Is it Okay to Eat Banana When You’re on a Low Carb Diet?

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bananas on pink background

Banana on a low carb diet sounds like manna from heaven. It’s a small wonder why bananas are the most wanted fruit on the planet. No kidding. But if you have doubts, looking into the annual fruit production globally should be telling. Not until you meet tomato production. Yup. Some may put tomatoes as vegetables. Still, it’s a fruit of the tomato plant. In terms of total global consumption, tomatoes top bananas. But as most consider tomatoes an extension of cooking, bananas reign supreme in the Fruit Department. Trumping apples. 

Of course, the greater question for you and me is should you take the sweet, yellow fruit even when you’re in a low carb diet. Like when you’re in Keto or Atkins. Truly, this is quite a tricky question. But we must remember the reason why you’re limiting yourself during chow time. Carbohydrates have been tagged as a major culprit in getting fat. The American diet which is heavy on fast food is a testament to this. Limiting your carb intake is a sure-fire way to lessen your overall weight. Plus, there is also the case of people who simply needs to limit their carbs because they’re sick. People with diabetes, for instance, are in this category. Read on to know if the banana is your ally in times like these. 

Carbs and Good ‘Ole Banana

Before you tag banana as an evil fruit know that carbohydrates are basically good. Carbs are essential for us to live. Also called saccharides, carbohydrates are biomolecules, just like protein and lipids, play a key role in all living organisms. So important are carbs that it’s safe to say we can’t live without them. 

For starters, carbs are the structural components in plants and even insects. For us humans, carbs help us with energy transportation. Some key facts on carbs: 

  • Approximately one gram of carbs is tantamount to 4 kilocalories
  • Foods with high GI (Glycemic Index) carbohydrates are absorbed faster by the body via the bloodstream
  • Avoiding foods high in carbs improves chances of losing weight
  • High Carb foods include: beans, bread, potatoes, rice

As you may know by now, the problem starts with eating too many carbohydrates. When you’re constantly bombarding your body with carbs, chances are you bloat. Become overweight in no time. 

For their part, bananas are some of the most popular fruits on the planet. Not only are they sweet, but they’re also nutritious too. Coming from Musa, a family of plants native to Southeast Asia, bananas can be traced to archaeological evidence found in New Guinea around 8000 BC. Relatively at about that time, these pulpy plants were also found in the jungles of Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Ultimately, these monkey favorites were brought to the west, thanks to Arab conquerors.

With annual banana global production at approximately 114.13 metric tons, bananas are consumed more than any other fruit. At least with the exception of tomatoes. 

As per benefits, bananas have myriad benefits including: 

  • Heart health
  • Rich in vitamin B6 
  • Gut health

Is Banana on Low Carb Diet Advisable?

That is the million-dollar question. To answer that we need to take a closer look at the composition of the fruit we’re looking at – banana. To be fair, bananas come in all sizes. Some are small enough to look like bloated human fingers. And some are large enough to make its mark on a bird of prey. Or complete your breakfast. 

Generally, a banana is composed of the following: 

Banana Nutrition FactsComposition
Sugar12.2 grams
Fat0.3 grams
Fiber2.6 grams
Carbs22.8 grams
Protein1.1 grams

So by looking at the table above we establish that a banana has about 23 grams of carbohydrates. This, of course, is just a general estimate. The bigger the banana the more the carbohydrate.

Now when you’re on Keto or Atkins or South Beach diet, you need to do the math. Specifically, count your carbohydrate intake. Both these diets are designed to limit carb daily intake to be successful. 

To be frank about it, fruits aren’t really way up there when it comes to carb content. Still, things could add up. 

What we mean by that is a banana could be too much or too little depending on your daily carb goal. If for example, you are only allowed 50g of carbs daily, then downing 5 bananas would mean eating more than your daily allowance.

The thing to consider therefore is the carb count. If you are not counting your daily intake in terms of how many you’ve taken so far, you’re losing it. 

Then again, bananas aren’t really carb-rich. One mango for one can give you as much as 50 grams of carbs. So is it okay to chomp on a banana when observing a low-carb diet? The answer is it depends on your carb daily intake. If your daily intake still has room for a banana, then YES. But if not, then it’s a NO.

Some Fruit Alternatives to Consider

On top of it all, there a slew of fruits you can take which shouldn’t give your dieting much of a headache. Again, assuming you’re counting your carbs. Here’s a few of them: 

1. Strawberries

If you’re in the market for berries, strawberries should be a good choice. Along with blackberries and raspberries. These berries are low carb and would, therefore, complement your diet with ease. 

One serving: 7.7g of carbs 

2. Watermelon

Now, here’s a fruit that’s bound to quench your thirst. And give your appetite total satisfaction. Plus, this fruit is also low-calorie making it ideal for dieters. South Beach or Keto.  Easily, one of the most refreshing fruits for your hot summer day.

One serving:  7.5g of carbs. 

3. Cantaloupe/Honeydew

Both these fruits are low-carb at under 10g of carbs. However, cantaloupe carries a little less at about 8g of carbs.  Even better, you can use the fruit in a number of different ways. One of the best ways is slicing them and eating them by themselves. To make the fruit all the more diet-friendly then adding some heavy cream is a wise decision.

One serving: less than 10g of carbs

Now you see there are a lot of fruits you can eat even when in on a diet. Banana on a low carb diet is, therefore, a possibility so long as you don’t go overboard your daily carb allowance. 

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