If you’re looking to lose weight, reevaluating your eating habits is an excellent place to start. A healthy diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and veggies has been scientifically proven to help with weight loss. But shedding unwanted pounds goes beyond your shopping list; it also means establishing a calorie deficit. You can do this by consuming fewer calories than you torch each day. Tracking calories may sound easier said than done, but we’re here to help. For instance, if you’re wondering how many calories are in a banana, we chatted with an expert who reveals exactly that—along with how this tasty fruit is beneficial for weight loss.
Read on to learn all about the benefits of adding bananas to your diet, and when you’re finished, be sure to check out the 15 Best Kitchen Gifts for the Chef in Your Life.
How many calories are in a banana?
One ripe or slightly ripe banana is 113 calories. It’s rich in minerals such as magnesium (32 mg), phosphorous (25 mg), and potassium (375 mg), along with fiber (2 g), making it an ideal addition to any healthy diet.
“Bananas are a highly nutritious fruit with a variety of health benefits,” explains Melissa Mitri, MS, RD, nutrition writer and owner of Melissa Mitri Nutrition. “Many people, unfortunately, fear them because they think they are too high in carbs, but this simply isn’t true. The carbohydrates in bananas provide a quick, efficient energy boost before a workout and are also rich in dietary fiber to help balance blood sugars. These are not the types of carbohydrates and sugars you have to worry about, as they are natural sugars our body needs for energy.”
Mitri confirms this fruit offers plenty of potassium, “an electrolyte that supports healthy blood pressure levels and a strong heart,” in addition to other essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B vitamins, and magnesium.
How is eating bananas beneficial for weight loss?
Bananas offer dietary fiber, which research shows is a crucial element of successful weight loss, as it helps fill you up and prevent unhealthy snacking. “[Bananas] are also fairly low in calories … making them easy to fit into a reduced-calorie diet,” Mitri adds.
Enjoying a banana with breakfast, before working out, or for a snack are some of the best ways to incorporate this fruit into a weight loss diet. “Eating one in the morning will enhance the fiber and fullness factor of your breakfast, helping curb your hunger all day long,” explains Mitri. “Having one before a workout provides a quick energy source so you make the most of your exercise and your body’s calorie-burning potential. Lastly, bananas serve as a convenient, fiber-filled snack you can take anywhere you go.”