Fruit vs. Vegetable


A fruit is the mature ovary of a seed plant, usually developed from a flower. Fruits have seeds so they further the reproductive cycle. A vegetable is a plant or that part of a plant which is edible, and does not necessarily have a role in the plant's reproductive cycle. While most vegetables and fruits are easy to distinguish and classify, some are still ambiguous as to whether they are a vegetable or a fruit. Tomatoes, olives and avocados are often considered vegetables, but are actually fruits.

Comparison chart



Introduction The word fruit has different meanings in different contexts. In botany, fruits are the ripened ovaries of flowering plants. The term vegetable generally means the edible parts of plants.
Seed Must contain seed, either inside or on the outside (e.g. strawberry). Vegetables do not contain seeds.
Taste Mostly sweet, sometimes tart, with bitter seeds. Not sweet or very subtly sweet. While each vegetable is distinct in taste, hardly any vegetable can be classified as sweet, sour, salty or bitter.
Nutrition Low in fat and claories, high in fiber, often high in natural sugar. Low in fat and claories, high in fiber. Startchy vegetables like beet and potato are very high in sugar.

Contents: Fruit vs Vegetable


What is a fruit?

A fruit is defined as the developed ovary of a seed plant with its contents and accessory parts, as the pea pod, nut, tomato, or pineapple. It is the edible part of a plant developed from a flower, with any accessory tissues, as the peach, mulberry, or banana. A fruit is the often sweet and fleshy part of a plant that surrounds the seeds, although some fruits like berries bear the seed on the outside of the fruit.

What is a vegetable?

All other edible plant parts are considered vegetables. A vegetable is an herbaceous plant cultivated for an edible part, such as the root of the beet, the leaf of spinach, or the flower buds of broccoli or cauliflower.

Examples of fruits and vegetables

Here's an interesting list of fruits that are often thought to be vegetables:

Apples, eggplants, rose hips and corn kernels are also fruits.

Examples of vegetables include broccoli, potato, lettuce, spinach and cauliflower.

Differences in popular usage

Fruits and vegetables are vegetarian as well as vegan, hence constitute a big part of the staple diet in almost every household.

Traditionally, most people categorize "vegetables" as foods that are eaten as part of a meal's main course and "fruits" as foods that are eaten for dessert or as a snack.

Most fruits are sweet with bitter seeds, because they contain a simple sugar called fructose, while most vegetables are less sweet because they have much less fructose. The sweetness of fruit encourages animals to eat it and spit out the bitter seeds on the ground so they spread and further the plant's life cycle.


Both fruits and vegetables are very high in nutrition as they contain many vitamins and are low in fat and calories. A cup of fruit may contain more calories than a cup of vegetables because fruits have higher sugar content. However, starchy vegetables like beet and potato are higher in calorie as well as sugar.

Although vegetables and fruits are extensively used in preparations that involve cooking or baking, they provide most nutrition when they are eaten raw.

Because of the combination of high nutrition and low calorie, most weight loss and diet plans recommend high portions of fruits and veggies over processed food.

In the video below, a dietitian talks about the importance of fruits and vegetables to the diet and whether canned or frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh.

Share this comparison:

If you read this far, you should follow us:

"Fruit vs Vegetable." Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 21 May 2015. < >

Related Comparisons Follow Diffen
Top 5 Comparisons
Make Diffen Smarter.

Log in to edit comparisons or create new comparisons in your area of expertise!

Sign up »

Comments: Fruit vs Vegetable

Anonymous comments (9)

November 22, 2013, 1:55pm

I care about the difference between fruits and vegetables. I'm Paleo and would like to lose some additional weight. They say to lose weight on Paleo, you should try to focus more on vegetables and less on fruits/nuts/seeds. Now that I know these items are also fruit, I've discovered I'm eating too much fruit (especially when adding in the apples, berries, etc. I've been eating). I now know to eat more real vegetables and less of these fruit ones.

— 67.✗.✗.31

June 25, 2011, 7:08am

and CORN is a fruit! Yes its a grain but dont you know that "grain" or caryopsis is a type of dry indehiscent fruit! its a single seeded fruit in which the seed is completely fused to pericarp..

— 173.✗.✗.204

June 25, 2011, 7:04am

potato is not a fruit! Its a tuber-specialized subterranean stem! It does not develop from a matured ovary..
strawberry is a fruit(accesory fruit)-. In accessory fruits, other tissues develop into the edible portion of the fruit for example the receptacle of the flower in apples and "strawberries".

— 173.✗.✗.204

June 24, 2008, 8:22pm

Steven J. Woron states,"It doesn't change my life in any way. Therefore, it is completely irrelevant what category I put peppers or squash in (fruit or vegetable)."..."Who cares?"

— 64.✗.✗.77

January 23, 2014, 3:04am

some fruits could be classified as fruits as well as vegetable because they can serves for both culinary and dessert purposes eg.tomatoes
Emeka. N

— 82.✗.✗.155

December 1, 2011, 4:25pm

if a edible plant has a seed, its considered a fruit it might not be sweet but it is a fruit.

— 170.✗.✗.19

December 12, 2010, 2:17am

Potatoes produce small berries that contain seeds. We do not eat the seeds of the potatoe plant, though some potatoes have been cultivated to grow larger, edible fruit marketed as tomatoe replacements.

The eyes on potatoes are not seeds, they are roots that have been cut off. The potatoe you eat is a starchy food store that is part of the plant's root system, and is not related to the flowering of seed producing part of the plant in any way. You can grow a potatoe plant with a potatoe, though this is more like growing a tree from a branch cutting as the result is a genetic clone. Strawberries actually due come from the flowering portion of the plant and are fruit by all definitions.

— 97.✗.✗.25

April 19, 2010, 3:29am

Berries are a FRUIT they have a seed therefore it makes it a fruit its not the leaf or stem or root of the plant!!!!

— 108.✗.✗.108

November 26, 2008, 4:32pm

Potato seeds are produced by flowering parts of the plant, not the underground tubers which are eaten. This is not the same as a strawberry. The strawberry is like an inside out fruit.

— 72.✗.✗.43


Up next

Lime vs. Lemon