Health tips

Could bananas help with weight loss?

Banana is a safe addition to a balanced diet, as it contains a range of vital nutrients and is a good source of fiber.

While eating bananas can not lead directly to weight loss, some of these fruits ‘ properties may help a person reduce bloating, control their appetite, and replace processed sugars.

In this article find out more about eating bananas for weight loss. We are also looking into their nutritional and sugar content.

Are bananas good for weight loss?

Bananas fruit
Some of the banana properties can aid in controlling appetite.

Bananas are a great source of fibre. A medium banana contains 3.07 grams (g) of fiber, and for those on a 2,000-calorie diet the recommended daily intake for adults is 25 g.

Research shows a link between increased fiber intakes and lower body weights. This nutrient can also aid in reducing and stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Fiber can help people feel full longer, reducing the total amount of calories they eat. Digesting certain types of fiber takes the body a long time, enabling it to better regulate food intake.

The authors of a study that looked at more than 50 studies suggest that raising the daily fiber intake by 14 g could result in a 10 percent decrease in total energy intake and a weight loss of 2 kilograms (4.41 pounds) over 4 months.

In 100 overweight but otherwise healthy adults, study from China looked at the effect of dietary fiber on appetite. The results showed that an improvement in dietary fiber decreased hunger feelings as well as how many calories were consumed by the participants.

Fiber can also help to lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart disease risks.

Unripe green bananas contain hardy starch. Resistant starch is a protein that isn’t quickly breaking down in the small intestine.

Alternatively, it moves through to the large intestine, ensuring blood sugar levels are not increased. It then ferments in the large intestine, which promotes the development of healthy intestinal bacteria.

Eating more resistant starch will help people lose weight because it functions like dietary fiber. It can popular an individual’s appetite by making them feel fuller for longer.

Research suggests that resistant starch might also lead to enhancing insulin sensitivity. The benefits to gut health it offers will help with constipation and raising the risk of colon cancer.

Some Other benefits

We most often associate bananas with their high potassium content, but they provide many important nutrients for the body.

Potassium

The recommended daily intake of potassium for adult females is 2600 milligrams (mg), and for adult males is 3400 mg. Pregnant women or women who breastfeed need to increase their daily consumption.

A medium banana contains 422 mg of potassium, which is about 12 per cent of the daily intake recommended.

Potassium helps to regulate sodium levels in the body which can minimize blood pressure and help prevent heart disease and stroke. It is also essential for healthy kidneys and can reduce the risk of kidney stones.

Magnesium

Bananas also constitute a good source of magnesium. A medium banana contains 32 mg of magnesium, around 8 per cent of the daily intake recommended.

Magnesium is important for the production of energy, the functioning of the nervous system and for controlling blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

In bananas, flavonoids and magnesium may also help improve insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of resistance to insulins.

Insulin regulates the levels of blood sugar within the body. If the body is unable to efficiently use insulin this can lead to conditions like diabetes.

Energy

Bananas are also a great energy source when exercising. The results of a 2012 study showed that eating a ripe banana during exercise had an effect similar to that of a carbohydrate drink on endurance.

The small study involved 14 male qualified cyclists completing two 75-kilometer cycling time trials, and the researchers did blood tests to show the results before and after the exercise.

The study showed that eating a banana was beneficial for success before and after endurance exercise, but no more so than the carbohydrate drink. Those who eat bananas did have higher levels of dopamine, however. Dopamine is a chemical which is responsible for encouragement and reward feelings in the body.

Nutrition

A person cutting banana
A medium banana is a good source of fiber

A banana’s exact nutritional content varies according to its size. A medium banana has a length of 7–8 inches and contains:

  • energy: 105 kcal
  • protein: 1.29 g
  • fiber: 3.07 g
  • carbohydrates: 27 g
  • fat: 0.39 g
  • potassium: 422 mg
  • magnesium: 31.90 mg
  • phosphorus: 26 mg
  • calcium: 5.90 mg
  • vitamin C: 10.30 mg
  • iron: 0.31 mg
  • folate: 23.60 micrograms (µg)

Bananas also contain small amounts of vitamin A, E, and K.

Ripeness

Foods with 55 or less of a glycemic index (GI) value are low GI foods. All foods can help to stabilize blood sugar levels. Nonetheless, the riper a fruit the higher its GI rating will be.

A ripe 120 g banana has a GI score of 51 and an understated banana has a GI value of 30.

Researchers recruited 45 individuals with high cholesterol or type 2 diabetes in a 2014 study to see whether a daily intake of 1–2 ripe bananas will boost their blood sugar and lipid profiles.

Notwithstanding this fruit’s sugar content, the results showed consuming it regularly was harmless for people with diabetes. In humans with high cholesterol, the addition of banana to the diet also slightly improved blood sugar levels and lipid profiles.

If people are concerned about the sugar content of ripe bananas, eating a less ripe or smaller banana can reduce the intake of sugars.

Summary

While bananas don’t affect weight loss specifically, they have properties that can help a person manage their body weight, such as high fiber content.

Unripe bananas contain resistant starch that can help people feel more full for longer periods of time. This satiety can help weight loss by diminishing the tendency to overeat.

Overall, people who are looking to lose weight should consider how many calories they take when compared to the number of calories they burn.

Bananas are healthy and nutritious as part of a balanced diet and eat in moderation.

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