Bananas – good or bad? Calorie content and carbohydrate content

Can bananas help you lose weight, fight depression and improve your mood? How many calories and carbohydrates do they contain and are bananas good for your health?


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How many calories are in a banana?

Speaking about the calorie content of bananas, it is important to mention that despite the rather high carbohydrate content in them, bananas have an average glycemic index (30 units for green fruit and 50-60 for an ordinary ripe one) - in other words, calories of a banana are absorbed by the body gradually, causing prolonged saturation . On average, one banana contains approximately 100-120 kcal.

As for the health benefits of bananas, they contain B vitamins (for example, one banana covers 27% of the daily intake of vitamin B 6 ), as well as natural antioxidants and a number of microminerals. However, the main benefit of bananas is that they can successfully act as a source of “right” carbohydrates after weight training or as a snack.

Calorie content of various types of bananas

The direct calorie and carbohydrate content of bananas depends primarily on the variety and size of a particular fruit — small tropical bananas contain more sugars and calories per 100 g than large and much less sweet industrial bananas. In addition, there are low-calorie varieties of green bananas, designed for frying and cooking.

Calories in Bananas :

  • A very small banana (less than 15 cm, 80 g) - 70 kilocalories.
  • Small banana (15-18 cm, 100 g) - 90 calories.
  • The average banana (18-20 cm, 120 g) is 105 kilocalories.
  • Large banana (20-23 cm, 135 g) - 120 kcal.
  • A very large banana (more than 23 cm, 150 g) - 135 kcal.
  • Sliced bananas (1 cup, 150 g) - 135 kcal.
  • Banana puree (1 cup, 225 g) - 200 kcal.

Among other things, the calorie content of bananas is also affected by what they are used with. For example, a fruit salad of bananas, oranges, apples and sweet yogurt will contain significantly more calories than a single banana. Also in the composition of such a fruit salad will contain a fairly large amount of fast carbohydrates (that is, sugars).

Bananas: Health Benefits

As we mentioned above, one average banana covers about 30% of the daily intake of vitamin B 6 , which is important for metabolism, about 20% of the norm of vitamin C, about 16% of the daily requirement for manganese, 13% in potassium, and 8% in magnesium (1 ) . In addition, depending on the variety and place of growth, bananas may contain a certain amount of iron, copper, selenium and other microminerals.

The banana also contains antioxidants such as catechins and dopamine. However, despite the fact that dopamine is a precursor (building material) for the hormone of joy of serotonin , dopamine from banana cannot get into the human brain. In other words, the common belief that bananas boost mood and fight depression is nothing more than a beautiful myth.

Bananas: composition and calories


Content per 100 gContent in one average banana (130 g)

number% of the daily ratenumber% of the daily rate
Calorie content89 kcal4%120 kcal6%





Total fat0 .3 g0%0 .4 g0%
- saturated0.1 g0%0.13 g0%
- polyunsaturated0.1 g
0.13 g
- monounsaturated0 g
0 g





Total carbohydrates23 g7%31 g9%
- cellulose2.6 g10%3.5 gthirteen%
- sugar12 g
16 g
- starch4 g
6 g





Total protein1.1 g2%1 .4 g2.50%





Vitamin A64 IU1%86 IU1.30%
Calcium5 mg0%7 mg0%
Vitamin D-0%-0%
Vitamin B 12-0%-0%
Vitamin C9 mg14%12 mg19%
Iron0.3 mg1%0.4 mg1.30%
Vitamin B 60.4 mg20%0.6 mg27%
Magnesium27 mg6%36 mg8%
Potassium360 mg10%480 mgthirteen%


How many carbohydrates are in a banana?

It must be remembered that the calorie content and carbohydrate content of bananas depends on their degree of maturity. Since green bananas are transported from the place of growth to the point of sale in vacuum packaging and in refrigerators, they ripen on the spot. In fact, before entering the store shelves, bananas first “come back to life” in special gas installations.

This process of artificial maturation leads to the fact that fiber and starch contained in the banana begin to gradually turn into sugar and other fast carbohydrates with a high glycemic index. That is why the sugar content in a banana can vary - the more ripe you eat a banana, the more sugar it will contain and the higher its GI.

Glycemic Index of Bananas

As in the case of the fast carbohydrate content in a banana, which depends primarily on its variety and maturity, the glycemic index of bananas is not constant. Obviously, green bananas have a low glycemic index, while ripe bananas have a higher. In this case, heat treatment (baking) or grinding in a blender is also able to increase GI.

We also note that any tables of composition and calorie content of bananas are averaged - according to Russian GOSTs, the total content of substances in the product may differ by 20-25% from that indicated on the package. The role is played by the fact that it is physically impossible to examine each specific banana for the content of calories, microminerals and vitamins in it.

Are bananas dietary?

The high content of minerals in bananas, their relatively low glycemic index and a long-lasting sense of fullness due to complex carbohydrates (starch and fiber) make bananas an ideal choice for breakfast. However, the main thing in this case is to eat only one banana per day, and not to overeat with them. Like it, bananas still contain calories.

Note that due to the high content of fast carbohydrates, bananas are still not suitable for those who adhere to low-carb or carbohydrate-free diets - the average banana will be equal to the figure of 30-40% of acceptable daily sugars. Unfortunately, such diets actually prohibit the use of fruits, which is one of the main disadvantages of carbohydrate-free diets for health.

The harm of bananas

Speaking about the dangers of bananas, it should be noted first of all that their use is not recommended for people with irritable bowel syndrome, since they can aggravate the disease (2) . At the same time, according to Harvard Health Publications , in a number of even healthy people, bananas can cause food allergies and unpleasant bloating.

In addition, in fairly rare cases, regular consumption of bananas in food can increase blood viscosity, which, in turn, can reduce blood flow to certain parts of the body. This is primarily dangerous for people suffering from varicose veins, and can also negatively affect male potency (especially for older men).

***

Indisputable advantages of bananas include a high carbohydrate content, useful for closing the carbohydrate window after strength training for muscle growth, a relatively low glycemic index, as well as the presence of microminerals and antioxidants. The main disadvantages are calorie content with excessive consumption. However, bananas can definitely not be considered harmful to human health.

Scientific sources:

  1. Bananas, raw, source
  2. Understanding and treating an irritable bowel,  source
  3. What's on my food: Bananas,  source
  4. Global Issues For Breakfast: The Banana Industry And Its Problems,  source

    Read....The Banana benefits

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