Food Facts

Are Bananas Fattening Especially The Ripe Ones?

The creamy succulent flesh of a ripe banana is a treat enjoyed by one and all (unless you have latex allergy) and makes for an excellent inclusion to your daily diet. Ripe bananas are whole foods, rich in essential minerals and vitamins, making them a healthy option for desserts and snacks. In fact, in many countries, especially in Asia and Africa, banana constitutes a significant part of dietary intake – not only in the form of fruit, but also as a vegetable (unripe bananas or plantains).

To answer the question pertinent to this post about – do bananas make you fat? Let’s just say that the calories you get from bananas are far healthier than the processed/junk foods, as the vitamins/minerals available in this fruit help improve your body metabolism, and also help metabolize fat from the “fat cells”, making them a fat better eating option on your weight-loss journey. A typical, medium-sized (7-8 inches long), ripe banana, when digested completely, would yield close to 90-95 calories, mostly in the form of carbohydrates, with just around 1g of protein. So bananas are a healthy source of carbohydrates, and can be eaten as a meal of its own.

How can bananas assist you in reducing weight?

Like any other food, if you eat bananas in an in-ordinate amount, you are bound to clock up your calories and if you don’t burn it off it’s going to accumulate in your body in the form of fat. So, just because banana is a fruit, does not give you’re the license to go overboard with your consumption. However, since a fruit of banana is 75% water, it does create a “filling” effect quite immediately, and usually most people feel full after consuming one or two medium sized bananas in one sitting. So, bananas are a good option for snacks, if you are looking to lose weight, because you can feel “satiated” with lesser calories due to the high water content of the fruit, as compared to eating concentrated sugary snacks or processed foods.

bananas

Bananas make for an excellent breakfast food. If you are into working out in the mornings, bananas can help refuel the electrolytes (like potassium) lost during the work outs and can also prevent any muscle cramps from taking place. Bananas usually get digested within 40 minutes, and supply the body with essential sugars in an easy manner, enabling the body to continue “detoxing” wastes accumulated in the body. The detox cycle in a body starts around 4 AM and continues till 12 PM, and eating fruits like bananas for breakfast ensures that this process of detox is not hindered.

Eating a heavy breakfast of cooked foods would cause the body to stop the detox, and focus on digestion (because cooked foods usually take close to 3-4 hours to digest fully). Ensuring a good detox ensures that there is less storage of wastes, which significantly reduces your weight when calculated over a period of a few weeks. You can read this post – how to lose weight eating fruits for more information about the benefits of fruit breakfast towards weight loss.

Unripe bananas for cooking, are they fattening?

Unripe bananas are used as vegetables and are cooked using methods like boiling, broiling, stir frying, deep frying and baking. Plantains, are basically what we can call “vegetable bananas” obtained from a particular cultivar of banana, and are specially grown to be used for cooking rather than be eaten as a fruit (though ripe plantains are consumed raw as a fruit). Plantains are a very popular meal inclusion in parts of Caribbean, North America, India and Africa. An average plantain would give as much calorie as a medium-sized potato (close to 170 calories), but is richer in dietary fiber, mineral and manganese.

You can enjoy a snack of fried plantains, made from a healthy cooking oil like sunflower oil, or banana chips and they would be far healthier than potato chips, owing to higher mineral and dietary fiber content. If the robust health of Caribbean people is any evidence of the effectiveness of the food that they eat, they serve as great ambassadors for promoting the consumption of plantains. Ripe or unripe bananas are both wholesome foods, and they won’t make you fat unless you are eating them inordinately – but as is the case with most whole-foods we don’t usually over-consume them the way we do the processed/junk foods.

Some health benefits of bananas

It behooves this post to cite to some incredible health benefits that bananas can provide you. And of course, the healthier the body the better it’s capacity to burn fat. So here is a small list of benefits you can garner from bananas

  • Excellent source of vitamin C, which helps aid the body in metabolizing fat.
  • Assists in cardiovascular health, and reduces symptoms of hypertension (high blood pressure), thanks to the presence of potassium as major mineral in its composition.
  • Is known to improve/assist in colon health because it’s a good source of dietary fiber. It can assist with problems of constipation.
  • It protects you against ulceration in stomach (owing to the presence of “protease inhibitors” in bananas) and also works to assist healing ulcers present in your digestive tract. Bananas also produce an antacid effect in the stomach.
  • It improves the body’s ability to absorb calcium better and hence promotes better bone health.
  • Promotes the health of your kidneys due to the presence of phenolic compounds.

All in all, bananas make for an excellent inclusion to your daily diet and can serve as a great source of assistance to your weight loss journey when eaten prudently.

13 Comments

  1. How can a natural sugar be fattening? think people, think!

  2. I love eating bananas, it’s good to know that they are not fattening if eaten alone. Some of my friends told me that they can make you fat which got me concerned, but all good now :)

  3. Thanks for this piece of information. I can eat banana though not much!

  4. You won’t get fat off one banana. I’m 111lbs and I eat loads of bananas and I’m clearly not fat. If you are eating a healthy breakfast, dinner and lunch and then adding a banana as a snack won’t make you fat unless you eat like 4 a day along with other snacks. I eat toast for breakfast. If I’m peckish before dinner then a banana. Dinner I have a jacket potato with a tiny bit of butter. Then if I feel bit hungry around 3pm I have a small yoghurt. Then 5pm my lunch have quirk chicken with veg. I don’t see how people find it hard to eat low calorie and healthy it isn’t rocket science.

  5. Honest Joe says:

    Hello Everyone, I know that for most of you it is easy to read this article and bash it for whatever reason or reasons you may have. If you do not like this article please do yourself a favor and research the information for yourself or talk to your doctor. Stop acting immature. The person who wrote this article did a wonderful job and if you don’t think so, then please go do your own research and share it with the rest of us so that other people can bash your article like you did to this one.

    Good day.

  6. I heard that half of a regular sized banana is actually one serving. They do contain a higher amount of sugar than other fruits, so if I am trying to cut back on sugar I usually won’t eat bananas more than twice a week and just have half of one each time.

  7. When my children were babies and were sick with diarrhea (sp), the pediatricians always told me to feed them apple sauce, apple juice and bananas because all three were constipating. So this mixes me up. But that was so long ago and we know how things change every few years.

    I think when I eat bananas they go right to the abdomen. Remember, I said “think”.

  8. I think bananas are fabulous and healthy, but I cringe when I see the health of Caribbean or African people is used as examples because of their diets. It is because of other lifestyle factors such as much manual labor, no cars, poverty. Their diet tends to be high in fat, and the wealthy tend to be overweight! Just accurate facts, please!

  9. But banana has high sugar content doesn’t that mean that it makes one fat? I’m not really getting the answer to this question here, to me , you didn’t answer the question in a straightforward way.

  10. Does this apply to both real bananas and the GM bananas? The GM bananas taste much sweeter to me so I’m curious if they have a higher sugar content?

  11. Great news! I love bananas!

  12. Could you provide references for your info? My physiologist spouse says that there is no support only unsubstantiated opinion for the statement about “detoxing during certain hours. She says the body just doesn’t work that way.

  13. DjungleHouse says:

    It is not true that cooked bananas are fattening. Check out all these lean and healthy Ugandans who eat Matoke every day!

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