Are Bananas Fattening or Good for Weight Loss?

To many Bananas
Credit: Thomas Lohnes / Stringer/ Getty

With all of the information and misinformation surrounding food and diet out there, there are a lot of questions that can arise out of the most basic of foods.

Bananas, for example. Bananas have been a staple in the North American diet since the 1800s but are bananas fattening? Are they good for your diet or bad? What’s the banana calorie count? Luckily, we are here to demystify the banana and present to you the banana’s nutritional facts and how bananas may affect your diet. Are bananas good for you? Let’s find out.

Can You Lose Weight while Eating Bananas?

Are bananas good for weight loss? Yes, but not specifically due to the banana itself. Bananas are high in fiber and low in calories so they can make you feel fuller for a longer period of time.

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This leads to people snacking less or not eating so much at a meal. However, bananas tend to get a bad rap due to the fact that they have a lower water content and a higher sugar content than other fruits.

While that is true, the sugars in a banana are naturally occurring sugars and are absorbed by the human body in a different way than artificial sugars are processed.

Choosing a greener banana may also help as they have more starch and resistant starch than a yellow banana, which will have more sugars (the banana glycemic index of an unripened banana can float around 42 where a ripe banana can be as high as 62).

Resistant starch helps slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream and help you feel full.

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And while bananas do have certain properties that would lead you to think that they are a perfect weight loss companion, there is no conclusive study proving this (a few are pointing this way but nothing concrete).

But the good news is they aren’t bad for weight loss either. Like most foods, it’s all in moderation. As long as you’re not eating bananas nonstop, you’re fine.

With the higher fiber content, they could make you feel like you want to eat less, so if that’s an issue for your weight loss plan, it might not be a bad idea to add bananas as a snack or maybe even a dessert.

The health benefits of a banana may not cause weight loss, but they do make up for it in other areas.

Banana Nutritional Facts

For Serving Size of 1 medium banana (118 grams) contains 105 Calories.

Total Fat 0g 1% (% of daily value)
Saturated Fat 0g 1% (% of daily value)
Cholesterol 0g 0% (% of daily value)
Sodium 1mg 0% (% of daily value)
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9% (% of daily value)
Dietary Fiber 3g 12% (% of daily value)
Vitamin A 2%
Vitamin C 17%
Calcium 1%
Iron 2%
Potassium (422 mg) 12%
Magnesium (0.3 mg) 16%

 

How many carbs are in a banana? How much fiber is in a banana? We took a look and gathered the nutritional facts for a medium-sized banana (approximately seven inches long and 118 grams in weight).

Ripeness will affect the starches and sugars statistics; these are taken from an average size and average ripened banana.

As you can tell from the above tables, bananas are definitely a great source of your daily fiber intake, making up 12 % of your daily fiber needs.

These stats are only for raw bananas, but there are plenty of healthy recipes involving bananas as well. All you have to do is pay attention to the ingredients.

Banana-Based Recipes

The problem with many foods that are good for you is how to make them into something good delicious but still good for you. We thought we’d help you out a little bit by including two banana recipes that we enjoy, that taste good, and are fairly healthy for you.

Banana-Carrot and Pecan Muffins Recipe

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/3 cup vanilla sugar-free yogurt
  • ¾ cup shredded carrot
  • ½ cup mashed banana
  • ¼ cup chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Recipe:

Combine first five ingredients in a large bowl.

Whisk together oil, sugar, and egg in a medium bowl. Add yogurt and next three ingredients. Stir oil mixture into flour mixture in large bowl. Stir in pecans.

Place paper or foil liners in a 6-cup muffin tin. Spoon batter evenly into muffin cups.

Bake at 375° for 22 minutes, or until muffins are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana
  • 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter
  • 10 oz. skim or soy milk
  • Drizzle with honey for a sweet garnish.

Recipe:

Throw all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until you reach the consistency that you desire.

You can substitute regular peanut butter and or real milk as well but that will change the nutritional value of the smoothie.

Can bananas be used for weight loss? Not on their own but you can use them as part of a healthy diet and in a moderation, they are a great source of fiber and can may be able to help curb your hunger. Not to mention, they taste great too.


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