banana
Eating bananas can be a healthy part of a weight loss plan that also includes exercise. Antonio_Diaz/Getty Images
  • Bananas can be good for weight loss because they contain lots of fiber, which slow digestion and help you feel fuller. 

  • Research has found that eating high levels of fiber can reduce the risk of weight gain by up to 30%. 

  • You can eat up to one banana per day as part of a healthy diet for weight loss, and overall, you should consume at least two types of fruit per day. 

  • Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to improve your health. In fact, eating bananas can have many health benefits, whether you’re trying to lose weight or improve heart health. 

To lose weight, it’s important to talk with your doctor about developing a safe and effective weight loss plan that fits your individual health needs. On top of eating right, you should also get more exercise and sleep enough, for example. 

But eating more fiber-rich foods like bananas can be a good start towards a healthy weight loss plan. Here’s why. 

Banana nutrition facts 

Here are the nutrition facts in a medium-sized banana, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA):

  • Fat, 0 grams, 0% DV

  • Sodium, 0 grams, 0% DV

  • Potassium, 450 mg, 13% DV

  • Carbohydrates, 30 grams, 10% DV

  • Dietary fiber, 3 grams, 12% DV

  • Vitamin A, 2% DV

  • Vitamin C, 15% DV

  • Calcium, 0% DV

  • Iron, 2% DV

 

A medium banana does have 110 calories, while a single serving of strawberries (around 8 berries) has only 50 calories. Despite this caloric difference, the fact that bananas offer phytochemicals and a host of vitamins can make them a strong addition to a healthy weight loss plan. The high fiber content in bananas can also help keep you feeling full for a longer time. 

Are bananas good for weight loss? 

“Bananas are a great source of multiple key nutrients like fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, magnesium, and manganese,” says Chelsea Tersavich, PA-C, the Nutrition Outreach Fellow through the PA (Physician Assistant) Foundation, a position that challenges her to educate the public to be healthier. “The fiber also keeps us full during the day which leads to a decrease in the total amount of calories we take for most people.”

 

The fiber in bananas is a key part of their benefit for weight loss. The fiber in a banana accounts for 12% of the recommended daily value, which directly contributes to weight loss. In fact, eating a high level of fiber may cut the risk of gaining weight by up to 30%. 

Varying fruit intake can expose someone dieting to a range of key nutrients. While bananas are known to be full of potassium, other fruits can be beneficial as well. Though pears and apples are higher in fiber, bananas have more per serving than cherries, avocados, or grapes.

Overall, it’s recommended that people consume two or more fruits per day as part of a healthy diet. Bananas are certainly a good choice for one of those fruits, and you can enjoy up to one medium-sized banana per day as part of a healthy weight loss plan. 

Does banana ripeness matter? 

According to Tersavich, there isn’t a difference in the nutritional value of bananas as they ripen, but there is a change in the taste and carbohydrate levels. 

 

Greener, less ripe bananas have a higher level of starch – especially resistant starch. This type of starch can be beneficial for weight loss because it is digested more slowly and helps you feel more full. 

“As bananas ripen, the starch is converted into natural sugars which is why they taste sweeter and become soft,Tersavich says. And even though they might taste better, the ripening process may come with slightly fewer health benefits. 

This might be especially true for people with diabetes or prediabetes, who need to carefully control their diet and blood sugar. “For someone that’s diabetic or prediabetic, a banana on the unripe side of the spectrum may be better since it causes a slower rise in blood sugar,” Tersavich says. 

However, greener ripe bananas can also be tougher to digest, so anyone with digestive or GI health issues may want to avoid them.

Insider’s takeaway 

As part of a balanced diet, bananas can be nutritious and beneficial, even if you are trying to lose weight. It’s clear that eating more fruits and vegetables is a good choice for weight loss – and the high fiber content in bananas makes it an especially healthy option. 

Read the original article on Insider

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