Do Bananas Make You Fat?

Let me ask you a question: Do you know anyone who eats bananas all day? Don't think of a human being, but something that's not too different.

Some monkeys eat bananas on a regular basis because they grow in their natural habitat. I have never seen a fat monkey in the wild. Is that only because monkeys keep moving all the time?

That's clearly not the only reason. Bananas as such don't contain enough sugar to make a person "fat". However, it depends on what you do with the banana, and how the banana affects your life. If you make a lot of banana milk shakes, banana cakes and the like, sugar from other sources is going to give you trouble, But let's look closer at the banana.

Why did the banana get a bad reputation?

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There is a reason why the banana is demonized in public. Especially women's magazines tend to paint a black and white image of foods. I remember, when I was a child, a video cartoon I watched at the dentist's suggested that all fruits are good - only bananas were bad.

Looking back now, I think that not bananas were bad - chocolate and candy were bad. I never ate a lot of bananas in my life. But I got my teeth problems anyway.

Coming back now to the main topic, bananas do contain a high amount of sugar, but only when compared to other natural food like other common fruits and vegetables. The easiest way to determine the sugar level of a fruit or vegetable, think about it and ask yourself how sweet it is on a scale from one to ten.

The banana will probably rank very high, together with fruits like mango, pineapple and strawberry. But as you can see, the banana is in good company here.

And here is one reason why the banana is supposedly evil: Because of its sugar level, and at the same time, for being more common than other exotic fruits, and because many people consider it "innocent" because of vitamins, it is in the center of attention. The attention of people who, for example, propagate a low carb diet.

I am one of these people. I believe low carb is the best way to lose weight. Does that mean that bananas should be banned from your table forever? No. It's just that once you eat a banana, you're not far from eating other sweet foods.

What dangers arise if one thing leads to another?

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Let me emphasize again: The banana itself is not the issue. The only problem is that, because a banana contains sugars, you may feel a little craving soon after eating a banana. Of course, the craving is worse if you eat muffins or cookies. But when you try to lose weight in a low carb diet, a banana can quickly become a distraction that may lead to "hunger" attacks - and that's when a banana won't be enough. Check out more on  The Difference Between Hunger And Cravings.

Moreover, eating a banana slows down your diet a little because it takes time to burn the sugars. This does not mean that a banana makes you fat. Why do the media always confuse hindering a diet with gaining weight?

The question that you have to ask yourself is: How strict do I want to be about my diet? And there are different ways, as I will show you.

The different ways of sticking to a diet

No carb

No carb is the philosophy of complete lack of carbohydrates (essentially: sugars) in food. In a no carb diet, people try to live completely without any carbs at all. This goes as far as not eating certain vegetables in high amounts because they might contain one gram (!) of sugars.

Therefore, bananas are completely forbidden if you follow the rules.

Low carb

In this more common diet, which is a more lenient alternative to no carb, carbs are allowed in small quantities that resemble what a person from the stone age might have been capable of finding in the wild - including vasts amount of vegetables that contain few carbs.

Although this diet is not limited to stone age food (paleo), believers of low carb think that supermarket fruits are not what the human DNA is used to. Bananas were hard to come by for cavemen, therefore bananas are not only a big exception, but mostly not eaten at all.

Natural food

Dieting with natural food is an even more liberal approach than low carb. The idea here is that you can eat whatever nature offers you, with an emphasis on nature. What's not nature is: Assembly lines full of noodles, bakeries offering bread, and so on.

So people who only trust in organic food will eat all fruits and vegetables, and if they are into it, eggs, fish and meat. Since bananas are natural food growing on trees, they are perfectly okay.

Moderate food

There is only one more step before a "normal" diet, and that's a moderate food intake. The idea here is to eat food in moderate quantities. Everything that's natural is okay, but also processed foods like noodles are okay, but wholemeal versions are preferred to not stress the blood sugar level too much. Bananas are in the center of good foods and always welcome.

So... Should I eat bananas or shouldn't I?

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You can easily answer this question for yourself. Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • How much weight do I have to lose? A little or a lot?
  • How strict do I want to be with my diet and how much do I want to lose?
  • Do I want to lose fast or rather enjoy food and lose weight slowly?

If you have a lot of weight to lose, feel that it's urgently needed to be strict with your diet, and that you would rather lose fat very rapidly than to feel bad about yourself for an even longer period of time, it's best that you skip bananas altogether and follow the guidelines of a no carb or low carb diet.

If you believe that you are not obese or fat, but perhaps a little chubby, and you only want to be sure that you are not eating food that makes you fat, then I can straight up tell you that a banana won't make you gain weight. I don't think any person is actually capable of eating so many bananas that it causes weight gain.

Let's recap!

  • Bananas don't make people fat - it would take too long to eat so many bananas and anyone eating them would get sick!
  • Bananas do slow down weight loss because the sugar is burned before the fat in your body is burned. Therefore, you don't lose weight as quickly as you could.
  • If you are far away from your dream weight, don't eat bananas for a couple of months until you feel you are close enough to your goal to go easy on your diet.

If you would like to learn more about how to lose weight the healthy way, try this blog entry here: Losing Weight The Healthy Way!

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