Q. After I work out, I usually eat a banana. But someone told me that I should not because they are fattening. Is this true?
A. Some people assume that because bananas have a creamy texture compared with other more watery fruit, they are fattening.
In fact, the average banana has a few more than 100 calories. That’s half as many calories as the typical energy bar and fewer than a sports drink.
Bananas contain only minuscule amounts of fats, mostly the healthy kind. They also contain a small amount of protein, and they’re packed with a variety of other nutrients including some vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin A, beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, and most of the B vitamins.
Should you eat bananas before, during or after a workout? Yes!
What makes bananas a great snack is that they contain carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium, which may be lost during a tough exercise session. So you’ll be replenishing energy stores and electrolytes. Plus, each banana has about 3 grams of fiber. This makes them satisfying because they are filling.
A ripe banana can have a high percentage of sugar, compared with some other fruits, but fruit sugar is not unhealthy or fattening. And because a banana is not packing many calories, the amount of natural sugar is nothing to worry about.
If you ate 10 bananas—around 1,000 calories—could you then gain weight? Sure, but try eating 10 bananas. You’d probably stop at two or three before you felt stuffed, whereas it’s easy to eat a calorie-rich meal of processed foods such as a burger, fries and shake, and suck in up to 1,500 calories in one sitting.
Some people say that bananas are good for you as long as you eat them on their own. This train of thought alleges that you shouldn’t eat fruit with meals. The rationale for this recommendation varies, but some say that fruit eaten with other foods will ferment in the gut or not be properly digested. Not so. Understanding the physiology of digestion and absorption is key to dispelling these sorts of myths. The churning of the stomach, the acid in the stomach and enzymes along the digestive pathway all break down a banana and other fruit into its smallest components no matter what.
So go ahead and enjoy your banana.
More From MSN Health & Fitness:
- To Stretch or Not to Stretch Before Working Out?
- I Feel the Burn, but My Belly Is Still Fat
- Losing Weight by Eating Veggies
- Will a Fiber Pill Help Me Lose More Weight?
healthy eating and good nutrition
Learn how to navigate a holiday party to avoid unnecessary calories while still having fun.
Stock up on these essentials to prime up your immune system this winter season.
Celebs like Gwyneth Paltrow, Minka Kelly and Alessandra Ambrosio have all been spotted toting this year's hottest accessory: A green smoothie. It's basically the food equivalent of the latest Marc Jacobs bag. We got Carlotta Mast, senior director of content and insights for New Hope Natural Media, producers of Natural Products Expo, to dish up buzzworthy health foods you'll want to stock your cabinets with.
Turn up your body's fat burn with these healthy foods.
New research on the health benefits of ginger for burning calories, cinnamon for muscle recovery and more.
If cutting out meat, dairy and eggs leaves you confused about how to eat a healthy, balanced diet, you’re in the right place. Here are 9 healthy tips to get started.
Hitting the buffet table without a plan isn't going to end well. Keep your holiday feast between 600 and 800 calories of goodness by following these guidelines. Think you'd nix corn bread before sweet potatoes? Or would you skip stuffing to have some potatoes? Tell us below!
From appetizers to dessert, here’s how to navigate the dinner table.