There’s no doubt about the health benefits of bananas, but are bananas healthy if you’re trying to lose weight?
Are you looking for foods that will help you lose weight? A well balanced diet that’s low in calories but rich in vitamins and nutrients is essential for safe and effective weight loss. While most fruits and vegetables are considered healthy, weight loss foods, some fruits, in particular, are thought to be too high in carbohydrates. One of the fruits that some experts have recommended limiting if you’re trying to lose weight is bananas. Are bananas healthy if your goal is weight loss or are they best avoided?
Surprisingly, there have been a variety of fad weight loss diets centered around the banana including one called the Morning Banana Diet. This diet advises you to eat only bananas and water for breakfast followed by the foods of your choice for the rest of the day. Although it’s suggested that you’ll experience rapid weight loss on this diet, it seems likely that any drop in weight would be predominantly water weight. Bananas are high in potassium which helps to reduce water retention which may account for the reduction in weight seen with bananas.
What about the calories, nutritional profile, and health benefits of bananas? When compared to other fruits, bananas are higher in calories and carbohydrates than other common fruits. An average sized banana has around a hundred calories and twenty-seven grams of carbohydrates with three grams of fiber. This gives a net carb count of twenty-four grams which is high if you’re on a low carb diet. Despite this, bananas are a good source of pectin and resistant starch which causes a sensation of fullness and satiety. This can work in your favor if you’re trying to lose weight.
In terms of using bananas for weight loss, there are other fruits that are significantly lower in calories and carbohydrates than the banana which might make them better choices if you eat large quantities of fruit. In contrast to the banana, apples are not only high in pectin and resistant starch, but they’re thirty percent lower in calories with lots of healthy vitamins and antioxidants.
The good news about bananas for weight loss is that a banana with its relatively high carbohydrate content and sweet taste is a good dessert substitute. Certainly a banana is a better choice than most other non-fruit dessert choices. A frozen banana dipped in low calorie chocolate syrup and frozen in the freezer can substitute for an ice cream sundae. Bananas can also be baked in the oven and flavored with a little hot sugar-free maple syrup for a decadent tasty, yet healthy dessert. When bananas are used preomdinantly as a dessert substitute, they can be an asset for dieters.
The bottom line in terms of using bananas for weight loss? When bananas are used as a substitute for high calorie desserts, they can be a healthy addition to a weight loss diet. Otherwise, if you’re intent on losing weight, eat bananas in moderation and explore some of the other lower calorie fruit options such as apples and berries. These fruits are low in calories but also provide a great deal of vitamins and antioxidants which are important to any healthy diet.