You must have heard, more than once, that bananas are fattening. How true is this? I remember when my sister just came back home after her mandatory youth service year. She was as thin as a broom. My mum flipped out. Thankfully, we have a mini banana plantation at the back of our compound. My mum immediately put my sister on a banana diet. Banana and milk, for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and supper. Funny right. Well, this diet actually yielded results. In a few weeks, my sister was all plumped up and rounded in the right places.
Let’s move on. According to Wikipedia, a banana is an elongated, edible fruit – botanically a berry – produced by several kinds of large herbaceous flowering plants in the genus Musa. In some countries, bananas used for cooking may be called “plantains”, distinguishing them from dessert bananas. The fruit is variable in size, color, and firmness, but is usually elongated and curved, with soft flesh rich in starch covered with a rind, which may be green, yellow, red, purple, or brown when ripe. The fruits grow in clusters hanging from the top of the plant. Almost all modern edible seedless (parthenocarp) bananas come from two wild species – Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana.
Nutritional Composition of Banana
Energy – 371 kJ (89 kcal)
Carbohydrates – 22.84 g
- Sugars – 12.23 g
- Dietary fiber – 2.6 g
Fat – 0.33 g
Protein – 1.09 g
- Thiamine (B1) – 3% (%DV), 031 mg (Qty)
- Riboflavin (B2) – 6% (%DV), 0.073 mg (Qty)
- Niacin (B3) – 4% (%DV), 665 mg (Qty)
- Pantothenic acid (B5) – 7% (%DV), 0.334 mg(Qty)
- Vitamin B6 – 31% (%DV), 4 mg (Qty)
- Folate (B9) – 5% (%DV), 20 μg (Qty)
- Choline – 2% (%DV), 8 mg (Qty)
- Vitamin C – 10% (%DV), 7 mg (Qty)
- Iron – 2% (%DV), 0.26 mg (Qty)
- Magnesium – 8% (%DV), 27 mg (Qty)
- Manganese – 13% (%DV), 0.27 mg (Qty)
- Phosphorus – 3% (%DV), 22 mg (Qty)
- Potassium – 8% (%DV), 358 mg (Qty)
- Sodium – 0% (%DV), 1 mg (Qty)
- Zinc – 2% (%DV), 0.15 mg (Qty)
Water – 74.91 g
Raw bananas (not including the peel) are 75% water, 23% carbohydrates, 1% protein, and contain negligible fat. A 100-gram reference serving supplies 89 Calories, 31% of the US recommended Daily Value (DV) of vitamin B6, and moderate amounts of vitamin C, manganese and dietary fiber, with no other micronutrients in significant content (check above).
From the information above, we can see that bananas are packed with nutrients and high in calories but contain negligible fat. What does this tell us? In my sister’s case, she was lacking in nutrients hence the reason she was emaciated. A banana based diet only provided her with lost nutrients and her body did the rest work itself. So, in summary, bananas are not fattening.