Benefits Of Tomatoes For Weight Loss

What are tomatoes?

Tomatoes: a fruit and everyday food ingredient with phenomenal health benefits including the ability to aid in healthy weight loss.1,2 

The reasons and goals for weight loss differ between everyone and it can be a challenging process, especially if following a bland or repetitive diet plan.However, by incorporating tomatoes into your meals, following a healthy diet to improve your physical health can be made more nutritious and enjoyable. With several tomato varieties (large beefsteak or small cherry tomatoes) and forms (fresh or processed) to choose from, it would be hard not to find a suitable way to add them into the your dishes: everything from fresh salads to soups and curries are recommended as healthy recipes to follow at home.1 

So how could this little red fruit improve your health and help you lose weight?  It’s all down to the vitamins, minerals, and compounds stored inside which, when consumed as part of a recommended and varied diet, can incur incredible health benefits for the body.2 

Do tomatoes help you lose weight?

There is evidence to suggest that yes, consuming tomatoes can help you lose weight… 

Benefits of tomatoes for weight loss

Tomatoes contain a lot of nutrients but when it comes to weight loss the main player is lycopene: a biological compound called a carotenoid and an antioxidant.  It protects the body’s cells, tissues, and organs from internal damage and disease but its beneficial effect on how sugars and fats are digested, processed and used has also been demonstrated in clinical studies.3,4

In a human clinical trial, researchers observed that when a group of overweight children were placed on a low calorie diet supplemented with tomato juice, they lost a significant amount of weight: an average of 4 kg (9 pounds) over 2 months. This was 4x more than the amount of weight loss observed in the group of children dieting without tomato supplementation. As these children also suffered from a condition called fatty liver disease, they also lost some of the fat tissue built up on their liver. This demonstrated that the contents of tomatoes can not only help in decreasing the amount of fat carried on the body (i.e., fat on bones and muscle) but also intervenes where fat is damagingly stored on internal organs.  The study also noted that while extremely low calorie diets characteristically leave dieters with depleted energy levels, lycopene in tomatoes appears to curb this lack-of-calorie fatigue.3

Observations in the human study are also backed up by a previous animal study involving overweight mice. Tomatoes supplemented in the mice diet appeared to fine-tune their digestive processes: fat taken into the bloodstream from digested food was reduced and glucose sugar uptaken by cells was used more efficiently for energy.  The result was again a loss of extra weight carried on both the external muscles and internal viscera.4

Tomatoes also contain a plentiful amount of fibre: an important component of food that supports healthy gut function and aids weight loss in cases of obesity.2  This is primarily because fibre makes you feel fuller for longer, preventing overeating (for example, frequent snacking or eating meal portions larger than recommended). High fibre foods (like the tomato) also reduce the amount of fat that is taken from digested food and stored in the body's cells and tissues, instead being used up mostly for energy or passed out as waste.5

Other health benefits of tomatoes

Tomatoes can positively impact other aspects of your health mainly due to its antioxidant effect: protecting cells from a harmful process called “oxidative stress” and the consequences of excess blood cholesterol.  


According to the latest estimation by the WHO, just over 5% of the global population has one form of diabetes. Type 1 diabetics are dependent on insulin to control their blood sugar levels but those with type 2 diabetes can make dietary adjustments to improve their condition.6 Tomato is an ideal addition to the diabetic diet as their antioxidant properties help protect tissues that are prone to being inflamed by the condition like the eyes, kidneys, and limbs. They also help lessen the buildup of cholesterol in blood vessels (common in type 2 diabetics).7 


The role of tomatoes in suppressing cancer has been studied for decades and evidence to suggest tomato compounds may intervene in specific pathways associated with the development of certain cancers, for example, prostate, lung, and mouth cancers, is highly debated. However, in general, tomato carotenoids (such as lycopene) playing their role as an antioxidant against cell damage-inducing molecules (called free radicals), are involved in blocking the eventual formation of cancerous cells.8 

Heart disease

Heart disease is a common yet preventable health condition. The main complaints of heart disease sufferers are high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.f left untreated, it can cause blocked arteries, for example, blood clots and atherosclerosis (cholesterol build up in blood vessels) that can lead to serious cardiac events. One natural remedy is a healthy diet, including tomato and lycopene as they contribute to the healthy functioning of the heart and blood system. One study used tomato paste and found that harmful cholesterol levels in the bloodstream as well as blood pressure were lowered, resulting in reduced instances of heart disease and associated deaths.9 

Neurological diseases 

Lycopene’s antioxidant activities have been shown to be beneficial against damage to nerve cells that cause disease-related cognitive and physical decline overtime. Some degenerative conditions that could be prevented by lycopene include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.10

Nutritional facts

Tomatoes are highly nutritious: containing a beneficial botanical blend of vitamins, minerals, and other compounds. According to the NHS, both children and adults should consume five portions of different fruits and vegetables into their diet per day, and when it comes to tomatoes: eating 1 large tomato, 7 small cherry tomatoes, or 150 ml of tomato juice will qualify as a “5-a-day” portion. This can also be in whatever form is most convenient to you: fresh, frozen, tinned, or processed. However, when it comes to eating processed variety tomatoes (think tinned tomato soup or tomato sauce) as a part of the “5-a-day”, the extra salt, sugar, and fat added to them can be counterproductive for health and weight loss and you should always compare nutritional information on product labels if this is your goal.11 


  • Vitamins A & E - important for the immune system, eye, and skin health 2,12 
  • Vitamin C - fights against cell damage and helps keep skin/blood/bone/cartilage cells functioning 2,12
  • Vitamin K - important for bone health and structure 13
  • Folate - maintains a healthy number of red blood cells in the bloodstream 2,12 


  • Potassium - important for heart health as it helps prevent high blood pressure and cholesterol 13   
  • Calcium - important for the maintenance of bones and teeth, formation of blood clots, and the function of skeletal and smooth tissue/organ muscle 12
  • Magnesium - helps the body’s cells uptake and use nutrients from digested food for vital cell activity 14

Plant Compounds 

  • Lycopene - a dietary carotenoid which acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance (keeps all cells  functioning healthily and prevents dysfunctions in metabolism and the heart) 3
  • Phytosterols - important for heart health (helps lower cholesterol levels) and whole body health (helps prevent damage to cells that occur with infections and cancer) 3
  • Fibre - an indigestible component of the tomato which aids proper gut function and nutrient metabolism 5

Side effects and other concerns

Before routinely adding tomatoes to your diet, you should consider some of the associated health concerns alongside their health benefits.


On average, about 5% of Europeans suffer from a tomato allergy. Symptoms which may alert to a tomato allergy include a skin rash around the mouth, upset stomach, laboured breathing, or anaphylactic shock (extreme inflammatory swelling reaction) after consumption. This is because tomatoes contain several food molecules which can activate the human allergic response (histamine) and they can also be contaminated with pollen (another common allergen). Allergic reactions to tomatoes are higher in raw tomatoes and lesser in processed forms,but care should always be taken if you have a known intolerance to tomatoes.15  


Due to being highly acidic, tomatoes can exacerbate digestive issues such as acid reflux.  If acid reflux is particularly problematic, consuming tomatoes (and other acidic “trigger” foods) should be avoided. 16,17

Kidney disorders 

Tomatoes have a high potassium content and can accumulate to excess amounts in kidney disease.  High blood potassium concentrations are dangerous as it hampers heart functioning.18

Caution on dieting to lose weight

Before using diet plans which dictate that you eat drastically less calories than the NHS recommended amount (2,500 for men and 2,000 for women) to lose weight, you should always consult your doctor.  Extremely restricted diets are only intended to be followed over a short term - for long term weight loss, benefits are better seen with a healthy balanced diet.19 


The benefits of tomatoes for weight loss are documented under specific trial conditions which cite lycopene and fibre as the main beneficial components. Their extra nutritional content (vitamins, minerals and plant compounds) is also highly beneficial for obesity related diseases like diabetes and heart disease and other common health concerns.  However you decide to incorporate tomatoes into your diet, make sure to take expert advice into consideration if you have any concerns and enjoy eating them with the knowledge that you are taking steps to improve your overall health with the added bonus of improving your chances of reaching your weight goal.


  1. 20 of the best tomatoes to grow [Internet]. BBC Gardeners World Magazine. [cited 2022 Dec 22]. Available from:
  2. Ali MY, Sina AAI, Khandker SS, Neesa L, Tanvir EM, Kabir A, et al. Nutritional composition and bioactive compounds in tomatoes and their impact on human health and disease: a review. Foods [Internet]. 2021 Jan [cited 2022 Dec 22];10(1):45. Available from:
  3. Negri R, Trinchese G, Carbone F, Caprio MG, Stanzione G, di Scala C, et al. Randomised clinical trial: calorie restriction regimen with tomato juice supplementation ameliorates oxidative stress and preserves a proper immune surveillance modulating mitochondrial bioenergetics of t-lymphocytes in obese children affected by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease(Nafld). J Clin Med [Internet]. 2020 Jan 4 [cited 2022 Dec 22];9(1):141. Available from:
  4. Seo KI, Lee J, Choi RY, Lee HI, Lee JH, Jeong YK, et al. Anti-obesity and anti-insulin resistance effects of tomato vinegar beverage in diet-induced obese mice. Food Funct [Internet]. 2014 Jun 24 [cited 2022 Dec 22];5(7):1579–86. Available from: 
  5. Miketinas DC, Bray GA, Beyl RA, Ryan DH, Sacks FM, Champagne CM. Fiber intake predicts weight loss and dietary adherence in adults consuming calorie-restricted diets: the pounds lost (Preventing overweight using novel dietary strategies) study. J Nutr [Internet]. 2019 Oct [cited 2022 Dec 22];149(10):1742–8. Available from:
  6. Diabetes [Internet]. [cited 2022 Dec 22]. Available from:
  7. Banihani SA. Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) and type 2 diabetes. International Journal of Food Properties [Internet]. 2018 Jan 1 [cited 2022 Dec 22];21(1):99–105. Available from: 
  8. Martí R, Roselló S, Cebolla-Cornejo J. Tomato as a source of carotenoids and polyphenols targeted to cancer prevention. Cancers [Internet]. 2016 Jun [cited 2022 Dec 22];8(6):58. Available from: 
  9. Cámara M, Fernández-Ruiz V, Sánchez-Mata MC, Cámara RM, Domínguez L, Sesso HD. Scientific evidence of the beneficial effects of tomato products on cardiovascular disease and platelet aggregation. Frontiers in Nutrition [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 22];9. Available from: 
  10. Hwang S, Lim JW, Kim H. Inhibitory effect of lycopene on amyloid-β-induced apoptosis in neuronal cells. Nutrients [Internet]. 2017 Aug [cited 2022 Dec 23];9(8):883. Available from: 
  11. 5 A Day portion sizes [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  12. Vitamins and minerals [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  13. Tomatoes provide many health benefits [Internet]. MSU Extension. [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  14. Vitamins and minerals - Others [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  15. Włodarczyk K, Smolińska B, Majak I. Tomato allergy: the characterization of the selected allergens and antioxidants of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum)—a review. Antioxidants (Basel) [Internet]. 2022 Mar 28 [cited 2022 Dec 23];11(4):644. Available from: 
  16. Heartburn and acid reflux [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  17. Good foods to help your digestion [Internet]. 2022 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  18. Eating right for chronic kidney disease | niddk [Internet]. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
  19. Very low calorie diets [Internet]. 2021 [cited 2022 Dec 23]. Available from: 
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

Get our health newsletter

Get daily health and wellness advice from our medical team.
Your privacy is important to us. Any information you provide to this website may be placed by us on our servers. If you do not agree do not provide the information.

Amy Murtagh

BSc Veterinary Bioscience - Bachelors of Science, University of Glasgow

Amy is a recent graduate from Glasgow's School of Biodiversity, One Health and Veterinary Medicine with a particular interest in science communication in these subject areas.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked * presents all health information in line with our terms and conditions. It is essential to understand that the medical information available on our platform is not intended to substitute the relationship between a patient and their physician or doctor, as well as any medical guidance they offer. Always consult with a healthcare professional before making any decisions based on the information found on our website.
Klarity is a citizen-centric health data management platform that enables citizens to securely access, control and share their own health data. Klarity Health Library aims to provide clear and evidence-based health and wellness related informative articles. 
Klarity / Managed Self Ltd
Alum House
5 Alum Chine Road
Westbourne Bournemouth BH4 8DT
VAT Number: 362 5758 74
Company Number: 10696687

Phone Number:

 +44 20 3239 9818