Bananas look like bananas, but they don’t always taste like them. In fact, its flavor varies depending on its maturity. What is the difference between a banana and a banana? When ripe, many cooks use bananas as if they were a banana. But while it’s still green, a banana tastes and acts more like a potato.
The nutrition of the banana also varies depending on the maturity and the method of preparation.
Read these nutrition facts about banana before adding it to your diet to get the most out of this healthy food.
Banana Nutritional Information Serving Size 1 cup, sliced and raw (148 grams) Per serving% Daily Value * Calories 181 Calories from fat 5 Total fat 0.6g1% Saturated fat 0.2g1% Polyunsaturated unsaturated fat 0.1g Monounsaturated fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg0 % Sodium 5.9 mg 0% Potassium 739 mg 21% Carbohydrates 47g 16% Patented Fiber 3.4g 14% Sugars 22g Protein 1.9g Vitamin A 33% – Vitamin C 45% Calcium 0.4% – Iron 4.9% * Based on a diet of 2,000 calories
Carbs in bananas
Bananas provide a healthy dose of carbohydrates. There are three different types of carbohydrates in a serving of bananas: sugars, starch, and fiber. The amount of each varies slightly depending on the maturity of the fruit.
If you eat raw bananas, most of the carbohydrates are natural sugar. You will have 22 grams of sugar in a cup of sliced banana.
You will also benefit from 3.4 grams of fiber. The remaining carbohydrate (21.6 grams) is starch.
However, it is important to note that most people do not eat raw bananas. They are often fried or prepared like a starchy potato. When raw bananas are fried in oil (served as banana chips), a one-cup serving provides 365 calories with 58 grams of total carbohydrates.
Four grams of carbohydrates are fiber, just over 4 grams are sugar, and the remaining 50 grams are starch.
Ripe bananas are less starchy but more sugary. A one-cup serving of mashed ripe banana (200 grams) provides 62 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of sugar, 4.6 grams of fiber, and 29 grams of starch.
The estimated glycemic load of a ripe banana (100 grams) is 12. The glycemic load takes into account the serving size of a food when estimating the effect of the food on blood sugar. A glycemic load of less than 10 is believed to have little effect on the blood glucose response. The estimated glycemic load of raw banana is 13 (but again, raw banana is rarely consumed on the plain). The estimated glycemic load of 100 grams of banana chips is 30.
Fats in bananas
There is very little fat in bananas, raw or ripe. But when bananas are fried, they absorb the oil in which they are fried and can turn into a fatty food. A 100 gram serving of banana chips contains 36 grams of fat. The type of fat in the fries will depend on the oil used for frying.
For example, if you use a vegetable oil like canola oil to make banana fries, you will have a higher intake of polyunsaturated fats. A diet rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) is healthier for the heart than a diet rich in saturated fat.
If the banana fries are fried in lard or butter, you will increase your consumption of saturated fat.
Protein in bananas
Bananas are not a significant source of protein. A one-cup serving provides only 2 grams of protein.
Micronutrients in bananas
Bananas are packed with healthy nutrients. Fruit is a good source of both vitamin A (33 percent of your recommended daily intake) and vitamin C (45 percent of your recommended daily intake). You will also benefit from 0.4 milligrams or 18 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin B-6.
You will get 10 percent of your recommended daily folate intake if you eat a cup of bananas and follow a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
Folate, a B vitamin, helps increase red blood cell production and provides other health benefits.
A one-cup serving of banana provides 12 percent (49.3 milligrams) of your daily magnesium intake and meets 20 percent of your daily potassium needs.
The vitamin A in bananas helps your body maintain healthy growth, good vision, immune function, reproduction, and healthy epithelial tissue (thin tissue that lines the body, body cavities, and makes up organs). Health experts recommend that you get vitamin A from food (such as bananas, carrots, cantaloupe, etc.) rather than from supplements.
The vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) in bananas acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that can delay cell damage. Vitamin C promotes resistance to infection, improves bone and dental health, and helps your body absorb iron in food. The vitamin is also required for the biosynthesis of collagen, an essential component of connective tissue that plays a role in wound healing.
The vitamin B-6 in bananas is important for proper energy metabolism and is important for brain development during pregnancy and childhood. Some researchers are also investigating whether the vitamin may play a role in preventing cardiovascular disease.
Many athletes and healthy eaters consume bananas for the potassium they provide. But bananas provide almost the same amount of this important mineral. Potassium is important for maintaining healthy fluid volume in cells and can reduce the rise in blood pressure in response to excess sodium.
Lastly, the fiber in bananas also provides health benefits. Fiber helps stimulate healthy digestion, can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and helps you feel full after eating.
What should I keep in mind when buying bananas?
Bananas are becoming more and more common in grocery stores. If your local market doesn’t have them, visit a farmers market or specialty food store that offers food from African, South American, or Caribbean countries.
Choosing the best banana for you depends on how you choose to use them. If you’re cooking with raw plantains (to make fried plantains, for example), look for firm, green fruit.
Once a banana turns yellow with brown or black spots, many food experts say they become perfect for harvesting. Once these bananas get soft, they are best eaten raw or mashed, like a banana.
If you can’t find bananas that have reached the perfect yellow-brown stage, buy fruit that is readily available and store them as you would a banana. Bananas ripen in a few days.
Can bananas be frozen ?
Many food experts say they can be stored raw or fresh, just like a frozen banana.
Is it difficult to remove the skin from a banana?
Not! Score the skin as you would the skin of a banana and separate it from the fruit.
Can bananas and bananas be used interchangeably in recipes?
Many cooks say that if you have a recipe that calls for bananas, you can substitute bananas for them. For example, if you have a favorite recipe for banana bread or banana muffins, you can use bananas. The key is to make sure they are mature enough. You cannot substitute green plantains for plantains in recipes.
Are banana fries healthy?
Some banana fries may be slightly healthier than french fries, but like all fried foods, they will increase your calorie and fat intake. Read the Nutrition Facts label to see what ingredients were used to make the fries and how they will affect your saturated fat intake throughout the day.
Recipes and preparation tips
Because bananas have a different flavor and a different texture based on ripeness, there are different ways to cook and prepare them.
One of the most popular ways to prepare them is to make banana chips. Of course, many home cooks fry the bananas to make the fries, but they can also be baked.
Quick and Easy Baked Banana Chips:
- 2-3 green bananas
- Olive oil or avocado
- Sea salt or your favorite spice
Peel and cut the bananas into thin slices. Use a mandoline or the side of a cheese grater. Place the slices in a bowl and sprinkle with 1-2 tablespoons of oil.
Place the slices on a non-stick baking sheet (or use parchment paper). Bake at 400 degrees for about ten minutes or until crisp.
If you have ripe bananas, use them to bake banana bread (similar to banana bread), muffins, or other baked goods. Some people also used mashed bananas in the filling recipes.
Allergies and interactions
According to the University of Michigan, no known interactions between foods, supplements, or medications have been reported.
According to the Anaphylaxis Campaign, an England-based allergy support network, people with a banana allergy may also react to bananas. According to the source, symptoms usually appear shortly after eating the fruit and can include itchy mouth and throat, hives, swelling or wheezing.
Although a mild reaction to bananas can be treated with over-the-counter medications, a more severe reaction can be dangerous and requires immediate medical attention. If you suspect you have an allergy to bananas, speak with your doctor to get a proper diagnosis.