Hey guys, Dr. Axe here, and welcome again to the Chopping Block. Today on the Chopping Block our special guest is the banana. I’ll tell you, surprisingly, one of the most common questions I get from people is, “Are bananas good for me?” Now we’ve heard of some of the great health benefits of bananas, but on the other end, I think a lot of people worry about the sugar content that’s found in certain fruits like bananas today. I’ll tell you here, bananas, they are teetering on the edge here of the Chopping Block. Let’s talk about the negatives of bananas, and then let’s talk about the positives. The negatives, without a doubt, is that is does contain a large amount of sugar and doesn’t really have much protein or any healthy fat whatsoever along with it. One medium sized banana has 27 grams of carbohydrates, 14 of those grams are sugar, and then it contains about 1 gram of protein and 0 grams of fat. So if you’re eating a banana by itself, there’s no doubt it could affect your blood sugar levels in a small amount. So that is really the negative side of bananas is right there, is if you’re a person who’s trying to lose weight, if you have sensitive blood sugar, that bananas in terms of fruit, it’s higher on the glycemic index, which means it will typically affect your insulin more or affect your sugar more compared to most other fruits.
Now let’s talk about the positives with a banana. Bananas are one of the most potassium rich foods in the entire world. One single banana has 500 mg of potassium, so it’s packed with potassium. It has 32 mg of magnesium, so it’s really loaded with electrolytes. So if you’re an athlete, if you’re a person that works out, this is an amazing food for you because, again, it can really help fuel your cells. Now another thing in defending the banana is that if you’re comparing this banana even to a bowl of oatmeal, this is still lower on the glycemic index and has a lower amount of carbohydrates than even healthier grains out there like rice, bananas, and quinoa. So again, this really is a better option compared to any other grains out there in my book. But when you’re comparing it to other fruits, like berries for instances, berries have more antioxidants, they’re higher in fiber. Berries definitely have more benefits as well as a lot of other fruits compared to a banana, but bananas are still better than grains. So what do I say about the banana in closing? Well, here’s what I would say.
If you’re a person who is trying to lose weight or has some digestive issues, I really think if you’re trying to lose weight or have sensitive blood sugar, I would remove bananas from your diet, but I would still eat them before any other grains. If you’re an athlete or somebody who is already pretty lean and healthy and just trying to stay healthy, I think bananas are still a great option for you.
So when it comes to bananas getting chopped, we’re going to spare the banana here, and we’re actually going to peel it here instead of chopping it. I’m actually about to go on a run, so I’m going to eat a little bit of this banana here because, again, it’s still packed with potassium, has some good amount of fiber, has magnesium, and number one thing that saved the banana, it is a real food, unprocessed, unhybridized, completely real. Again the banana is staying here on the Chopping Block..
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