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Can Bananas Help You Lose Weight?

Kristie Leong M.D. is a family practitioner who believes in the power of nutrition and a healthy lifestyle to prevent and fight illness.

If you're like most people, you probably think of bananas as being a healthy food. And they are! Bananas contain essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber that healthy bodies run on.

This tropical fruit also contains antioxidants that can help protect your cells from damage. Bananas are easy to eat on the go, and they make a great snack. You can also add them to your breakfast or lunch for an extra boost of energy and nutrition.

But some people advise not eating bananas if you want to stay lean. This has caused people to question whether bananas are a good weight-loss food. Are bananas weight loss-friendly?

The Pros of Eating Bananas for Weight Loss

Bananas have enough fiber to help you feel full and satisfied after biting into their soft, yellow flesh. They're also low in calories. Plus, they contain nutrients that support a healthy metabolism. However, bananas are naturally high in sugar.

Though the sugar in bananas is natural, it is still important to be aware of how much sugar you are consuming when you eat them. Bananas are a great source of energy and nutrients, but if you are trying to cut down on all sugar, you may want to limit your intake of this popular fruit.

Fortunately, bananas contain enough fiber that it helps to counter some of the blood sugar rises you get when you nibble on a banana. And when you compare bananas to ultra-processed food snacks, bananas are a healthier choice and are less likely to put weight on you than a calorie-rich brownie or a bag of chips.

What the Experts Say About Bananas and Weight Gain

As Harvard Health points out, there’s nothing magical about bananas that causes weight gain. You gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn and, compared to ultra-processed food snacks and desserts, bananas are a calorie bargain with only 105 calories per medium banana.

However, most of the nutritional value of bananas comes from carbohydrates. They have little fat or protein. So, eating only bananas wouldn’t be a balanced diet.

From a nutritional perspective, bananas are a good source of vitamin C, an antioxidant vitamin, and vitamin B6, a B vitamin that plays a key role in energy metabolism and in forming chemicals that affect the brain called neurotransmitters.

They also contain some magnesium and iron. Unlike ultra-processed and junk foods that fall low on the nutritional scale, bananas supply your body with nutrients.

Bananas May Help With Weight Control

Plus, research shows eating more fruits and vegetables, including bananas, is associated with a lower risk of weight gain over time. So, if you eat bananas in moderation, you likely won’t gain weight unless the rest of your diet is high in calories and you’re inactive. Bananas are a more nutritious snack and less likely to cause weight gain than most packaged snacks

Bananas Are a Good Workout Snack

Bananas are also a fantastic source of energy. The natural sugars in bananas are easily converted to glucose, which is then used by the body for energy. This makes them a great snack to eat before or after a workout.

A new study has found that combining water with bananas may have some of the benefits of a sports drink. Bananas are a good source of electrolytes, which are important for hydration, and combining them with water can help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise.

The study found that combining water and bananas was more effective than water alone in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and improving recovery. Bananas are a good source of carbohydrates, which can help replenish glycogen stores and improve exercise performance.

So, if you're looking for a natural way to boost your performance and recovery, try combining water and bananas. You may just find that it's the perfect sports drink for you.

Bananas Can Be Part of a Weight-Loss-Friendly Diet

For unprocessed food, bananas get a bad rap. If you're looking for weight-loss-friendly food, bananas are a great choice. Just be sure to pair them with other healthy foods to reach your goals. But because they are higher in natural sugar and calories than most other fruits, it’s best to eat them in moderation. Many foods can cause weight gain if you consume large portion sizes. Bananas aren’t unique in this respect.

References

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.