While there may be more calories in a banana than other fruits, there are a range of good reasons to include them in your diet. Bananas are a versatile fruit. You can blend them into your favorite breakfast smoothie, dehydrate them to make a healthy snack, or use them as a fat replacement in baking. Bananas are known to be mainly a carb, but they do contain a little protein and are a great source of fiber.
Eating bananas bring health benefits as they contain plenty of vitamins and minerals too, and they are known for being a rich source of potassium. When left to become ripe, the sugar content of a banana will increase, whereas, a green banana contains more resistant starch.
How many calories in a banana?
A small banana that measures around 6 inches or 15cm weighs about 100 grams, contains approximately 90 calories.
A large banana that measures around 8 inches or 20cm weighs about 135g, contains approximately 120 calories.
Handy to know
A quick bit of maths: For every 2 inches of banana (5cm) we are consuming about 30 calories.
Nutrition in a banana
Bananas are a fantastic source of :
- Vitamin B6 (20% RDI)
- Vitamin C (14%RDI)
- Potassium (9% RDI)
- Magnesium (6% RDI).
Will bananas help me lose weight?
Bananas contain a trace amount of fat and offer a rich nutritional content for the calories.
A small banana contains energy made up of mostly carbohydrates, 23g, of which 2.6g is fiber and 12g is sugar. The more ripe banana is, the more sugar it will contain. If you want to reduce the sugar make sure you eat them while they are closer to green.
Bananas also offer a little bit of protein, a small banana will add 1.1g of protein to your daily intake.
Bananas are a good source of food for losing weight. You still need to keep within your calorie deficit but they are a filling source of energy. They are great to eat to fuel your exercise – aim to eat them approximately 2-3 hours before to fuel your session.
Will bananas help me gain weight?
Bananas can help you gain weight if you eat a calorie surplus. If you are looking to put on weight in a healthy way, bananas are more energy dense than other fruit, so can be a good choice of nutritional fruit to add. This is not to say that bananas are fattening, it is simply more calorific. Avocados are also a healthy choice when looking to gain weight and a good example of healthy food that can be used to either lose or gain weight.
Do bananas make you gain belly fat?
The human body accumulates fat when it is in a state of calorie surplus. Many people gain body fat because they eat more energy than they burn. Body fat is stored in different parts of the body and this is determined by hormones and genetics. We are all different, and our body shapes vary.
Unfortunately, we cannot control where we gain weight, but we can manage our weight so that we remain healthy.
Bananas do not directly cause belly fat. Bananas are a healthy fruit, and they can help you lose or maintain a healthy weight as part of a balanced diet. If you overeat bananas and create a calorie surplus, then you will gain weight over time.
Which is healthier, a banana or an apple?
To give you an idea of the difference in calorie content, 100g of apple contains approximately 52kcal. 100g of orange contains approximately 47kcal and 100g banana contains approximately 89kcal. The banana is more calorie dense, however, in terms of choosing which is healthier, all fruits contain valuable nutrients.
A good healthy eating plan contains a variety of fruit and vegetables so that we can eat a range of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to our health.
Weight loss tip
Try freezing a banana (take the skin off first) as a cooling sweet treat. Eat it outright, or blend it with some low-fat Greek yogurt for an ice-cream-style treat!