By Jackie Wicks PEERtrainer Founder
|Amount per serving
||Calories from Fat
There are 100 calories in a medium banana, and 125 calories in a large banana.
A one cup serving of banana contains 28 grams of sugar.
Can Bananas Help You Lose Weight?
Bananas can be an excellent "transition food" if you are moving to a healthier diet.
If you are used to eating greasy and sugary food, you'll find that banana, especially mixed with almond butter can really help to satiate the sweet tooth.
That said, a lot of the nutritional benefits of bananas can be found in foods with much lower levels of carbohydrates and sugar.
For example, avocados contain higher amounts of potassium, almost no sugar, and contain less than half the carbohydrates.
There are other foods which also contain higher levels of potassium and other critical nutrients such as Yams, Swiss Chard, Pinto Beans and Spinach.
We mention this because of a growing body of research that points to a set of "adverse effects" from the excess consumption of fructose, which is the type of sugar found in fruit.
According to the study linked to above, "excessive fructose consumption may be responsible in part for the increasing prevalence of obesity, diabetes mellitus, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease."
They go on to say:
"The extent to which a person might be adversely affected by dietary fructose depends both on the amount consumed and on individual tolerance."
It is important to note that these researchers go out of their way to say that they don't mean to discourage the consumption of healthy food.
Because bananas are well known for their potassium content, we at PEERtrainer thought that it is important to show other foods that have the same (or greater) benefits, but without the associated potential risk.
Many people ask us about how individual foods will effect their weight loss efforts. We hope we are clear here: if you are eating very low levels of fruits and vegetables, and lots of processed foods, bananas will be an excellent addition to your diet.
But as you increase your overall vegetable intake, especially greens, you'll be getting plenty of important nutrients. And you may find that it will be easier to lose weight when you favor vegetables over fruits.
That said, as an overall nutritional goal, you want to eat as broad an array of fruits and vegetables as possible. Different fruits and vegetables have different essential nutrients. In fact, new research shows that eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is correlated with lower lung cancer risk.
At PEERtrainer we talk a lot about how certain foods help with weight loss. But there are also very important health benefits, with life-altering implications.
Doesn't Weight Watchers New Points Plus Allow For Unlimited Bananas?
This is an interesting question that we are now getting. Weight Watchers changed their Points System in late 2010, to allow for much higher consumption of fruit. Exactly how much they allow is unclear, but the message that has been sent is clear.
Our concern at PEERtrainer is that for certain people this can be a recipe for disaster. Weight Watchers tends to attract people who are just getting started with the weight loss process. So for those people, the introduction of high levels of fruit is often a new and probably very needed thing.
PEERtrainer tends to attract people who are further along the weight loss process or who are more advanced in their knowledge.
It can be shocking for people to hear that they might want to bring down their fruit consumption. (In the context of much higher green vegetable consumption.) But it works.
Now, if banana is something you love, definitely eat them. Our main point and concern here is simply the overall sugar and fructose intake that people have.
Why You Might Want To Eat A Banana For Lunch, Not Breakfast!
We just recorded a very interesting call with PhD nutritionist JJ Virgin. And we published the transcript on this page.
One of the most interesting points that JJ made is that many people are eating "dessert for breakfast" without knowing it. What happens when you consume a lot of sugar, this "sets the metabolic tone for the day."
When you start to consume less sugar in the morning, you start to burn more fat for your fuel. A little boost of sugar from a banana later on in the may may give you a boost, without having set a "bad metabolic tone."
Bananas And The PEERtrainer Cheat System
For those of you following the PEERtrainer Cheat System, Bananas are not unlimited. If you follow the system to any degree of compliance (and this is EASY) you'll get plenty of the nutrients in bananas.
That said, good after a workout, if you have muscle cramps, and as we said above can be great to help you transition to much healthier things.
A good rule of thumb with bananas and really any food is to see how it make YOU feel. We all have different metabolisms and we function differently. At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters is how you respond to food.
Banana Nutrition Summary
Ok, so we have discussed Bananas so far in the context of weight loss, and by now you hopefully know that sugar is something you have to be super careful with.
But this is also a great opportunity to learn about some of the different nutrients and micronutrients in Bananas.
Bananas are rich in Potassium, which has been proven in clinical studies to help maintain normal blood pressure and encourage proper heart function.
Bananas also are rich in Magnesium, which is a critical mineral that helps with your heart, bones, muscles, blood and even your nerves.
Other foods with higher levels of magnesium include cooked greens, cooked beans, pumpkin and sesame seeds and fish such as salmon and halibut.
Many of these magnesium rich foods are featured in an interesting new book by Dr. Janet Brill that helps to reverse and prevent heart disease. We interviewed Dr. Brill earlier this year.
Interestingly, they rank somewhat low on Dr. Fuhrman's nutrient density index, with about 1/7 the total phytochemicals and micronutrients as strawberries, and 4% of the total nutrient density score as Kale.
This page is written, edited and maintained by PEERtrainer, creator of the new Cheat System for healthy eating and increased energy. To download a free copy of the system, click here.
Banana Fruit Shake
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Calories and Nutrition in Apricots
Calories and Nutrition in Avocados
Calories and Nutrition in a Banana
Calories and Nutrition in Blackberries
Calories and Nutrition in Blueberries
Calories and Nutrition in Cherries
Calories and Nutrition in Cranberries
Calories and Nutrition in Dates
Calories and Nutrition in Grapes
Calories and Nutrition in Grapefruit
Calories and Nutrition in A Kiwi
Calories and Nutrition in Lemon
Calories and Nutrition in Litchis
Calories and Nutrition in A Mango
Calories and Nutrition in A Honeydew Melon
Calories and Nutrition in Cantaloupe
Calories and Nutrition in Olives
Calories and Nutrition in Papaya
Calories and Nutrition in Peaches
Calories and Nutrition in a Pear
Calories and Nutrition in Pineapple
Calories and Nutrition in a Pluot
Calories and Nutrition in Plums
Calories in Raspberries
Calories in Strawberries
Calories in a Tangerine
Calories in Watermelon
last edit by
8/24/2011 5:46:45 PM
Fruits and Fruit Juices
I wish I enjoyed eating bananas more. The more I look into fruits and vegtables, the more I want to eat them.
9/2/2006 2:13:28 PM
The English way to eat a banana: Chop into large chunks, sprinkle some brown sugar over it (1 or 2 teaspoons) and drizzle with single or double cream. It's rare to find single cream in america, but you could use regular cream or half n half and it'd still taste divine.
Other fave banana ideas:
***No more boring PB+ J's- make it a PBB+J or even better PBBCH (pb, banana, cinnamon, honey)
*** Grilled or fried bananas are sooo good for breakfast or dessert- use a nonstick pan or a tiny bit of olive oil or cooking spray and grill the bananas till they're getting more translucenty yellow, then add a tbsp or 2 of maple syrup and cinnamon. It'll carmelize pretty quickly and get nice n crispy crunchy. Especially delish served with pancakes or french toast!
9/2/2006 2:21:07 PM
Well, I really wouldn't say that's the English way to eat a banana (in a trifle perhaps, but with sugar and cream?)! But if you do want to go down that route, single cream is pretty much equivalent to Half and Half. (It's double cream we can't find in America...heavy cream is not as thick as our double cream).
9/2/2006 9:04:11 PM
One veeeeeery British way to eat a banana is to eat it after chanting these lines in your best voice-over voice: "This is 29, Acacia Road. And this is Eric, the schoolboy who leads an exciting double life. For when Eric eats a banana, an amazing transformation occurs. Eric is Bananaman. Ever alert for the call to action." Before eating the banana make sure to look puny, and after eating it puff out your chest, raise your left arm, and fly. You will then have "the muscles of 20 men, and the brains of 20 mussels". Very British indeed.
9/2/2006 9:04:29 PM
oh my god, i'd totally forgotten bananaman! wow, the mind represses so much... thanks for the reminder...
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