Bananas are a fruit available all year round, originally from the tropical regions of South-East Asia, but now grown in many countries. They are loved for their sweet flavor and soft textured flesh.
The banana is also valued for its versatility in the kitchen. It can be eaten plain, as a snack to break hunger, or as an ingredient in many dishes such as smoothies, desserts, breads, cakes and much more.
They are a good source of nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber and are also welcome as an energy food, thanks to their natural carbohydrate content, making them an ideal choice among athletes looking for immediate energy.
They’re easy to carry around and store, making them a convenient choice for a quick snack or nutritious addition to a balanced diet.
Not a small thing then, they fill up very quickly, curbing the appetite.
That being said: are bananas fattening? Find out if it’s true, if you can eat them on a diet and how many.
Are bananas fattening? How many calories are there?
One may be led to believe that, given the good amount of sugars present and the calories, the banana is a fruit to be avoided if you follow a low-calorie diet, or to be consumed only occasionally.
It is true that, compared to other fruits, bananas have a slightly higher caloric intake (76 Kcal per 100 g), but it is also true that no food should be excluded from a balanced diet. What must be kept under control is, if anything, the quantity.
So the answer is no, bananas don’t make you fat and nutritionists don’t even say so. The mechanism by which our body accumulates fat, and therefore gains weight, does not depend on a single food but on the whole of the incoming and outgoing caloric balance.
This fruit then has beneficial properties for health, and from a nutritional point of view it can be included in the diet without particular problems, provided you respect the recommended quantities.
So why bring bananas to the table?
- They provide a good amount of dietary fiber, useful for the proper functioning of our intestines and for regulating its peristaltic movements.
- They are sweet therefore perfect for snacks or at breakfast or even to satisfy the desire for dessert in the evening without exceeding in calories.
- They contain vitamins of group B, A and vitamin C.
- They are an excellent source of mineral salts, especially magnesium, potassium and phosphorus, which help prevent muscle cramps and fatigue.
- They provide energy and are very digestible.
- They are easy to take with you, to eat them at any time of the day.
- Thanks to the fibers, they satiate and reduce the sense of hunger.
If you want to know more, read our insight on bananas.
How many bananas to eat a day?
If bananas therefore do not make you fat, even those who want to lose weight can eat them, but in the right quantity, that is one banana a day. The ideal would be to consume them as a snack, mid-morning or in the afternoon, so as not to arrive too hungry at the table.
If you play sports, on the other hand, bananas are perfect and regenerating after physical exercise, especially for recovering the mineral salts lost during activity.
Breakfast is also a good moment: it will make us start the day with sprint and energy. It can be carried in the bag or in the children’s backpack for a healthy and nutritious snack.
Some believe that eating a banana in the evening weighs down digestion and does not help sleep. It is exactly the opposite, because the banana contains melatonin, a natural regulator of the sleep-wake cycle and stimulates the production of serotonin, also known as the “good mood hormone”.
Bananas and weight loss: the relationship with diet
As we have seen, bananas do not make you fat if consumed in moderation and as part of a balanced diet such as the Tipsforwomens diet. Like any food, they contain calories and carbohydrates, but the key to maintaining a healthy weight is the overall balance of calories and a “tailored” diet, i.e. based on your energy needs.
Bananas are a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals. But they also contain natural sugars, such as fructose, glucose and sucrose. However, the sugar content of bananas is relatively moderate compared to other sources of sugar, such as sweets, jams or sugary drinks.
Fiber, on the other hand, is a precious diet ally, because it promotes the feeling of satiety and regulates appetite.
It is important to consider the overall balance of the diet, including a variety of foods that are nutritious and moderating the consumption of high-calorie but nutritionally poor foods.
Another myth to dispel is that bananas should not be eaten unripe, but only when fully ripe. Not quite like that, there are benefits in both cases. In fact, the unripe banana contains less simple sugars but more starches and fibers, so in addition to having a lower glycemic index than the ripe one, it gives a greater sense of fullness.
The ripe banana, on the other hand, is more digestible and, according to studies, appears to be richer in antioxidants.
When to avoid eating bananas
Bananas are generally considered safe and well tolerated by most people. However, there may be some contraindications or precautions to keep in mind.
For example, banana allergy, which can manifest itself with itching, swelling, hives or in the most serious cases with anaphylactic shock.
If you have diabetes, you should moderate your consumption and consult your doctor to determine the adequate amount of carbohydrates in your overall diet.
Bananas are high in potassium, but in some medical conditions, such as kidney failure, it may be necessary to limit your intake of this mineral. So, if you are on a low potassium diet, it is advisable to consult a doctor.
Even if you have a stomach or duodenal ulcer, seek expert advice.
- Are Bananas Fattening or Weight-Loss-Friendly?
- Can bananas help you lose weight?