Are Bananas a Good Snack When You Are Dieting?
When we are on a diet, we need quality calories that satisfy our taste buds and help make us feel full. Bananas fit the criteria, as they offer multiple nutrients, along with a creamy texture, sweet flavor and belly-filling fiber. While some diets shun bananas because of their carbohydrate count, the fruit actually serves as a substantial snack that can help you stay energized between meals.
I have to point out that fruit is always my favorite substitute for sugar cravings, pastries or candy. Now I get excited about fruit just as much as I do about any dessert, knowing the benefits of choosing fruit over a cake, helps me almost always make the right choice. Also, the antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals found in fruit, are not only really good for our skin, they also help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, asthma, high blood cholesterol, and all kinds of cancers. Eating fruit on a daily basis is foundation of a healthy diet and individual vitamin supplements will not provide you with the same benefits.
Now let’s get back to Bananas!
Low-carb diets that limit your intake of carbohydrates to between 50 and 150 g per day may disallow bananas because one medium fruit contains about 27 g of carbohydrates. A banana, with 105 calories per medium-sized fruit, may seem to be higher in calorie than some other fruit choices. The calorie difference is pretty minimal, however. A medium apple, for example, has 95 calories, 1 cup of blueberries has 80 calories and one orange has about 70 calories.
A medium banana, approximately 7 inches in length, provides 3 g of fiber. Fiber helps you feel full and can ease digestion, so you have less bloating and weight retention due to constipation. Bananas also provide potassium, which helps regulate your blood pressure and prevents kidney stones. Potassium is also important if you participate in regular exercise and lose fluids through sweating. One medium banana has 422 mg of the 2,000 mg of potassium recommended daily. Bananas are also a source of vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese and magnesium.
A banana’s sweet taste and dense texture may satisfy a sweet tooth when you are dieting. You can find bananas almost anywhere and they are easily stashed in a backpack or purse for quick snacking. Bananas are also affordable, especially when compared to processed diet snack bars and 100-calorie packs of “diet” snacks.
While a plain banana is an easy, satisfying snack, you can jazz them up for variety. Blend frozen bananas with a splash of cow’s or almond milk for an ice-cream stand-in with far fewer calories, less sugar, less fat and more nutrition. Slice bananas and dip them in a ¼ cup of plain yogurt blended with 1 tbsp. of peanut butter. Toss bananas with chopped pear, 1 tsp. of slivered almonds and 1 tsp. of mini chocolate chips for a sweet fruit salad snack. Pair bananas with a string cheese or with an ounce of raw almonds to add protein to your snack.
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