Why are bananas getting a bad rap? What are the real banana nutrition facts? Certainly part of the problem is a number of media stories have left doubt in some folks minds.
Just one example is a January 2014 article by Jacque Wilson posted by CNN Health with the provocative title “Are bananas bad for me too?” The story the story of Paignton Zoo in Devon, England replacing bananas in their monkey’s diets with more leafy green vegetables because “bananas grown for human consumption are full of sugar and calories”. As a hook, the title and first graph are perfect for collecting clicks and I am sure there were many. But! The body of the story is a more nuanced look at many banana nutrition facts and numbers and comes down solidly on the side of the banana. You can read the piece for yourself by clicking here.
The Real Banana Nutrition Facts
So, stripped of all points of view, what are the true banana nutrition facts? Here are the numbers you need, all based on a “medium” banana which is about 118 grams, or between 7 and 8 inches long.
I think you will agree that these numbers aren’t very scary so what’s the problem?
This is my personal opinion only, although it is also popular on some sites, is that the 14 grams of sugar scares some people to death. While it is true that on the molecular level sugar is sugar no matter where it comes from, all sugar isn’t necessarily evil. Sugar that is added to foods by us humans offers no additional nutritional value while natural sugars, like those in our bananas, are there because mother nature decided they should be. If you are consuming a boatload of sugar other places in your diet, then sugar from fruits are adding to the problem. But, if you have constructed a healthy diet that is balanced and contains lots of veggies and fruits then these sugars aren’t a problem.
Those who focus on the sugar seem to miss the amount of other good stuff our bananas offer. Potassium is just one example. Most folks who aren’t paying attention to their fruits and veggies don’t get nearly enough potassium. A banana snack offers a painless way to get that necessary mineral.
Like everything else in your diet whether or not you eat bananas is a personal choice. Even if you are a smoothie person, there ar any number of recipes available that don’t call for bananas. My recommendation is to do what fits your personal situation. Just do pay yourself the respect to do some research and decide for yourself !