Bananas: Friend or Foe?

A client texted me this week asking, “Should I be eating bananas?”. She had been chatting with a friend who was about to go on a diet and the friend was going to be cutting out bananas because, “they are super high in sugar and super acidic”.

My client wondered if she needed to cut out the 1-2 bananas she was having per day and if those bananas could be affecting her health/weight loss goals.

Short answer: no. Fruits are our friends. Keep reading for the long answer 🙂

Bananas have a high sugar content.

Addressing this first, and it’s actually true! Bananas are a fruit. Most fruits are a predominately carbohydrate sources — composed of sugars, starches and fibers. But that’s not a bad thing!

Fruits also have lots of great nutrients that our bodies need! Bananas, in particular, are good sources of fiber, resistant starch, antioxidants, vitamin B6, manganese, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium.

Yes, bananas have sugar — but sugar in fruit is one of the last diet culprits you need to be worrying about.

You absolutely could eat yourself into a calorie surplus and gain weight eating fruit. But due to fruit’s fiber content and lack of addictiveness, it’s not super likely that you will sit and eat a whole bunch of bananas.

In the grand scheme of life, if you’re eating fruits and vegetables that’s a good thing. Yes, you could eat too much fruit but that’s likely the least of your weight loss/nutrition problems in most cases.

Also it bears repeating, sugar is not “evil”. Ultra-processed foods packed with sugar, fat and/or salt are not “good” for us. Especially ones that we cannot portion control.

Worrying about fruit having too much sugar and sabotaging your weight loss goals is like worrying that you aren’t being promoted at work because of your email signature. MAYBE, if your email signature is way over the top and offensive that’s the reason, but it’s probably something else.

Bananas are acidic.

Bananas have a ph of 5, this is considered a low acid fruit. (Neutral ph is 7, so the closer to 0 a food is the more acidic it is.)

Bananas also happen to be recommended for those with acid reflux due to their low acidity, fiber, soluble fiber and pectic content.

So above addresses if you were worried about ph on a stomach level. If you are concerned on a blood ph level, rest assured your body is incredibly good at monitoring your ph and keeping it in a safe range. Otherwise…….. we would be in big trouble (aka death).

It is possible to change the ph of your urine or saliva with food, but thankfully not your blood ph.

If you’re interested in an “alkaline diet“, it’s not a bad idea because an alkaline diet promotes mostly whole, unprocessed foods. And the benefits your get from that diet will majority be from that fact.

The big takeaway here is that it’s so easy to get swept up in focusing on things that don’t matter in the health/fitness world.

If you have these boxes checked,

  • 7-8 hours of good sleep per night on average
  • low stress level
  • moderate daily activity level
  • consistent exercise routine of 3-5 times per week
  • diet composed of fruits, vegetables, whole grain and healthy fats 80% of the time
  • no overeating processed carbs and beverages
  • healthy self-mindset

Then, and only then, should you start worrying about if your diet has too many bananas.

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