AGRIBUSINESS: Over Half Of American Vegetable Intake Is Tomatoes, Potatoes

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On average, Americans eat 1.5 cups of vegetables each day - about one quarter of that amount is tomatoes, but not in the way you might think.

USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS) has found that the healthiness of vegetables is undermined by what form they take. Potatoes, for example, make up slightly more of a proportion than tomatoes in that 1.5 cups of vegetables per day, but they're predominately consumed as potato chips, with added fats and sodium.

Researchers found that tomatoes made their way into American diets primarily in other dishes. At home, that's mostly as pasta sauce, and outside the home as an ingredient in pizza.

Another ERS conclusion: increased tomato consumption results in a more sodium-dense diet, due to the higher sodium found in most tomato-sauce dishes. But eating potatoes, even as french fries or potato chips, actually decreased sodium intake.