Are Bananas Bad for Weight Loss?

Banana Calories and Nutrition Facts

Spoon of granola, banana slice and coconut flakes
Westend61 / Getty Images

There are some diet experts that will tell you that bananas are bad for weight loss. But then other experts tell you to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. So are bananas bad for weight loss or are you supposed to eat them? And why are banana calories different than other fruit calories?  The answers will bring you some relief if you're a banana lover.

Calories in a Banana

There are 105 calories in a medium sized banana.

A medium banana is about 7-8 inches long. But many of the bananas that you find in the local grocery store are larger than that. And you probably don't get out a tape measure and measure your fruit, so a safe estimate is that your banana contains 90-120 calories depending on its size.

So how do banana calories compare to the calories in other fruit? A medium apple provides about 115 calories. A medium-sized orange provides about 62 calories. Berries are generally lowest in calories. A half cup of raspberries provide just 32 calories and a half cup of blueberries provides about 41 calories.

Many dieters eat half a banana to stay on the safe side and keep their calorie count in control. Half a banana would only provide 45-60 calories. Eating half of the fruit is a reasonable way to keep your banana calories in control, but since bananas don't keep very well after they are peeled, the other half of the banana often goes to waste.

Banana Nutrition

Sure, bananas are slightly higher in calories than some other types of fruit. But when you eat a banana, you not only get energy,  but you also get other healthy nutrients as well. Bananas provide a nutritious dose of heart-healthy potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Fiber is important for dieters because it helps you to feel fuller longer so you eat less during the day.

When you compare banana nutrition to the nutrition of other diet-friendly 100-calorie snacks, bananas look pretty good. The easy-to carry snack can help to curb cravings for a sweet treat much better than a snack bar or dried fruit.  Even though a banana provides about 14 grams of sugar, it's a low-glycemic food (its estimated glycemic load is 10) and it is low in saturated fat, sodium and cholesterol.

Banana Recipes and Tips for Weight Loss

There are many different ways to enjoy bananas when you're trying to lose weight. Add sliced banana to your plain oatmeal or yogurt to get a healthy dose of sweetness. Or spread mashed banana (instead of jam) over peanut butter on a piece of whole wheat bread.  

Frozen bananas are a yummy substitute for ice cream. Drizzle a frozen mashed banana with a small amount of dark chocolate, and few crushed almonds and you’ll have a delicious, low-calorie sundae. Or invest in Yonanas, a cool kitchen gadget that makes soft serve "ice cream" out of frozen bananas.

If you like to cook, try any of these healthy banana recipes:

Lastly, bananas add a unique creamy consistency to recipes and blended foods. If you're trying to lose weight, you can add half a banana to your smoothie instead of ice cream or yogurt to get a smooth, creamy texture without the added fat or extra calories.

Bananas Bad for Weight Loss?

Some experts will tell you to avoid bananas because they are higher in sugar than some other types of fruit. And if you eat a large banana or if you eat a lot of bananas, the calories can be very high as well. But portion control is important for dieters no matter what kind of food you're eating. Bananas are no different.

If you love bananas, don't worry. You probably don't need to ditch them from your diet. But if you're trying to lose weight you need to count the banana calories just like you count the calories in a cookie or in a pasta dish. Eat half a banana as a snack to keep your calorie count in control or eat a banana as part of a healthy low-calorie breakfast to lose weight. Just remember to include your banana calories into your total count for the day for successful weight loss.

Continue Reading