This Week's Question: Will Bananas Make Me Fat?
A storehouse of goodness- check. Excellent for digestion- check. An excellent pre-gym snack- check. Full of ‘insoluble resistance starch’- check. A nutritionally dense food- check. You all must have guessed it by now. We are talking about the ever-so-controversial bananas. Versatile, energy-giving, a quick snack or a healthy dessert, who doesn’t love bananas? But haven’t you been advised against it? Everybody has. Many consider bananas to be fattening and strictly advise you to avoid bananas in your weight loss spree. The good news is that there is no truth in these assumptions. Today, we're settling this banana dilemma for once and for all.
The question: Will Bananas Make Me Fat?
The short answer: No, bananas will not make you fat.
The long answer follows:
Most trainers, nutritionists, sports persons, cyclists, and runners will always swear by bananas and their energy giving properties. But why is it that bananas have earned such a bad reputation in the weight loss department? Let's take a closer look...
Bananas and calories. There are approximately 108 calories and 17.5 grams of carbohydrates in the average banana. Much of the calories from bananas come from carbohydrates, both from simple sugars and starch. They contain about 19 grams of sugar per banana and 1 gram of protein, as well. Bananas don't contain any fat, cholesterol or sodium.
Banana is a nutritionally dense food. It is rich in carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals and energy. As with anyone on a weight loss programme, one should consume within the required calorie intake. Therefore, if you have a calorie allowance of 200 for an evening snack and you eat 6 bananas, then you'd be taking in more calories than you should. In such a situation you will gain weight. But if you stick to the recommended quota, you will not.
Bananas can safely be titled as superfoods. For starters bananas offer healthy carbs which give you energy to be more active. They are also high in the mineral potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure. The fiber content of bananas helps to control hunger much better for those who are trying to lose fat.
Bananas can be an ideal pre-gym snack. In order to fuel energy, our body uses carbs and fats. Thus, this makes bananas an essential carb food, if taken before a workout. And as it is densely packed with nutrients and energy, it is an ideal snack for the fitness enthusiast. The natural sugars contained within the banana help provide a lot of energy before a workout. This is the reason why it is a huge favourite for serious athletes.
Bananas make for an excellent breakfast. Bananas are even healthier when paired with oats, almonds, milk and eggs. They can be paired with skimmed milk as in a milkshake or yoghurt too.
As with any food, healthy or unhealthy, portion control is the true answer to avoiding weight gain. Therefore, if you consume bananas within your body's food and calorie requirements, then bananas will not make you gain weight.
*Image courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images
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