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Are bananas fattening?

People who want to improve their health often eat lots of fruits and vegetables.

Published: 26th December 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th December 2019 01:32 AM   |  A+A-

People who want to improve their health often eat lots of fruits and vegetables. However, some worry that fruits high in sugar like banana tend to be fattening. Let’s break the myth surrounding this fruit.

Nutrient profile of banana
Bananas contain carbohydrates, fibre, some essential nutrients and antioxidants. It has 105 calories, 90 per cent of which come from carbohydrates. They are low in fat and protein. They also contain beneficial plant compounds and antioxidants such as Catechin, and tryptophan, which the body converts into serotonin, a brain chemical that helps you relax, improve your mood, and makes you fall asleep more easily. The vitamin B present in banana helps your body metabolise food better and in turn increases your calorie burn.

High in fibre
One medium banana provides around 12 per cent of your recommended daily intake, with just 105 calories. Fibre is important for maintaining regular bowel habits and plays a vital role in digestive health. Eating high amounts of fibre has even been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, diverticular disease and some cancers. An adequate fibre intake is also linked to reduced body weight.

Check the colour
The type of carbohydrate in a banana depends on how ripe it is. Unripe, green bananas are high in starch and resistant starch, while ripe, yellow bananas contain mostly sugars. Resistant starches are long chains of glucose that are resistant to digestion. They act like soluble fibre in the body and have lots of potential health benefits. This includes weight loss and reduced blood sugar levels.

Fattening or weight-loss friendly?
Bananas are healthy and nutritious, there is no doubt about that. They are high in fibre, but low in calories. Most bananas have a low to medium glycemic index, and should not cause big spikes in blood sugar levels compared to other high-carb foods. If you are trying to lose weight, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with eating bananas.

So, eating bananas in moderation will not cause weight gain as long as you keep your overall calorie intake in check. Bananas are rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, making for a delicious addition to a healthy diet.

Divya PurushoTham

The writer is founder and chief nutritionist at Sano Holistic Nutrition Clinic



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