For some reason bananas have been singled out in the dieting world as a fruit to avoid when your trying to lose weight. This is because people believe that bananas have too many carbohydrates and sugars to be able to aid in weight loss, while others believe that bananas are a nutritious and low energy density food great for dropping the pounds.
It is true that bananas are moderately high in carbohydrates and sugars, but it definitely isn’t high enough to where it makes them fattening. To know whether they’re good for weight loss comes down to the amount of calories you are allowed to consume and what kind of macronutrients those calories come from. For example if you’re doing a low carb diet then there’s no way you’ll be able eat a banana because most low carb diets don’t allow you to go over 50 grams of carbs a day. Depending on the size of the banana a normal one usually contains 100 calories, 25 grams of carbs and 12 grams of sugar. So if you do decide to eat it then that’s already half of your carb intake gone for the day in just one banana ! It would probably be better to eat other lower calorie fruits that can provide the same nutrients, for instance bananas are high in Potassium/Vitamin C so as a lower calorie alternative you can eat papayas due to the high levels of Potassium and Vitamin C it contains.
Now if your not on a low carb diet or a variation of it e.g. ketogenic and paleo diets then bananas should be a welcome addition to your palate because they’re low enough in calories to make a healthy, nutritious and filling snack. Before we get into the health benefits and possible drawbacks of bananas you must first understand what a caloric deficit is because creating a caloric deficit is the only way you’ll be able to lose weight.
Creating A Caloric Deficit For Weight Loss
When it comes to weight loss the most important principle is to be in a caloric deficit and no matter what diet you do whether it be IIFYM, low carb, Atkins etc you will still have to be in a caloric deficit and unfortunately there is no way around that. This deficit can either come from the diet or exercise or a combination of both. Although, doing a combination of both has been proven to be the most effective for consistent weight loss.
So remember to focus on a caloric deficit and make most of your calories (70%) come from healthy whole unprocessed foods, you’ll see instant results. Now eating a banana can help you lose weight, but only if it helps you decrease your total caloric intake so that you’re in a deficit.
Health Benefits Of Bananas
- High In Potassium – Potassium is an essential mineral because it helps keep your cardiovascular, renal, nervous, neuromuscular and digestive systems functioning correctly.
- High In Resistant Starch And Fibre – Resistant starch passes through your small intestine without being digested so for each gram of resistant starch a banana contains the less calories you’ll absorb from it. Additionally, the amount of resistant starch goes down as bananas ripen so it’s best to eat the banana when its green. Fibre is an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet, it also has many benefits such as aiding with your weight/fat loss and helping you feel fuller for longer so that you eat less.
- Low In Fat – Bananas contain virtually no fat, about o.3 gram per 100 grams to be precise.
- Low In GI – Low GI foods moderately increase your blood sugar levels and helps it stay constant which makes you feel fuller for longer, this should prevent you from overeating or snacking on higher calorie foods throughout the day.
- Nutrient Rich – Apart from Potassium, bananas are also high in nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folic Acid, a range of Vitamin Bs, Magnesium and Calcium.
- Contains more carbohydrates and calories than most fruits.
- Bananas really have no drawbacks unless you’re on a low carb diet.
To sum up bananas are great for a weight loss diet that isn’t low carb due to the high fibre and low GI content that contributes to fullness and satiety. Not to mention how great they taste as a snack or as topping to your oats and pancakes, making them the ideal diet food.
If you have anymore questions about bananas and weight loss then feel free to leave a comment below.