Foodstruct
Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart

Tomato vs Potato - Health impact and Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Tomato
vs
Potato

Introduction

Tomatoes and potatoes came to Europe from South America. Both tomato and potato were widely cultivated and there are vast varieties of both of them. The tomato and potato also are from the same genus, having so many similarities they differ in their nutritional content, which we are going to discuss in-depth in this article. 

Classification

Tomato and potato belong to the genus Solanum, while their scientific names are different,  tomato is Solanum lycopersicum, and potato is Solanum tuberosum.

Appearance

Having so much in common potato and tomato differ by their appearance, including color, texture, and even the plant itself. The most popular type of potato type is yellowish, with a rugged texture, while the most common type of tomato is red, with a soft texture. 

Taste and Use

Potatoes and tomatoes also differ in their taste too. While raw potatoes have a bitter taste, raw tomatoes are sweet. There are also a huge variety of uses of both plants, but while tomato is used raw in salads, potatoes usually appear to be boiled. Potatoes are also used as a separate dish as mashed or fried potatoes unless the tomatoes are more considered as an addition to some dishes like salads or soups. During decades of use, many cultures adopted their use and cultivars of both plants, which differ by their preparation technique or the plant itself. 

Growing Conditions

Tomatoes and potatoes also require different growing conditions, while tomatoes grow better in slightly acidic soils, potatoes require higher acidity levels. Moreover, potatoes usually grow in fall or winter, in southern regions in spring too, unless the tomatoes grow during late spring and early summer. Nevertheless, with current advances in plant growth techniques and greenhouses, it is possible to grow plants all year long, imitating the required conditions.

Varieties

Talking about the varieties it should be noted that there are dozens of varieties of both potatoes and tomatoes, all the varieties differ in their taste and use. In the case of potatoes, the most common ones are the russet, red, yellow, white, purple, fingerling, and petite potatoes. The tomato varieties include better boy tomato, big beef, big boy, celebrity, early girl, and grape tomatoes. 

Nutrition

Being vegetables both tomatoes and potatoes are rich in water, but tomatoes are slightly richer with an amount of 94.5 g of water per 100 g. Their nutritional benefits are well known for centuries, more in-depth we will discuss below. 

Calories

The ultimate winner in the calorie competition is the tomato, which contains about 4 times fewer calories than potatoes, with the amount of 18 kcal per 100g. Nevertheless, both tomatoes and potatoes are considered foods with low amounts of calories

Protein and Fats

In the case of the proteins, tomato contains the least amount, about 0.88 g per 100 g, potato contains twice less fat than tomato does, about 0.09 g per 100g. 

Carbohydrates 

Talkin about the carbohydrates, potato contains about 17.5 g per 100 g, and tomato contains 4 times less, about 3.89 g per 100 g, which makes it an option to consider if you're trying the low carb diet. 

Also while tomatoes contain no sucrose, and the sugars in the tomatoes are glucose and fructose, potatoes contain sucrose too, but in the case of the potato, the amounts of glucose and fructose are less than they are in the tomatoes. 

Vitamins

Tomatoes and potatoes are foods with relatively vast amounts of vitamins, mainly the B group, but while tomatoes contain drastically more vitamin A and vitamin K, they lack the vitamin B group, specifically vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B4, Vitamin B5, and B6. Both of the foods do not contain Vitamin D, on the other hand, they contain Vitamin C, which is highest in potatoes. 

Have a look at this comparison chart

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
Tomato
3
:
6
Potato
Contains more Vitamin A +41550%
Contains more Vitamin E +5300%
Contains more Vitamin K +295%
Contains more Vitamin C +43.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +118.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +68.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +78.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +231.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +272.5%
Equal in Folate - 15
Vitamin C Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Vitamin B12 Vitamin K Folate 46% 50% 11% 0% 10% 5% 12% 6% 19% 0% 20% 12%
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 +41550%
Contains more Vitamin E +5300%
Contains more Vitamin K +295%
Contains more Vitamin C +43.8%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +118.9%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +68.4%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +78.6%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +231.5%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +272.5%
Equal in Folate - 15

Minerals

Potatoes are the ultimate winners in the contest of mineral comparison, they are rich in iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, copper, zinc, and phosphorus, while tomatoes contain less sodium

Below is the visual comparison that shows mineral difference

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
Tomato
1
:
7
Potato
Contains less Sodium -16.7%
Contains more Iron +200%
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Potassium +79.3%
Contains more Magnesium +109.1%
Contains more Copper +86.4%
Contains more Zinc +76.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +137.5%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 11% 3% 21% 8% 20% 5% 11% 1%
Iron Calcium Potassium Magnesium Copper Zinc Phosphorus Sodium 31% 4% 38% 17% 37% 9% 25% 1%
Contains less Sodium -16.7%
Contains more Iron +200%
Contains more Calcium +20%
Contains more Potassium +79.3%
Contains more Magnesium +109.1%
Contains more Copper +86.4%
Contains more Zinc +76.5%
Contains more Phosphorus +137.5%

Glycemic Index

Regarding the glycemic index, it is notable to consider the tomatoes, their GI is less than 15 which is good food to consider for people with diabetes. Potatoes fall out in this contest, as its GI is about 4 times higher than in tomatoes. 

Acidity

Tomatoes are usually considered acid foods with a pH of around 4.6, while potatoes are more likely to be less acidic with a pH of around 5.7. These values may vary based on the type of certain food, making them slightly more or less acidic. 

But it is notable that if we look at the PRAL (potential renal acid load) of both foods they are likely to be more alkaline. The PRAL of tomatoes is estimated to be from -5.13 to - 4.7, while the PRAL of potatoes is from -8.6 to -7.5 making it a more alkaline food than tomato. 

Weight Loss

As it is well-known vegetables are good options for weight loss due to their high water content and low calories. Like many others, potatoes and tomatoes are also good options to consider. 

Tomatoes contain relatively high amounts of water together with low amounts of carbohydrates, which is a good option to consider for the low carb diet, unless the potatoes which are not so good option for weight loss in general, due to their high GI, relatively high amount of carbohydrates and calories. 

Health Impact 

Cardiovascular health 

In the study performed in 2017 different kinds of vegetables were compared to have any effect on cardiovascular diseases, researchers found that nevertheless, GI of the potatoes are quite high, they affect positively the preventing cardiovascular diseases in general, also researchers found that a potato rich diet may increase the antioxidant potential. Regarding tomatoes, researchers state that tomatoes contain a bioactive component called lycopene, which exhibits high antioxidant, anti-hypertensive, hypolipidemic activities. Another compound found in tomatoes, the sapogenol, demonstrates anti-atherogenic activity, which is considered to have a cardioprotective effect. Moreover, tomatoes contain higher carotenoids than potatoes, which makes food with rich antioxidant capacity(1). 

Diabetes

Together with having so many positive sides, potatoes are considered foods that can positively affect the development of type 2 diabetes, especially large consumptions of french fries. Researchers state that those individuals whose daily potato consumption was greater than 283 g/day were 42 % more affected to develop type 2 diabetes than those whose daily consumption was lower than 132 g/day. Thus, being rich in micronutrients and vitamins, potatoes should be consumed carefully. (2). On the other hand, another study involving individuals with already developed type 2 diabetes and tomato consumption shows that there is clear evidence in affecting positively on such health conditions. Studies show that tomato consumption lowers the blood pressure level, increases the apolipoprotein-A(apolipoprotein-A is a major component of HDL particles, has an anti-clotting effect, also its levels are crucial for heart disease monitoring), has no negative effect on the health of individuals with type 2 diabetes(3).

Cancer

While it is not quite definite to state that tomatoes and potatoes prevent the development of cancer, research shows such an effect which is still clear whether it is connected with a certain compound or a synergism between some biologically active components. Both tomatoes and potatoes contain compounds called glycoalkaloids which are stated to prevent different types of cancer, on the other hand, cancer itself is a complex system consisting of different stages and mechanisms, so more deep studies are required, but in general, both foods have positive effects on reducing cancer risk(4). Another study investigated the effects of tomatoes on preventing cancer development, authors state that tomatoes contain a unique compound called lycopene, which itself demonstrates anticancer activity and anti-inflammatory effect, but it is proven that the compound itself is less effective, rather than consumed in whole tomatoes. The difficulty is connected with the fact tomatoes contain various carotenoids which are considered effective antioxidants, and if we assume the whole tomato consumption it may be more effective(5). 

Downsides and Risks

While the potato is rich in micronutrients and vitamins, the evidence between potato intake and diabetes development is clear, thus it is crucial to carefully track the potato intake. In the case of tomatoes, no such evidence is described yet. 

Summary 

Potatoes contain drastically more vitamins, especially the B group, while tomatoes are rich in vitamin A, vitamin E, Vitamin K which potatoes lack. Tomatoes contain fewer calories 18 kcal, carbs 3.89 g, on the other hand, potatoes are rich in micronutrients such as calcium 12 mg, potassium 425 mg. Also, potatoes are rich in fiber, about  2.1 g.

Sources

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579650/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4764041/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21138408/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25821990/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026/
Article author photo Razmik Sargsyan
Profession: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: September 9, 2021

Infographic

Tomato vs Potato infographic
Copy infographic link

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
Tomato
18
Potato
Mineral Summary Score
10
Tomato
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
5%
Tomato
12%
Potato
Carbohydrates
4%
Tomato
17%
Potato
Fats
1%
Tomato
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.
Tomato Potato
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal
Rich in vitamins Equal

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Tomato 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 contains less Sodium?
Tomato
Tomato contains less Sodium (difference - 1mg)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Tomato
Tomato is lower in glycemic index (difference - 48)
Which food is lower in Sugar?
Potato
Potato is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.81g)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Potato
Potato is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.003g)
Which food is cheaper?
Potato
Potato is cheaper (difference - $0.2)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Potato
Potato is relatively richer in minerals
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)
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 Tomato Potato Opinion
Calories 18 77 Potato
Protein 0.88 2.05 Potato
Fats 0.2 0.09 Tomato
Vitamin C 13.7 19.7 Potato
Carbs 3.89 17.49 Potato
Cholesterol 0 0
Vitamin D 0 0
Iron 0.27 0.81 Potato
Calcium 10 12 Potato
Potassium 237 425 Potato
Magnesium 11 23 Potato
Sugar 2.63 0.82 Potato
Fiber 1.2 2.1 Potato
Copper 0.059 0.11 Potato
Zinc 0.17 0.3 Potato
Starch 0 15.29 Potato
Phosphorus 24 57 Potato
Sodium 5 6 Tomato
Vitamin A 833 2 Tomato
Vitamin E 0.54 0.01 Tomato
Vitamin D 0 0
Vitamin B1 0.037 0.081 Potato
Vitamin B2 0.019 0.032 Potato
Vitamin B3 0.594 1.061 Potato
Vitamin B5 0.089 0.295 Potato
Vitamin B6 0.08 0.298 Potato
Vitamin B12 0 0
Vitamin K 7.9 2 Tomato
Folate 15 15
Trans Fat 0 0
Saturated Fat 0.028 0.025 Potato
Monounsaturated Fat 0.031 0.002 Tomato
Polyunsaturated fat 0.083 0.042 Tomato
Tryptophan 0.006 0.021 Potato
Threonine 0.027 0.067 Potato
Isoleucine 0.018 0.066 Potato
Leucine 0.025 0.098 Potato
Lysine 0.027 0.107 Potato
Methionine 0.006 0.032 Potato
Phenylalanine 0.027 0.081 Potato
Valine 0.018 0.103 Potato
Histidine 0.014 0.035 Potato
Fructose 1.37 0.26 Tomato

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. Tomato - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170457/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.