Bananas and Weight Loss
I am sure you have seen many different articles and posts about bananas. I am so confused. Some “experts” say bananas are good for you and others say that bananas are bad for you, bananas sabotage weight loss, and that basically bananas are evil.
Well, I decided to research bananas further to see for myself.
The Good about Bananas
Bananas are a nutritionally sound food that contributes to a well balanced diet, whether you are trying to lose weight or not.
- High in potassium. Potassium is essential to the function of many of the body’s systems (cardiovascular, digestive, nervous). Also, potassium is required to maintain fluid balance in the body. Potassium prevents the body from cramping and helps alleviate water retention (bloating).
- High in fiber. Bananas have a high fiber content including insoluble and soluble fiber. Insoluble fiber protects the GI tract and soluble fiber protects the heart. Fiber reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes and some cancers. Also, bananas contain a unique fiber called resistant starch. Resistant starch protects the lower GI tract and promotes good bacteria growth.
- High in vitamins. Bananas contain the highest amount of B6, which promotes healthy neurotransmitter function. Also, collagen production (skin firming) occurs when eating bananas because of the high amount of Vitamin C.
- Low in calories. Contrary to some “experts” opinion, bananas are low in calories; only 92 calories per one medium sized banana. Bonus: a medium sized banana has only a 0.5 gram of fat.
- Low Glycemic Index (GI) score. Contrary to some “experts” opinion, bananas are relatively low on the GI scale. Yes, bananas have carbohydrates but the carbs in bananas helps maintain blood sugar and avoids sudden peaks and drops. Bananas are similar to other servings of fruit (i.e. apples, oranges, grapes) on the GI scale.
The Bad about Bananas
- Carbohydrates. Bananas contain approximately 25 grams of carbohydrates per one medium sized banana. This is similar to other fruits (i.e. apples, grapes, pears); however, if you are trying to stick to a low-carb diet this might not be the best fruit option or should not be eaten every day.
- Bananas do not allow you to feel full and are not the best choice for hunger cravings. Bananas should be eaten with something else (i.e. toast and peanut butter) for a more complete healthy snack that alleviates hunger cravings.
So, after careful review, bananas are healthy for you but should not be eaten often if you are trying to lose weight. If you want to feel full and still get all the great health benefits of a banana, you should eat the banana with other foods.