Perhaps the most popular and tastiest fruits around is the banana. Known for their dense yellow peel, this fruit makes for a great snack, contain ample banana calories, as well as offer plenty of nutrients that promote optimal health. However, in the setting of weight loss, bananas have been debated as being not efficient and actually damaging to any program. With that said the overall banana calories as well as how bananas fare with weight loss is discussed ahead.
Banana Calories and Nutrition
Before jumping into the overall banana calories, first the macro nutrients, vitamins, and minerals will be discussed. Take a look ahead for a complete listing of what you should expect in macro nutrient content.
A standard medium banana typically contains little to no grams of fat. While there generally are no fat grams in many fruits, bananas contain only a small amount, usually less than one gram. This is ideal for anyone looking for a snack that is not calorically dense.
Bananas are primarily composed of carbohydrates, with more than 90 percent of the calories coming from carbs. A standard medium sized banana contains about 25-27 grams of carbs depending on the size, with three of these grams coming from fiber and 14 grams coming from sugars.
The final macronutrient listed for bananas is protein. Generally, bananas contain very little amounts of protein and the little that is within a banana is not considered complete proteins. With that said, a medium sized banana contains about one gram of protein.
Bananas generally are very nutrient dense, meaning they offer a plethora of nutrient content for a small calorie load. A medium banana contains roughly 25 percent of your daily needs for vitamin B6, which plays a role in energy levels. In addition to being a good source of vitamin B6, bananas contain more than 10 percent of your daily needs of vitamin C.
Another element in being nutrient dense is minerals. A medium banana contains more than 10 percent of your daily needs for manganese, fiber, copper and biotin, with potassium coming close as well. If nutrients are what you desire in a banana then you certainly will get them.
How Many Calories in a Banana?
The calories in a banana vary depending on the size of the fruit. Generally, a medium banana is what is considered the average banana for measurements. With that said, a medium sized banana contains roughly 100-110 calories, most of which coming from carbs. If it is a smaller banana, it should be expected that there are about 80-95 banana calories. Many varieties of bananas are considered to be large and even extra-large, and many of these sizes are well over 120 calories each.
How are Banana Sizes Determined?
The biggest question when it comes to estimating your banana size is how big is it? It is easy to take good guesses on how big of a serving you are enjoying, but realistically, estimating the size could potentially skew your daily caloric tracking. Let’s take a closer look into the various banana sizing and how you can make an estimate.
Generally, banana sizes are determined based off the length of the fruit. A small banana is considered to be less than seven inches in total length, or less than 100 grams in weight.
The standard size of a banana and a most common size for caloric determination, a medium banana is no more than eight inches and usually less than 120 grams in weight.
Large and Beyond
Sometimes grocery stores contain the large banana sizes and to be considered large, it should reach no more than nine inches, or 136 grams in weight. If it exceeds both of these measurements then the banana is extra-large.
Can Bananas Help with Weight Loss?
With a little information on how to size a banana, you should have a better understanding of how many calories and macros you are consuming with each. There is a major debate as to how effective eating bananas are for weight loss, but when it comes down to it, bananas contain ample nutrients, are low in calories when compared to other snacking options, and they contain ample fiber. With all of this in mind, the largest of bananas may contain roughly 125 calories and ample carbohydrates, but overall this fruit is a better option than common snack foods.
One interesting thing about bananas is that they are common among many athletes. Since they contain anywhere from 90-120 calories, bananas are a good option before a workout in the morning as a way to add fuel. In addition, they are good for post-workout recoveries since they contain sugar, carbs, and valuable potassium. It seems the banana is a great option if you are quite active and need some fuel on the go, not to mention, they blend very well in smoothies.
What Kind of Benefits are there With Bananas?
As described above, bananas contain a fair amount of calories that can be ideal for pre or post workouts. Considering a banana contains roughly 90-120 calories, fitness enthusiasts and athletes tend to flock to this fruit for fuel.
Fiber is a nutrient that is lacking in the standard U.S. diet. Most adults in the U.S. do not come close to eating proper amounts of fiber each day. With that said, a standard banana contains around three or four grams of fiber, which is about 10 percent of your daily needs.
One great aspect of consuming bananas is that they are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamin C has long been touted as being important for your immunity, but it plays a bigger role in your skin health. Vitamin C helps to generate the precursor protein compounds that make up your skin, so eat up and enjoy healthy skin.
When it comes down to it, the 120 calories in a banana are nothing in comparison to the fattening, salty, and calorically dense candy bar. For this reason, consuming a whole banana as a snack is a good option if you are looking to lose some weight and keep it off.
Improved Glucose Control
One common condition among adults is type II diabetes. Largely blamed by diet and lifestyle, diabetes is caused by ineffective use of insulin in the blood, called insulin resistance. Bananas may help in this condition since it is a low glycemic food, which helps your blood sugar levels.
Perhaps one of the best benefits of consuming bananas is that it is a no-fat food. Considering there is less than one gram of fat in a standard banana, the amount within this fruit is negligible. If you are on a weight loss program and a low fat diet as a result, consider a banana to be a good option.
Wrapping up Banana Calories
A banana is one of the most common fruits around and they are among the best tasting. They are handy to take on the road, contain low calories for a snack, have ample nutrients, and are considered a healthy alternative for any weight loss program.
Perhaps one of the most pressing issues with bananas in recent years is that they contain high amounts of sugar and carbs. Generally speaking, bananas are a better option for a snack, especially when the alternative includes chocolate, salt, and fat. Consider a banana if you are on a weight loss program or are looking for a healthy alternative to standard snacking foods.