Can I eat a banana a day on a low-carb diet?

Banana has 23 grams of carbs per 100g, while the whole fruit has about 27 grams. Actually, more than 90% of the calories of banana come from carbs. The carbohydrate content depends on the ripeness stage of banana. People with diabetes can eat a banana a day, while people on keto can eat only 1-2 small pieces.

Nutritional value of banana

Raw banana has about 23 grams of carbs per 100g. Also, it has 1.1 grams of protein, and 12.2 grams of sugars per 100g.[1]

Banana contains traces of many minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, and magnesium. Banana is particularly high in potassium, while it contains decent amounts of vitamin C.

Is banana high in carbs?

Banana is mainly carbs. Actually, more than 90% of the calories of banana come from carbs. The main carbs of banana are:

  • sugar
  • starch
  • resistance starch
  • fiber

The main sugars of a banana are fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Pectin, cellulose, and hemicellulose are the main types of fiber in banana.

Carbs in a green banana

Unripe (green) bananas are richer in starch, fiber, and resistant starch, while they have the least amount of sugar. A medium green banana contains about 27 grams of carbs of which 3.1 grams are fiber, 14.4 grams are sugars, and 6.3 grams are starch.

Moreover, unripe bananas are high in resistant starch. This is a type of dietary fiber, which can’t be digested by the human body. Instead, resistant starch feeds beneficial bacteria, promoting healthy gut microbiota. Gut microbiota is crucial for a strong immune system and good health.

Furthermore, fiber is slowly digested and expands in the stomach, keeping us full for a long time! Additionally, as the main carbs of unripe bananas are starch and fiber, green banana has a particularly low glycemic index of 37. Therefore, a green banana won’t spike blood sugar, as much as an overripe banana! Consuming foods with low glycemic index is good for maintaining a healthy body weight.[2]

Hence, people who want to lose weight could benefit from eating green bananas.

Banana is the main ingredient of most popular smoothie recipes.

Carbs in an overripe banana

On the other hand, the main carbohydrates of overripe bananas are sugars. As bananas ripen, starch breaks down into glucose and fructose. Thus, an overripe banana has a much higher glycemic index of 57.

Moreover, the conversion of starch to sugars makes banana softer and sweeter.

Also, overripe bananas have less fiber and resistant starch.

Actually, the starch content of an overripe banana can be even 20 times less, as compared to an unripe banana.[3]

Growth conditions, point of origin, ripening conditions, and post-harvest storage and treatment affect the sugar content of a banana.

Dehydrated banana chips are high in carbs

Dehydrated banana chips contain more than 88 grams of carbs per 100g, of which about 47 grams are sugars and 10 grams are fiber.

Just a tablespoon of dehydrated banana chips has 5.5 grams of carbs!

You better avoid consuming high amounts of dehydrated bananas. They’re particularly high in sugars and calories. In fact, dehydrated bananas contain 346 calories per 100g!

Carbs in green banana flour

Green banana flour is a great source of probiotic fiber and resistance starch. It’s ideal for recipes such as waffles or pancakes.

It has about 360 calories per 100g. Also, green banana flour contains approximately 90 grams of carbs per 100g. It consists mainly of starch. It’s high in fiber and sugar as well.

You’ll find a wide variety of green banana flours on Amazon.

Can I eat a banana per day on a low-carb diet?

As banana has many carbs, you can’t eat it on a low-carb diet, like keto. You could eat only 1-2 small pieces.

On the other hand, people with diabetes can eat a banana per day as part of a well-balanced diet. However, you should avoid eating banana chips or banana cakes! These foods may contain too much added sugar.[4]

You should consult your physician before changing your diet.

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