Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world and have been enjoyed by humans for thousands of years. The fruit grows on herbaceous plants that can reach up to 15 feet (4.6 meters) tall and are native to tropical Southeast Asia, Malaysia and Indonesia. While you may know bananas as healthy and fat-free, the truth may surprise you!
Here’s what you need to know about banana calories, including how many calories in a banana, fat in banana and more.
The Nutritional Content of Bananas:
A medium banana contains around 100 calories, out of which 25% is from fat. The fat content in a banana is primarily unsaturated fat, which has been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels and raise good cholesterol levels. In addition, bananas contain no carbohydrates or protein. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy for physical activities such as running; therefore, because a banana does not contain any carbohydrates it will not provide any energy for physical activity. Protein is necessary for building muscle and other bodily tissues; therefore, because a banana does not contain protein it cannot help the body build muscle or other bodily tissues.
A medium-sized banana also provides 5 grams of dietary fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol levels and improve digestion by slowing down the digestive process.
The Carbohydrate Content of Bananas:
In addition to supplying potassium and fiber, bananas are a good source of carbohydrate. A 100-gram banana contains about 27 grams of carbohydrates. It is important to keep in mind that there are different types of carbohydrates, including sugar, starches and fiber. Starches have a lower glycemic index than sugars do, which means they cause blood sugar levels to rise more slowly.
The Fat Content of Bananas:
A medium banana contains about 100 calories. Of these, a whopping 78% come from carbohydrates and 22% come from fat. However, the type of fat found in bananas is monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which are good fats that can lower bad cholesterol levels. Plus, the fiber in bananas helps you feel fuller for longer periods of time which can help control cravings to snack on fatty foods!
The Bottom Line:
To answer the question of whether bananas are fat or carbs, we must first distinguish between a banana’s macronutrients. It is true that one serving of banana contains 27 grams of carbohydrates, but that same serving also has 3.4 grams of dietary fiber and only 1 gram of net carbohydrates (carbs minus fiber).
In other words, the majority of the calories in a banana come from its carbohydrate content. So while it’s true that bananas have some fat content–about .5 grams per serving–they’re mostly classified as a low-fat fruit.