Are Bananas Good for Weight Loss?


Bananas contain fiber and resistant starch, which support weight loss. They’re also a nutritious, low-energy-density food, which is good for dropping pounds. And they don't live up to their once bad reputation of being a diet-wrecking fruit to avoid. But whether they’re good for weight loss comes down to calories. You should set your daily calorie goal to ensure healthy weight loss and must include the calories from bananas as part of your total daily intake.

Bananas Have Moderate Calories
While bananas contain a moderate number of calories that can work well within a diet plan, to create a plan, you first need a daily calorie goal. If you’re unsure how many calories you consume, keep track of everything you eat and drink for a few days and tally the total calories. The best way to lose weight and keep it off is to drop just 1 to 2 pounds a week, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To determine a calorie goal that achieves weight loss at that rate, reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories. Now you can plan to work bananas into your menu.


A large, 8-inch banana has 121 calories, but if you choose a small, 6-inch banana, you’ll shave off a quarter of the calories as it only has 90. A banana supplies the perfect number of calories for a snack, but also has enough calories to ruin a diet if you meet your daily calorie goal, and then randomly add the banana. While bananas provide a range of nutrients, they are excellent sources of potassium and vitamin B-6, and have around 10 percent of the RDA for a nutrient you might not expect -- vitamin C.

Fiber and Resistant Starch in Bananas
The resistant starch and fiber that bananas contain not only support weight loss, but also aid in digestive health. A large banana has about 4 grams of dietary fiber, which makes it a good source based on the recommended intake established by the Institute of Medicine: 25 grams daily for women and 38 grams for men. Fiber plays an important role in weight loss because it slows digestion, which helps you feel full and keeps blood sugar balanced. Avoiding spikes in blood sugar makes it more likely that your body will burn fat for energy, according to an article in The Journal of Nutrition.

Most starch in food is a complex carbohydrate that provides glucose for energy, but some foods contain a different type of carb called resistant starch. Resistant starch is incompletely digested and is instead, fermented in the colon. Fewer calories are produced for each gram of resistant starch than for each gram of other carbohydrates. Green bananas are one of the top sources, with 8.5 grams of resistant starch in a small green banana. The amount goes down as they ripen, so a small ripe banana has 2 to 5 grams, reports Food Australia. Studies suggest that resistant starch may stimulate the breakdown of stored fat, but more research is needed to prove its effectiveness, according to Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. At the very least, eating a green banana instead of the same size ripe banana means you probably absorb fewer calories because the green one has more resistant starch.