Foodstruct
Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart

Banana vs Potato - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
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, therefore they are known as fruits and as vegetables. Bananas have many different varieties. The most common species are Cavendish Bananas and Lady's Finger Bananas. 

The potato plant is a part of the Solanaceae family, the Solanum genus. The Solanaceae family of flowering plants also includes tomatoes, chili, and bell peppers. There are hundreds of varieties of potatoes. The most known species are Classic Russet and Bannock Russet potatoes [1] [2].

Uses

Bananas and potatoes are the most used products in the kitchen. Potatoes are spread around the world and have become a staple crop in many countries. They are mostly used boiled, baked, roasted, fried in a huge range of different dishes. Bananas can be eaten both raw and cooked. They are used in various dishes, salads, muffins, smoothies and so.

Nutrition

Bananas and potatoes have very different nutritional profiles. Both are rich in micronutrients. To better understand the difference, find the nutritional infographic at the bottom of this page.

Micronutrients

Banana and potato are relatively equal in micronutrients. Potatoes contain more protein and fewer sugars than bananas. On the other hand, bananas contain more fiber and fats than potatoes. The amount of cholesterol is equal [3].

Calories

Overall, bananas contain more calories, than potatoes. Each banana has about 89 calories per 100 g, while each potato contains 77 calories per 100 g.

Vitamins 

The vitamin content of banana and potato is comparatively equal. Banana contains 30 times more Vitamin A, and 9 times more Vitamin E. The amounts of Vitamin B2, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, and Folate are also high in bananas. Nonetheless, potatoes have more Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin K. The levels of Vitamin B1 and Vitamin K are almost 2 times higher in potatoes than in bananas [3] [4].

Minerals

In general, potatoes are relatively richer in minerals than bananas. It contains 2 times more iron and 2 times more phosphorus. The levels of zinc, calcium, and copper are also higher in potatoes. On the other hand, bananas are rich in magnesium and have less sodium. The amount of potassium is also high in potatoes [3] [4].

Potassium

Our body needs potassium because it may help to reduce the risk of kidney stones and normalize lower blood pressure. In this case, potatoes have more potassium than bananas. It has 425 mg per 100 g, whereas bananas have 358 mg potassium per 100g.

Glycemic Index

The difference between the glycemic indexes of these two is huge. The estimated glycemic index of bananas is 48, while the glycemic index of potatoes is equal to 86. Bananas are considered a low glycemic index food. 

Health Benefits

Weight Loss

Bananas and potatoes are middle calories products that hold very little proteins and fats. Eating bananas can’t directly lead to weight loss, nevertheless, some of the components can help reduce bloating and replace processed sugars. Vegetables can be included in all diets when prepared with the right methods. For example, the Potato Diet claims to help you lose one pound a day by eating nothing but plain potatoes. However, the calories and exact diet are depending on the cooking methods of these vegetables [5] [6].

Cardiovascular Health

Bananas have high potassium and low sodium content, their intake is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, and lower blood pressure.
Banana and potato both are high in fiber, which role in preventing heart disease is proven by studies. Fiber can lower both blood pressure and cholesterol. However, according to the 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 [7] [8]. 

Cancer

According to the Swedish study, the 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, foods made from grains. High doses of acrylamide can cause nerve damage. Lab animal studies show that acrylamide causes cancer [9] [10].

Diabetes

Based on studies, potato consumption leads to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This can be associated with the high glycemic index and glycemic load of potatoes. However, more research on humans is needed [11].

Bananas are a good source of fiber, besides they are considered as a low glycemic index food. Unripe bananas can be included in diabetic diets in moderation [10].

Good Digestive Health

Dietary fiber has been associated with improving digestive health. Moreover, resistant starch that presents in bananas and potatoes is mostly converted into fatty acid butyrate, which is the preferred food source for gut bacteria. Besides, butyrate may aid patients with inflammatory bowel disorders, such as  Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis [12]. 

Good Eye Health

Bananas are good for your eye health. According to studies Vitamin A that is present in bananas plays an important 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 [13]. 

Side Effects

Toxicity

Some potato specials may produce a toxic compound called solanine, a glycoalkaloid. Mostly, under certain unfavorable conditions, such as pests, potatoes can increase the production of solanine, especially when kept in sunlight. Solanine gives potatoes a bitter taste and a green color, which poisoning may include symptoms, like diarrhea, vomiting, fever, and abdominal pains [14]. 

Allergy

Both products are likely safe in the amounts typically eaten as food. However, an allergic reaction to bananas usually has people who are sensitive to latex. When they do, the symptoms include irritation and itching of the mouth, diarrhea, and gas [15].

A potato allergy can affect people of any age. The allergy can cause specific compounds of potato;  patatin or saline. The symptoms mostly include sneezing, runny nose, hives, and itchy skin [16].

Summary

Overall, potatoes are relatively rich in minerals, have fewer sugars, calories, and saturated fats than bananas. On the other hand, bananas contain 30 times more Vitamin A and 9 times more Vitamin E, have lower sodium and glycemic index. 

References

  1. https://www.potatogoodness.com/potato-types/
  2. https://www.scirp.org/html/13-2700276_16366.htm
  3. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jsfa.2824
  4. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814616303831
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11396693/
  6. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/2014/01/24/the-problem-with-potatoes/
  7. https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article/2/4/183/5164297?login=true
  8. https://academic.oup.com/fqs/article/2/4/183/5164297?login=true
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6272006/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15455348/
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4965517/
  12. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19774643/
  13. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/fsn3.1308
  14. https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/solanine_poisoning_how_does_it_happen
  15. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1398-9995.1998.tb03889.x
  16. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31606016/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 3, 2021

Infographic

Banana vs Potato infographic
Copy infographic link

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Banana
2
:
6
Potato
Contains more Magnesium +17.4%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Iron +211.5%
Contains more Calcium +140%
Contains more Potassium +18.7%
Contains more Copper +41%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Phosphorus +159.1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 10% 2% 32% 20% 27% 5% 10% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 31% 4% 38% 17% 37% 9% 25% 1%
Contains more Magnesium +17.4%
Contains less Sodium -83.3%
Contains more Iron +211.5%
Contains more Calcium +140%
Contains more Potassium +18.7%
Contains more Copper +41%
Contains more Zinc +100%
Contains more Phosphorus +159.1%

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Banana
6
:
4
Potato
Contains more Vitamin A +3100%
Contains more Vitamin E +900%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +128.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +13.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +23.2%
Contains more Folate +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +126.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +161.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +59.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 29% 4% 2% 0% 8% 17% 13% 21% 85% 0% 2% 15%
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 66% 1% 1% 0% 21% 8% 20% 18% 69% 0% 5% 12%
Contains more Vitamin A +3100%
Contains more Vitamin E +900%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +128.1%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +13.2%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +23.2%
Contains more Folate +33.3%
Contains more Vitamin C +126.4%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +161.3%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +59.5%
Contains more Vitamin K +300%

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
16
Banana
18
Potato
Mineral Summary Score
13
Banana
20
Potato

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
7%
Banana
12%
Potato
Carbohydrates
23%
Banana
17%
Potato
Fats
2%
Banana
0%
Potato

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of 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

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Banana Potato
Low Calories diet ok
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Potato
Potato is lower in Sugar (difference - 11.41g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Potato
Potato is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.087g)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Potato
Potato is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Sodium?
Banana
Banana contains less Sodium (difference - 5mg)
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.

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Banana Potato Opinion
Calories 89 77 Banana
Protein 1.09 2.05 Potato
Fats 0.33 0.09 Banana
Vitamin C 8.7 19.7 Potato
Carbs 22.84 17.49 Banana
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 0.26 0.81 Potato
Calcium 5 12 Potato
Potassium 358 425 Potato
Magnesium 27 23 Banana
Sugar 12.23 0.82 Potato
Fiber 2.6 2.1 Banana
Copper 0.078 0.11 Potato
Zinc 0.15 0.3 Potato
Starch 5.38 15.29 Potato
Phosphorus 22 57 Potato
Sodium 1 6 Banana
Vitamin A 64 2 Banana
Vitamin E 0.1 0.01 Banana
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.031 0.081 Potato
Vitamin B2 0.073 0.032 Banana
Vitamin B3 0.665 1.061 Potato
Vitamin B5 0.334 0.295 Banana
Vitamin B6 0.367 0.298 Banana
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 0.5 2 Potato
Folate 20 15 Banana
Trans Fat 0 0
Saturated Fat 0.112 0.025 Potato
Monounsaturated Fat 0.032 0.002 Banana
Polyunsaturated fat 0.073 0.042 Banana
Tryptophan 0.009 0.021 Potato
Threonine 0.028 0.067 Potato
Isoleucine 0.028 0.066 Potato
Leucine 0.068 0.098 Potato
Lysine 0.05 0.107 Potato
Methionine 0.008 0.032 Potato
Phenylalanine 0.049 0.081 Potato
Valine 0.047 0.103 Potato
Histidine 0.077 0.035 Banana
Fructose 4.85 0.26 Banana

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods 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/170026/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.