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Fresh Tomatoes v. Canned Tomatoes

School Of Nutrition Posted Jul 28, 2014 Future Fit Training


We don’t always have time to shop for fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis so it is a good idea to keep a stash of canned foods in the pantry.

Fresh Tomatoes v. Canned Tomatoes

But are canned foods inferior? Here we compare fresh and canned tomatoes.

Let’s look at some stats:

 

FRESH TOMATOES

CANNED TOMATOES

Serving size

100g red, ripe, raw

100g red, ripe, packed with tomato juice, no added salt

Calories

18kcal

17kcal

Protein

0.9g

0.8g

Fat

0.2g

0.1g

Carbohydrates

3.9g

4g

Fibre

1.2g

1g

Sugars

2.6g

2.4g

Vitamin A

42mcg (833IU)

6mcg (117IU)

Vitamin C

13.7mg

9.3mg

Vitamin K

7.9mcg

2.9mcg

Folate

15mcg

8mcg

Potassium

237mg

188mg

Sodium

5mg

10mg

Calcium

10mg

31mg

Iron

0.27mg

0.97mg

Beta-carotene

449mcg

70mcg

Lycopene

2,573mcg

2,767mcg

Lutein + Zeaxanthin

123mcg

86mcg

Here are some highlights:

  • Both are very low in calories, fat and sodium.
  • They are both good sources of fibre, vitamin C and potassium. However, fresh tomatoes have significant higher levels of vitamins A and K and also folate. On the other hand, canned tomatoes have three times the amount of calcium and iron than fresh ones.
  • In addition to the anti-oxidant vitamins A and C, both are rich sources of anti-oxidant phytonutrients such as beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein and zeaxanthin. Canned tomatoes are slightly higher in lycopene, while raw tomatoes contain more beta-carotene and lutein and zeaxanthin.

Are Canned Foods Safe?

Many cans, especially those used for acidic foods like tomatoes, are manufactured with Bisphenol A (BPA). Some studies have linked BPA to infertility, heart disease and diabetes. In March 2012, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) ruled against a proposed ban of BPA use in food and drink packaging, based on “insufficient evidence” that BPA from these sources causes any ill effects. However, the FDA is encouraging packagers to find alternatives to BPA, and studies on its effects are ongoing [1]. The good news is that canned tomatoes are now available in glass jars or aseptic boxes in addition to “BPA-free” cans.

 

OUR WINNER: It's a tie!

With so many nutrients packed into so few calories, you cannot go wrong with tomatoes, either fresh or canned. Canned foods are not necessarily inferior to fresh foods, and certainly not in the case of the tomato. Research shows that lycopene, a potent prostate-health-friendly anti-oxidant, is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are processed. That is because lycopene is tightly bound to the tomato's cell structure, so food processing facilitates the release of lycopene. Lycopene is fat-soluble, so serving tomatoes in oil-rich dishes such as pasta sauce or pizza is said to help absorption. So make sure to include plenty of both raw and canned tomatoes as part of a healthy diet.

If you would like us feature specific types or brands of food in our weekly Food Fight, email nicola.white@futurefit.co.uk with your suggestions.

 

       

REFERENCES:

1. http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/PublicHealthFocus/ucm064437.htm

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