How many calories are in a banana?
On average, 1 banana has 72 to 135 calories based on the size.
90% of which, comes from carbs, and the rest is from protein, fat, and water.
Even though bananas are high in calories and carbs, they offer a wealth of health benefits you may not want to miss.
A banana is full of good-for-you nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, B6, and potassium.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at its calorie profile as well as the nutrition content.
In the end, you’ll know whether or not bananas are good or bad for you.
How Many Calories Are in a Banana?
Bananas’ calories may vary depending on the size of the fruit. Here are the average calorie counts based on the size.
Banana Calories Based On Size:
- Extra small (6 inches or less) 72
- Small (6-7 inches long) 90
- Medium 105
- Large 121
- Extra Large 152
- Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams) 134
|Extra small (6 inches or less)||72||19 g||2.1g||9.9g|
|Small (6-7 inches long)||90||23 g||2.6g||12.4g|
|Sliced (1 cup, 150 grams)||134||34g||3.9g||9.17g|
Based on the sizing, you can estimate an average-sized banana contains about 100 calories.
And as we mentioned earlier, over 90% of that is coming from carbs. They also contain some fiber, about 2 to 4 grams.
Fiber is undigestable by the human body, so you can subtract the amount of fiber it contains to get the net carbs.
Something like this (Total Carbs – Fiber = Net Carbs)
Also, the ripeness of the bananas may change the carb content.
The greener and more unripe it is less digestible carb content.
1 medium-size banana (7” to 7/8” long 118 grams) also has:
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
- Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
- Vitamin A: 2% of the RDI.
- Vitamin C: 17% of the RDI.
- Calcium: 1% of the RDI.
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
- Copper: 10% of the RDI.
- Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
- Net carbs: 24 grams.
- Fiber: 3.1 grams.
- Protein: 1.3 grams.
- Fat: 0.4 grams.
1 medium banana contains about 14.43 grams of sugar.
It may seem like a lot for one small fruit, but banana’s glycemic value is not as high as you may think.
If you are not familiar, the glycemic index (GI) is a commonly used food metric to measure how they raise one’s blood sugar levels after eating.
Generally speaking, higher the GI number is, more easily it raises your blood sugar.
For effective blood sugar management, foods with a lower and moderate glycemic value are often recommended over high GI foods.
For bananas, it falls right under low and moderate GI.
Banana’s glycemic index score is 42-62 depending on their ripeness. Surprisingly, it is considered low to the medium being under a score of 50.
Are Bananas Bad for Weight Loss?
Bananas are moderately high in sugar and calories, causing many people to wonder is a banana bad for weight loss?
Will eating bananas make you fat or prevent weight loss?
It’s the deciding factor for many people looking to lose weight and burn fat.
While it’s easy to fend off bananas for its high-calorie and carb content, but don’t write them off just yet.
There hasn’t been a study that focused on the direct effects of bananas on weight loss. But studies on similar topics suggest it’s a weight-loss-friendly food.
They’re high in fiber and resistant starch. Not to mention, they are very filling and satisfying. All these properties can lead to eating fewer calories.
Many studies have also concluded that a fiber-rich diet can promote weight loss.
To sum up, bananas eaten in moderation can actually help manage your calorie intake. It does it by bringing satiety and fullness that prevents over-eating.
If you are trying to lose weight, bananas can be a healthy, integral part of a balanced weight loss diet.
Can Bananas Make You Fat?
Bananas are fairly high in carbs and sugar.
In ever medium banana, there are 27 grams of carbs, of which 14 grams are from sugar.
Foods high in sugar and carbs turn to fat in your body faster than low-carb foods.
Some carb and sugar conscious dieters tend to avoid bananas for the reasons but fear not.
Bananas or any other carb-heavy fruits alone won’t make you fat or put you more at risk of diabetes or obesity.
This is because bananas contain other nutrients that offset their sugar content.
Resistant starch, for example, is one nutrient found in bananas. It’s a nutrient that’s not easily digested and helps control blood sugar levels.
This creates a huge difference in how fast sugar gets into your bloodstream. Sugar in banana, as opposed to pure sugar, gets released more slowly into the bloodstream. All thanks to other nutrients that offset the sugar content.
Bananas have a wealth of essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that make it a go-to fruit for weight loss and overall health.
Here are some of the most glowing health benefits of bananas and their nutrient to credit to.
1. Bananas Are High In Potassium
Bananas offer a healthy dose of potassium. In one medium-sized banana, you can find as much as 420 mg of potassium. In daily recommended value, it’s as many as 12%.
According to research, many of us are deficient in potassium. Only 2% of Americans today meet the recommended intake of this essential mineral (1).
Potassium is essential to our heart and kidney as it helps to lower blood pressure. It’s also known to enhance metabolism and muscle strength by keeping water balance and electrolytes in check.
2. Bananas May Help You Lose Weight
Have you heard of the banana weight loss diet, right?
I’m not endorsing the diet nor advising you to eat the banana weight loss menu.
But eating a banana or two may help with weight loss.
In fact, bananas are of the best fruits for weight loss.
1 medium banana contains about 3 grams of dietary fiber.
Fiber works as an effective appetite suppressant and brings satiety and fullness.
Naturally, more full your stomach feel, less you eat. This helps you manage your daily calories and weight loss.
This effect on the fiber on weight loss is well documented in studies too. According to the University of Minnesota’s review, fiber intake is well linked to lower body weight (2).
This gives a stamp of approval that bananas are actually good for weight loss.
3. Bananas Are High In Antioxidants
When you think of antioxidants, you probably think of blueberries and strawberries.
But not bananas…
Granted, bananas’ level of antioxidants may not be as high as berries or other dark color fruits.
But that’s not to say bananas are not full of the anti-aging antioxidants. Science Direct reported bananas to have an effective antioxidant called anthocyanin (3).
They also contain an array of other antioxidants like beta-carotene, selenium, and Vitamin A and C.
They bring a wealth of health benefits and protect your body from diabetes, cancer, and even heart disease.
Beta-carotene is particularly good for your eye health and age-related muscle degeneration.
Despite being high in calories and sugar, bananas have a ton of nutrients hard to get elsewhere.
With those nutrients, bananas offer a bundle of health benefits including disease prevention (see #6).
The truth is, this often neglected fruit is one food that does more good to your body than harm. For those that need to be extra cautious, always eat in moderation.
Which benefit strikes you the most? Leave us a comment below to let us know.
- (1). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22854410
- (2). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23885994
- (3). https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814600003058