The bashing of bananas has received a lot of attention with articles such as “eating bananas causes weight gain” to “Stop eating bananas for a flatter stomach.” Just when you thought fruit was safe, you’re now being told one of nature’s natural candies can be a threat to your weight. Whoa!
Let me start by saying that I, a certified fitness expert, eat a banana every day. If bananas made you fat, I’d be the poster child. So how did this simplistic fruit, grown from the earth and unprocessed, get such a bad rap in recent months? And do bananas make you gain weight? Or are bananas actually good for weight loss?
Bananas Won’t Make You Gain Weight Because It’s Not A Processed Sugar
The more processed a food is, the more nutrients it loses due to ridding the food of its natural state. Nutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential for helping the body function on a day-to-day basis.
So why would an unprocessed, wholesome food such as a banana be considered “bad for you?” One of the reasons for this type of logic is that bananas contain sugar, and sugar, therefore, makes you bloated, overweight, etc.
However, the sugar is naturally occurring, meaning it won’t readily absorb; because of this, your blood sugar isn’t going to spike as it does with added sugars.
Health Benefits Of A Banana
Along with the natural sugars, the nutrient profile in bananas helps support a healthy and energized lifestyle. Everything from potassium, fiber, vitamin B6, biotin, copper, and manganese can be found in a banana.
The fiber in a banana is naturally occurring fiber, which means you’ll most likely feel more full and satisfied versus consuming a cereal or granola bar containing isolated fiber.
Isolated fibers are those added to increase their fiber content but are not naturally found in the foods. Some examples you’ll see on a processed food label are inulin, maltodextrin, and polydextrose.
The potassium in a typical medium banana fulfills around 10 percent of the daily recommended intake for adults. Potassium has been shown to lower blood pressure, sustain muscle mass, regulate your body’s salt intake and preserve bone mineral density.
The vitamin B6 in a banana fulfills around 30-35 percent of the daily recommended intake for adults.
The benefits of vitamin B include treating anemia, promoting healthy nervous system functioning, producing energy from food, and maintaining healthy skin, eyes, hair, and liver.
Vitamin B6 is found in most animal-based products, so for vegetarians and vegans, consuming a banana a day is a great way to attain almost half of the recommended intake.
Manganese regulars blood sugar which jumpstart your metabolism. It’s also good for your skin and produces collagen.
Clearly, the nutrients in bananas can nourish your body more than a processed food product
What To Be Aware Of So Bananas Don’t Make You Gain Weight
The only thing you need to be aware of is if you’re consuming bananas like a chimpanzee (you consume a large quantity of them daily!) then yes, you will need to be concerned about weight gain. However this goes for any food: if you consume food in large quantities, you’re more likely going to consume more calories than you burn and possibly gain weight from that. Eating in moderation is always the key to a healthy diet! If you choose to consume bananas daily, a general guideline is to consume no more than two per day.
Are Bananas Good For Weight Loss
Consuming one banana a day is a great addition to a healthy weight loss plan. In addition to all the nutrients mentioned above, bananas are full of fiber that fiber is what helps keep you full for longer.
Studies have shown that eating a diet high in fiber can help with weight loss by up to 30%.
Delicious Ways to Incorporate Bananas Into Your Diet
Bananas As A Topping
Slice bananas and add them on top of cereal, yogurt, smoothies, oatmeal, etc.
Banana Nice Cream
Peel ripe bananas and freeze them in a plastic bag. Thaw them for an easy homemade banana ice cream using frozen bananas and a food processor.
Bananas In Baked Goods
Substitute for oil in baked goods Use ripe bananas for delicious banana bread
Bananas In Smoothies
Incorporate them into one of our yummy and satisfying smoothie recipes.
Try these delicious two-ingredient pancakes.