There’s a very good reason you receive a banana at the finish line of pretty much every race.
Bananas have built themselves quite the reputation as a go-to, pre- and post-workout snack, largely because they are high in the electrolyte potassium. They’re also a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates. Oh, and they’re delicious.
Despite the good reputation bananas carry, you may have heard some internet “experts” trying to slander their name.
Bananas are higher in sugar than some other fruits, these “experts” say. For that reason, they also contain more calories. And for that reason, you should avoid eating bananas to avoid eating too many calories so that you can lose weight.
But, wait, hold up. Is that really true?
Here’s what legit experts have to say.
Are Bananas Good for Weight Loss?
“Bananas have an undeserved bad reputation for being too high in sugar, when they’re extremely nutritious. Sure, they are higher in sugar than many other fruits, but the sugar we’re talking about here is natural sugar, not added—like in a candy bar,” says Charlotte Martin, MS, RDN, CSOWM, CPT.
So, the sugar from a banana isn’t bad for you, and it’s totally fine to eat bananas in moderation if you want to lose weight.
Are Bananas Good for a Healthy Diet?
As for nutritional content, one medium banana contains a little over three grams of fiber and 12 percent of your daily value for potassium.
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Both fiber and potassium support heart health, says Martin. Plus, fiber helps you feel full and feeling full helps prevent you from snacking on empty calories.
Total carbohydrate needs vary from person to person, but you can still lose weight on a high-arbohydrate diet as long as the calories you’re taking in are less than the calories you’re burning.
“I recommend everyone, especially those looking to lose weight, consume most of their sugar intake from natural sources, like bananas and other fruits,” Martin says.
How Many Bananas Should I Eat Daily?
Again, fruit sugar sources are in the company of fiber, which is the type of carbohydrate you want to maximize in your diet.
“I typically recommend the average person looking to maintain or lose weight aim for two servings of fruit per day. However, if you’re extremely active and/or have increased calorie needs you may want to increase that amount,” she says.
And when it comes to bananas and weight loss, make the most of your fruit by pairing with protein to help increase satiety and stabilize blood sugar levels. Think: string cheese, nut butter, or yogurt.
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