Carolyn Bell, RDN, CSSD
Why all the bad rap about the sugar content of bananas? The naturally occurring sugars found in bananas are what give bananas their carbohydrate content. It’s true that one banana is about 91% carbohydrate, but it doesn’t mean you have to skip your bananas. A small banana (4”) will contain approximately 15 g of carbohydrate, so if you’re counting carbs, or monitoring blood glucose, you may be apt to eat ½ of a banana for a modest carbohydrate intake. For athletes on the go, a whole banana may be just the right fuel source with its natural carbs and vitamins and mineral content.
If you’re carb-watching, choose a smaller serving-size, or choose a banana that is not overly ripe. (As bananas ripen, the sugar content goes up.) A banana also boasts 17% of your daily vitamin C, 22% of Vitamin B6, 6% of Folate, and 10% of your daily potassium needs (based on RDA; Recommended Daily Values). So feel free to peel away, and enjoy bananas; just mind your carbohydrates if counting, and watch your portion size!