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Are Bananas Bad if You Are Trying to Lose Weight?

Reviewed on 12/8/2020
Banana is a fruit that is easily available, affordable, and versatile.
Banana is a fruit that is easily available, affordable, and versatile.

Banana is a fruit that is easily available, affordable, and versatile. It’s easy and quick to consume and can also be eaten on the go. Bananas can be consumed in several different ways. It can be eaten as it is, dipped in peanut butter or applesauce, like a smoothie with other nuts and fruits, or added to sweet and savory dishes. Bananas may be consumed at any age, right from 6 months of age.

As for weight loss, it is important to have a balanced, healthy diet and exercise regularly to effectively lose weight. Foods, such as those that are high in fiber or high in protein, will help feel full longer and reduce food intake. Incorporating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein into the diet can help lose weight. Bananas are low in fat. A medium-sized banana contains about 105 calories, most of it comes from the carbohydrates in the fruit and the natural sugars. Bananas are a rich source of fiber and a good source of essential vitamins and minerals.

Bananas have higher calories compared to some other fruits like berries, which has given them a bad reputation for being bad for weight loss. A balanced diet is typically supposed to include 3 to 5 servings of fruit every day. So, bananas can be incorporated into a healthy diet, even if the goal is to lose weight because they are easy to eat, affordable, highly nutritious, relatively filling and make a healthy snack or dessert. Consuming multiple bananas a day can prevent one from eating other foods, hence preventing the consumption of other nutrients and proteins (bananas are low in proteins). Therefore, eating one to two bananas a day is ideal to incorporate as part of a healthy diet.

Potential health benefits of bananas

Bananas are highly nutritious:

  • One medium-sized banana contains the following nutrients:
  • Bananas are rich in fiber and low in calories: One medium-sized banana provides around 12% of the recommended daily fiber intake. Fiber is essential for good digestive health and reduces risks of heart diseases, several intestinal diseases, and cancers. Fiber results in early satiety (feeling full early and for longer), which helps reduce calorie consumption in other forms in the long term.
  • Unripe bananas contain higher resistant starch: The type of carbohydrates in a banana depends on its ripeness. Unripe bananas are green and contain high resistant starch, while ripe, yellow bananas mostly contain natural sugars. Resistant starches are resistant to digestion and help in reducing blood sugar and weight. However, unripe bananas are not as tasty and may be difficult for people to eat because they cannot be eaten as it is.
  • Bananas are filling, easy to eat, and affordable: Bananas make a quick and easy, filling, low-calorie snack that can help with weight loss and weight maintenance. Bananas are easily available, affordable, not messy, and can be eaten on the go.

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References
Szalay J. Bananas: Health Benefits, Risks & Nutrition Facts. Live Science. October 26, 2017. https://www.livescience.com/45005-banana-nutrition-facts.html

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