There is a nasty allegation circulating the health sphere that bananas are fattening. Various parties are even claiming that bananas aren’t the angelic, low-fat, high-health food we always believed them to be.
But is this actually true? What is the nutritional value of bananas? Are bananas adding extra calories to diets and sabotaging weight loss efforts worldwide? Let’s look at the facts.
The case for bananas as a fattening food:
High in calories
Bananas are high in calories compared to other fruits. A standard banana contains about 105 calories. A cup of grapes meanwhile, contains around 62 calories.
Loaded with carbs
A banana has around 127 grams of carbohydrates, compared to grapes, which contain just 15 grams of carbs. This carb variance is largely because bananas contain less water.
The case against bananas being fattening:
Rich in potassium
According to registered dietician and author, Cynthia Sass, bananas are incredibly rich in potassium. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure, encourage the maintenance of healthy muscles and also ease water retention and bloating.
Packed with fiber
Anything with fiber helps you stay fuller for longer, so the fact that bananas are packed with fiber is a huge plus in their favor. Fiber also acts as a ‘broom’ to your intestinal tract to ensure healthy digestion.
Vitamin B6 is responsible for equalizing blood sugar levels, which in turn promotes a healthy weight.
Bananas have a glycemic index (GI) of 55, which means they release energy at a slower rate than other foods. Low GI foods decrease your risk of heart disease and other blood-glucose related diseases.
Provide instant energy
As bananas are higher in carbs (the fuel our body uses for energy), consuming a banana boosts your energy levels almost immediately.
As with most things, moderation is clearly key here. Bananas are higher in calories and carbs than other fruits. But, if consumed sensibly, the health benefits of bananas are that they can actually aid your weight loss efforts by keeping you full and your energy high.
Experts suggest swapping a high-sugar dessert or snack for a banana and if you’re worried about weight gain, consuming a banana before or after a work out.
Overall, bananas are considered to be healthy, nutritious and delicious and when consumed in moderation should not impact any weight loss efforts.