Eating tomato, is it healthy or fattening?

“Many are the myths about food and diet that circulate today by word of mouth or through social networks. Some of them refer to the caloric intake of different foods and their ability to be deposited in the form of fat; that is to say, “to gain weight”. Oddly enough, the tomato is one of the suspects of “”getting fat”” if eaten at night. But it’s true? Can you gain more or less a food depending on the time of day it is consumed? Does eating tomato make you gain weight? This question is discussed in the following article.

Energy balance

The first thing to know when talking about “”getting fat”” is what energy balance means. The body requires energy (calories) to function optimally; that is, to be able to breathe, walk, eat and digest food, run, play, etc. This energy is obtained from the food and drinks that are taken. If the calories that are ingested are equal to those that the body needs for the activities carried out that day, neither weight is gained nor lost, but the body weight is maintained. On the other hand, if more calories are taken than those consumed by the body, that caloric excess will become part of the adipose tissue (accumulated fat that will promote body weight gain).

To know the caloric intake of foods there is a measure: the calorie intake of each of them. Thus, if very caloric foods are eaten, it will be much easier to exceed caloric intake and promote body weight gain. If it is said that a food is “”fattening”” it is because it has an excess of calories; although in reality what will decide whether or not a food makes a person fat is all their food intake together with their caloric expenditure.

Tomato: nutritional properties

Tomato is a plant food known throughout the world. It is oval or round, red or yellow when ripe; and it is of different sizes depending on the variety.

Tomatoes are included in the group of vegetables, it is very rich in water (94.5% of its weight is water) and with a very low caloric content (18 kcal per 100 g of food). Imagine, then, the amount of tomato that would have to be consumed to get to ingest 2,000 or 2,500 kcal per day. It is also a food with a low fat content (0.1g / 100g of food) and saturated fat; a low protein content (0.7g / 100g of food); and a low content of carbohydrates (3.5g / 100g of food). Being a food of plant origin, it does not contain cholesterol. It has 1 g of fiber for every 100 g of food. It stands out, in terms of vitamins and minerals, for its content of potassium (250mg / 100g), carotenes (500mg / 100g) and a moderate content of vitamin C (13mg / 100g).

Does tomato fatten? Definitely not. Is it a recommendable food? Of course yes. It is a food of plant origin, a source of fiber, low in calories and low in fat, which can help ensure the five servings a day of fruits and vegetables recommended by all scientific societies related to food.

Tomato types and culinary applications

There are many varieties of tomato that can be used in the kitchen. There are tomatoes of greater consistency for salads, such as the “”beef heart”” or the “”pear”” tomato. Others are great to spread on bread, such as branch tomato. The “”cherry”” tomato is ideal for decorations or salads, while the yellow tomato can be used in salads or baked. There are tomatoes of different sizes, shapes and colors (from greener to red and yellow) to use in a variety of recipes.

The most widespread culinary application for tomato is salad. It is a simple dish, in which you can work with a wide variety of vegetables or other ingredients and with which it is possible to get rich and healthy meals or dinners. Examples of salads with tomato (as a main or side dish) would be the following:

1. Tomato and mozzarella salad.
2. Avocado, tomato and onion salad.
3. Greek salad: tomato, onion, feta cheese and black olives.
4. Tomato and walnut salad.
5. Green salad of arugula and lamb’s lettuce with cherry tomato.

Another of the great recipes in which tomato is used is tomato sauce. It is normally made with tomato for frying. And in its preparation a wide variety of ingredients can be included, from spices to other vegetables, onions, mushrooms, meat … Of course, the more ingredients and the higher the oil content the sauce has, the more caloric it will be. You have to watch especially pre-cooked sauces, since most of them have a large amount of oil (not always olive), salt and sugar. Ketchup is one of the most widely used tomato sauces.”

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