar amounts of carbohydrates, as well as fiber. Per 100-gram serving, there are 22.84 grams of carbs in bananas and 21.15 grams of carbs in potatoes. 

Fats

Overall, both baked potatoes and raw bananas are low-fat foods. Per 100-gram serving, bananas contain 0.33 grams of fats, while the same serving of potatoes contains 0.13 grams of fats.

Both bananas and potatoes contain no cholesterol.

The fat-type breakdown charts of potatoes and bananas, as shown below, reveal that most of the fat in bananas is saturated fat, while in potatoes, it is polyunsaturated fat

Fat Type Comparison

Fat type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Banana
2
:
1
Potato
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +966.7%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +28.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -69.6%
52% 15% 34%
Saturated Fat: 0.112 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.032 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.073 g
36% 3% 61%
Saturated Fat: 0.034 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.003 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.057 g
Contains more Monounsaturated Fat +966.7%
Contains more Polyunsaturated fat +28.1%
Contains less Saturated Fat -69.6%
      

Vitamins

The vitamin content of bananas and potatoes is also surprisingly similar

The predominant vitamin found in both is Vitamin B6, which is present in similar amounts in both foods. A 100-gram serving of bananas contains 0.367 grams of Vitamin B6, while the same serving of potatoes contains 0.311 grams

Both potatoes and bananas do contain varying amounts of other vitamins; however, their content is not significant when put in the context of recommended daily vitamin intake. Nonetheless, potatoes contain slightly more Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, and folate. 

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Banana
4
:
7
Potato
Contains more Vitamin A +540%
Contains more Vitamin E +150%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +52.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +18%
Contains more Vitamin C +10.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +106.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +112%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +12.6%
Contains more Folate +40%
Contains more Choline +51%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 4% 2% 0% 29% 8% 17% 13% 21% 85% 15% 0% 6% 2%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Choline Vitamin K 1% 1% 0% 32% 16% 12% 27% 23% 72% 22% 0% 9% 5%
Contains more Vitamin A +540%
Contains more Vitamin E +150%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +52.1%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +18%
Contains more Vitamin C +10.3%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +106.5%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +112%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +12.6%
Contains more Folate +40%
Contains more Choline +51%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%

Minerals

The predominant minerals found in bananas are manganese, copper, and potassium, whereas, in potatoes, these same minerals are present, along with the additional inclusion of iron.

In general, potatoes are relatively richer in minerals than bananas. They contain more iron, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" charts below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food.
Banana
3
:
7
Potato
Contains less Sodium -90%
Contains more Manganese +23.3%
Contains more Selenium +150%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +315.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +218.2%
Contains more Potassium +49.4%
Contains more Zinc +140%
Contains more Copper +51.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 28
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 2% 10% 20% 10% 32% 1% 5% 27% 36% 6%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper Manganese Selenium 5% 41% 20% 30% 48% 2% 10% 40% 29% 3%
Contains less Sodium -90%
Contains more Manganese +23.3%
Contains more Selenium +150%
Contains more Calcium +200%
Contains more Iron +315.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +218.2%
Contains more Potassium +49.4%
Contains more Zinc +140%
Contains more Copper +51.3%
Equal in Magnesium - 28

Glycemic Index

The difference between the glycemic indexes of these two is big. 

The estimated glycemic index of bananas is 48, while the glycemic index of potatoes equals 86. Hence, bananas are considered a low glycemic index food.

Acidity 

One way to understand the acidity of foods is through their potential renal acid load (PRAL) value, which shows how much acid or base the given food produces inside the organism. 

Based on our calculations, the PRAL values of bananas and potatoes are -6.9 and -8.3, respectively, which means both are alkaline.

Weight Loss

Bananas and potatoes are moderate-calorie foods that contain minimal amounts of proteins and fats. Eating bananas can't directly lead to weight loss; nevertheless, some components can help reduce bloating and replace processed sugars

By employing appropriate cooking techniques, vegetables can be incorporated into any diet. For example, the Potato Diet claims to help you lose one pound a day by eating nothing but plain potatoes. Nonetheless, the specific caloric intake and dietary details are contingent upon the cooking techniques employed for these vegetables (3, 4).

Health Benefits

Cardiovascular Health

Section reviewed by cardiologist Astghik Grigoryan Article author photo Astghik Grigoryan

Bananas' ability to lower blood pressure may be due to their high potassium content. Potatoes are also high in potassium; hence, they, too, have the potential to lower systolic blood pressure when consumed in boiled or baked form (5, 6). 

According to one study, bioactive compounds with antioxidant and ACE-inhibitory characteristics can be found in the isolates of potatoes (7). ACE inhibition is typical for some antihypertensive medications like Lisinopril, Captopril, etc. This effect has not been studied in bananas․

According to another study, a high intake of baked, boiled, mashed, or fried potatoes may increase the risk of hypertension. This effect may be explained by a high glycemic load of potatoes (8, 9).

Cancer

According to a Swedish study, women who ate 4-6 bananas a week cut in half their risk of developing kidney cancer. Moreover, bananas contain lectins which have a distinctive role in the reduction of cancer metastasis. 

Acrylamide is a chemical compound that can form in some foods during high-temperature cooking processes, such as French fries, potato chips, and foods made from grains. High doses of acrylamide can cause nerve damage. Lab animal studies show that acrylamide causes cancer (10, 11).

Diabetes

Based on various studies, potato consumption leads to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, which is explained by their high glycemic index and glycemic load values. However, more research on humans is needed (12).

On the other hand, bananas are a good source of fiber; besides, they are considered a low glycemic index food. Unripe bananas can be included in diabetic diets in moderation (11).

Digestive Health

Section reviewed by gastroenterologist Arpi Gasparyan Article author photo Arpi Gasparyan

Both bananas and potatoes (mashed, without skin) are allowed for people with symptomatic IBD: Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Bananas are also a good prebiotic and potassium source for patients with IBD (13).

Good Eye Health

Bananas offer notable benefits for maintaining good eye health. According to studies, Vitamin A present in bananas plays an essential role in keeping the mucus membranes in the eyes healthy. Besides, they are also high in carotenoids, which may help protect your eyes from the damaging effects of blue light and reduce your risk of macular degeneration, especially when you are older (14).

Side Effects

Toxicity

Some potato species may produce a toxic compound called solanine, a glycoalkaloid. Under specific adverse conditions, such as pest infestation, potatoes have the potential to produce increased levels of solanine, particularly when exposed to sunlight. Solanine gives potatoes a bitter taste and a green color, which may include symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pains (15).   

Allergies

Both bananas and potatoes are generally considered safe when consumed in typical servings. However, it's worth noting that individuals with latex sensitivity may also exhibit allergic reactions to bananas." The symptoms include irritation and itching of the mouth, diarrhea, and gas (16).

A potato allergy can impact individuals of any age and is typically attributed to specific compounds found in potatoes, such as patatin or solanine. The symptoms mainly include sneezing, runny nose, hives, and itchy skin (17).

Summary

While bananas are classified as fruits, potatoes are classified as vegetables. Both have similar macronutrient compositions and calories.  

The predominant vitamin found in potatoes and bananas is Vitamin B6, which is present in similar amounts in both foods. However, in general, potatoes are relatively richer in most vitamins and minerals than bananas, containing more iron, phosphorus, potassium, and copper. 

The difference between the glycemic indexes of these two is also quite big. The estimated glycemic index of bananas is 48, while the glycemic index of potatoes equals 86. Hence, bananas are considered a low glycemic index food, whereas potatoes are not.

Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: June 24, 2024
Medically reviewed by Astghik Baghinyan

Infographic

Banana vs Potato infographic
Infographic link

Carbohydrate type comparison

Carbohydrate type breakdown side-by-side comparison
Banana
4
:
1
Potato
Contains more Sucrose +497.5%
Contains more Glucose +1031.8%
Contains more Fructose +1326.5%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Starch +221%
31% 14% 28% 28%
Starch: 5.38 g
Sucrose: 2.39 g
Glucose: 4.98 g
Fructose: 4.85 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0.01 g
Galactose: 0 g
94% 2% 2% 2%
Starch: 17.27 g
Sucrose: 0.4 g
Glucose: 0.44 g
Fructose: 0.34 g
Lactose: 0 g
Maltose: 0 g
Galactose: 0 g
Contains more Sucrose +497.5%
Contains more Glucose +1031.8%
Contains more Fructose +1326.5%
Contains more Maltose +∞%
Contains more Starch +221%

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the rightmost column. It displays the amounts side by side, giving a clearer understanding of the difference.
Banana Potato
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Glycemic Index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Lower in price Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Banana Potato Opinion
Net carbs 20.24g 18.95g Banana
Protein 1.09g 2.5g Potato
Fats 0.33g 0.13g Banana
Carbs 22.84g 21.15g Banana
Calories 89kcal 93kcal Potato
Starch 5.38g 17.27g Potato
Fructose 4.85g 0.34g Banana
Sugar 12.23g 1.18g Potato
Fiber 2.6g 2.2g Banana
Calcium 5mg 15mg Potato
Iron 0.26mg 1.08mg Potato
Magnesium 27mg 28mg Potato
Phosphorus 22mg 70mg Potato
Potassium 358mg 535mg Potato
Sodium 1mg 10mg Banana
Zinc 0.15mg 0.36mg Potato
Copper 0.078mg 0.118mg Potato
Manganese 0.27mg 0.219mg Banana
Selenium 1µg 0.4µg Banana
Vitamin A 64IU 10IU Banana
Vitamin A RAE 3µg 1µg Banana
Vitamin E 0.1mg 0.04mg Banana
Vitamin C 8.7mg 9.6mg Potato
Vitamin B1 0.031mg 0.064mg Potato
Vitamin B2 0.073mg 0.048mg Banana
Vitamin B3 0.665mg 1.41mg Potato
Vitamin B5 0.334mg 0.376mg Potato
Vitamin B6 0.367mg 0.311mg Banana
Folate 20µg 28µg Potato
Choline 9.8mg 14.8mg Potato
Vitamin K 0.5µg 2µg Potato
Tryptophan 0.009mg 0.025mg Potato
Threonine 0.028mg 0.081mg Potato
Isoleucine 0.028mg 0.08mg Potato
Leucine 0.068mg 0.119mg Potato
Lysine 0.05mg 0.13mg Potato
Methionine 0.008mg 0.038mg Potato
Phenylalanine 0.049mg 0.099mg Potato
Valine 0.047mg 0.125mg Potato
Histidine 0.077mg 0.042mg Banana
Saturated Fat 0.112g 0.034g Potato
Monounsaturated Fat 0.032g 0.003g Banana
Polyunsaturated fat 0.073g 0.057g Banana

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Banana Potato
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low Glycemic Index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamins & Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score

The summary scores indicate the extent to which this food can fulfill your daily vitamin and mineral requirements if you consume 3 servings, consisting of 100 grams of each (an approximation of 3 serving sizes).
Vitamins Daily Need Coverage Score
15%
Banana
17%
Potato
Minerals Daily Need Coverage Score
14%
Banana
22%
Potato

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Potato
Potato is lower in Sugar (difference - 11.05g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Potato
Potato is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.078g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Potato
Potato is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Banana
Banana contains less Sodium (difference - 9mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Banana
Banana is lower in glycemic index (difference - 38)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
Which food is cheaper?
?
The foods are relatively equal in price ($0.2)
Which food is richer in vitamins?
?
It cannot be stated which food is richer in vitamins. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information. See the charts below for detailed information.

References

All the values for which the sources are not specified explicitly are taken from FDA’s Food Central. The exact link to the food presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Banana - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/173944/nutrients
  2. Potato - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170093/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000-calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.