Categorized as fruit, tomatoes are a staple produce in the majority of diets. They're delicious, can be eaten alone, in salads, and on sandwiches.
They're also very healthy and affordable, which makes them a food that is easily included in your daily meals.
However, an increasing number of people have specific dietary requirements, making them unable to consume certain food products.
This is often due to the fact that some products contain too much or too little of certain minerals, such as potassium. So, today we're asking, are tomatoes high in potassium?
Table of Contents
Are tomatoes high in potassium?
Tomatoes are high in potassium. In fact, one medium raw tomato contains around 292 mg of potassium, which is a lot for one small food product. More often than not, people consume tomatoes in salads or sauces, and that requires using more than just one tomato.
This can result in consuming a lot more potassium than anticipated, which isn't healthy for some people, for example, those with kidney problems.
Make sure to check out: Can You Check Your Potassium Level At Home? and The Best Low Potassium Snacks (Eat This, Not That).
How much potassium do tomatoes have?
Generally, one medium-sized tomato contains approximately 290-300 mg of potassium. This number depends on the variety of tomatoes, though.
For example, one cup of cherry tomatoes has a higher potassium content, around 350 mg.
On the other hand, Italian or plum tomatoes contain around 140 mg of potassium in one medium tomato, which puts them between cherry and regular tomatoes.
As always, the potassium content won't be that high if you slice the tomato and place it on a sandwich since you'll likely not be eating the whole tomato. It all depends on how much you're going to consume.
Moreover, sun-dried tomatoes have the highest potassium content of all tomato varieties. A cup of sun-dried tomatoes provides 39% of your daily recommended value of potassium.
Many people, however, consume more than just a standard serving, so it's easy to consume too take in more potassium than your body can tolerate when snacking on sun-dried tomatoes.
Hence, it might be better to use these tomatoes in salads or sprinkle them in dinner dishes, which helps limit the amount you will consume in one sitting.
Does tomato paste contain more potassium than raw tomatoes?
In order to make both tomato paste and tomato juice, you have to use several tomatoes, which increases the potassium content.
As a result, one cup of tomato juice contains around 534 mg of potassium, whereas one cup of tomato paste contains a whooping of 908 mg of potassium.
It's obvious that no one consumes a whole cup of tomato paste on its own, but it's worth noting how much potassium it contains, especially when using it for pasta sauces, soups, and pizzas.
Nevertheless, tomato juice and paste contain loads of antioxidants, and potassium is also important for heart health.
In addition, potassium is one of the minerals that help balance the sodium in your diet, which is incredibly helpful in today's day and age when people's diets are rich in sodium.
So, even though the amount of sodium in tomato paste and juice might sound high, it's important to remember that it's an essential nutrient and is still beneficial for our health.
On the other hand, tomato soup contains a good amount of potassium, yet it's not too high in it. This is because tomato soup is made with fresh tomatoes or tomato paste in small quantities, which helps balance the potassium content.
A standard serving of tomato soup contains approximately 17% of your daily recommended potassium intake.
In addition, homemade tomato soup is wonderful for bone health and immunity, which is especially helpful during the winter months.
Should you eat tomatoes when you have kidney problems?
It always depends on the severity of your kidney problems, but tomatoes are not recommended when experiencing those issues.
Tomatoes are very high in potassium, making them not ideal for proper renal functions. Unfortunately, many products and dishes are made with tomatoes or tomato sauces, so it might be hard to avoid.
When cooking at home, though, you may want to consider swapping tomato sauce for roasted bell pepper sauce, which is lower in potassium but still delicious.
What's more, when you have kidney problems, it's best to avoid canned tomatoes.
These not only contain a high amount of potassium but also have added sodium, which places further pressure on your kidney function, worsening it over time.
For some people, it might be possible to dilute canned products with water or cook them thoroughly, which decreases the sodium content.
However, it's always important to consult with your doctor and pay attention to what your body is telling you when trying to add high-sodium foods to your diet, especially when you struggle with kidney problems.
Can you overdose on potassium by eating too many tomatoes?
It's tough to overdose on any nutrient by eating a healthy, balanced diet. For example, you would have to eat only tomatoes for a very long time to overdose on potassium, which no one does.
As a result, it's not possible to consume too much potassium by just eating tomatoes. However, some people are especially sensitive to potassium and its effects on the body.
In this case, it's important to control your potassium intake as well as how many tomatoes you eat.
Since tomatoes are relatively high in potassium per gram, it might be beneficial to limit their intake and replace them with food items lower in sodium, such as bell peppers, broccoli, or cauliflower.
Tomatoes are high in potassium but are still a very healthy addition to your diet. As with every change in your diet, make sure to monitor how your body is reacting to it and adjust accordingly.
Even though tomatoes aren't recommended for people with kidney issues due to their high potassium content, consuming them every once in a while or in small quantities can help you reap the health benefits while staying healthy.
The bottom line is that potassium is very healthy and essential in our diet, but, as with everything, it should be consumed in moderation.
Don't know which foods are high in potassium? Read our article 15 Best Food Sources Of Potassium. We also have a guide on this important mineral: Potassium 101: All You Need To Know About Potassium.