Are Bananas Good for Weight Loss?

Reviewed on 12/11/2020
Bananas are loaded with fiber.
Bananas are loaded with fiber.

Bananas are a widely available, affordable, and versatile fruit that causes weight loss if taken in moderation to lose weight. However, it should be consumed as a snack rather than a full meal. Bananas are loaded with fiber. A crucial component of any weight loss diet is to understand that no single food has the power to make an individual gain or lose weight. The balance of what we eat throughout the day, along with how active we are, will have the greatest impact on weight loss, especially in the long term. Eating bananas as a snack or as a pre-workout meal helps supply the necessary nutrients needed during workouts or during daily activities. It should also be noted that bananas are high in calories, and eating too many of them may increase weight. A medium banana offers about 105 calories, which provides natural sugar and 3 g of fiber. Bananas are also a good source of vitamins, such as potassium. Like most fruits, bananas are not a source of fat or protein, just carbohydrates. Bananas are higher in energy (calories) than other fruits such as berries, which give them a bad reputation for not being “good” for weight loss. However, as the recommendation for a balanced diet includes three to five servings of fruit every day, bananas can certainly be incorporated into a healthy diet, even if the goal is to lose weight. A medium, slightly green banana will boost metabolism and fill you up. A banana is a great way to boost energy even as an ideal post-workout snack. Opt for a banana over an energy bar to ensure that you're really getting a healthy treat. Bananas are filling and nutritious and can be paired with various other foods for a more complete snack. They also make a good dessert. The best way to incorporate bananas in our regular diet for weight gain is to add them to smoothies or milkshakes.

Do bananas increase blood sugar levels?

According to research, a large ripe banana has a moderately high glycemic index of 52-56.

A large raw banana has a glycemic index of about 42, which is low.

Glycemic index is an amount by which a substance spikes your blood sugar compared with glucose (the glycemic index of glucose is 100).

Thus, eating a ripe banana may cause a spike in sugar levels transiently, but numerous studies have suggested that high amounts of potassium and fiber in bananas improve the body’s response to insulin in the long run. Therefore, snacking on a single banana in between meals may be a good idea. The idea that people with pre-diabetes or diabetes should avoid eating sweet fruit is a myth, as long as they are staying within their carbohydrate needs. Indeed, bananas, which contain pectin and resistant starch, might actually help lower blood sugar. Combining bananas with eggs, apples, yogurt, or peanut butter may be a better idea to keep blood sugars in check. 

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What are the benefits of snacking on bananas?

Banana is considered quick and a great snack due to the below benefits: 

  • Bananas are rich in complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, and fibers. Potassium, the main nutrient in bananas, helps to boost the production of testosterone (the male sex hormone) and improves libido. Tryptophan present in bananas helps to increase the secretion of serotonin, a hormone that lifts mood and increases the sex drive in men. Manganese and magnesium in bananas improve prostate health and promote the functioning of reproductive organs to their optimum. Bananas are a great source of bromelain and vitamin B that regulate the hormone testosterone and increases sexual desire, performance, and overall virility. Bananas being a good source of carbohydrates boost energy levels and increase blood circulation even to the male reproductive organs and help to improve libido.
  • B vitamins in bananas are important for the nervous system and help our body to produce white blood cells.
  • They can potentially reduce the risk of kidney cancer and macular degeneration (due to the high content of the carotenoidlutein”).
  • It may be a good snack for women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (it is a condition that causes migraines, acne, and mood swings before menses). As per research, snacking on a banana may improve mood whether you have PMS or not. 
  • All that fiber in bananas is good for relieving constipation, and it also helps in soothing the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Bananas may naturally soothe acid reflux, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They are also a part of the BRAT diet, given while recovering from stomach flu.
  • According to the University of Maryland Medical Centre, increasing the consumption of potassium-rich foods can help prevent osteoporosis; a 2008 study found that a diet high in potassium and bicarbonate significantly reduces bone turnover (another term for bone loss). Bananas also contain 16% of daily value of manganese, a nutrient that might help prevent arthritis and osteoporosis.

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References
The Nutrition Source: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/bananas/

https://diabetes.ucsf.edu/sites/diabetes.ucsf.edu/files/PEDS%20Glycemic%20Index.pdf

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