I love bananas, especially frozen bananas. On a number of occasions, I have heard that eating bananas is actually bad for your health, especially if you are insulin resistant or diabetic. Because of this, I have decided to share the real truth about bananas by putting three popular banana myths to rest.
Myth #1: You might as well eat a candy bar if you are going to eat a banana
Wow, if this were true, bring on the chocolate, caramel, and nuts!! Seriously, I do not know how anyone could make the comparison between a banana and a chocolate bar and feel good about themselves. While the average medium banana contains about 14 grams of sugar and one ounce of dark chocolate contains the same amount, the sugars are not equal in any way. The sugar content of a banana is natural while the sugar content of the chocolate is known as added sugar.Bananas contain 3 grams of fiber, which dramatically slows down the absorption of sugar into the blood. In addition, some of this sugar comes from pectins, which further slow the digestion of carbohydrates and lessen blood glucose spikes. To slow the sugars, even more, eat your banana with some nut or seed butter or organic banana. Also, don’t forget that bananas contain vitamins and minerals, something that a candy bar is lacking.
Myth #2: Bananas are a poor choice of fruit compared to other fruit
So, now that we have the candy bar myth out of the way – what about comparing bananas to other fruits? Perhaps you have heard that bananas are a poor choice. The reason for this is unclear to me – bananas just seem to get a bad rap in the world fruit. The reality is that they are actually very similar in composition to other popular and less criticized fruit. For example, a banana and a medium apple both contain about 100 calories and less than 0.5 grams of fat. The apple has 19 grams of sugar and less protein than a banana. A cup of seedless grapes contains 23 grams of sugar and less protein and fiber than a banana.
Check out all of these amazing things that bananas contain:
- 422 milligrams of potassium which helps to maintain a healthy heart and blood pressure. Potassium also reduces your risk of stroke and blocks the absorption of dietary cholesterol.
- 22 percent of the daily value of vitamin B6, a necessary co-factor in the production of mood balancing hormones serotonin and norepinephrine.
- 17 percent of the daily vitamin C value. Vitamin C helps build strong immunity, fights free radicals and promotes youthful skin.
Myth #3: Bananas will make you fat
I really have not idea where this one comes from since bananas contain less than one-half gram of fat. While it is true that excess sugar is converted to fat when not used for energy – this won’t happen with bananas unless you are consuming them when you are not even hungry.
Based on their impressive nutritional profile, I think that consuming one banana a day is a good thing, certainaly beter than a candy bar and equally as good as most other fruit! The saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away can be held true for bananas as well! Most of all, don’t be afraid of this healthy and nutritious fruit that has been given a bad rap!