Bananas are extremely delicious and healthy, and they contain many essential nutrients that are of vital importance to your body. The fruit is wonderfully sweet, with creamy and firm flesh. This fruit comes in its own prepackaged yellow case, and is one of the most widely eaten fruits in the whole world.
Are bananas good or bad for belly fat? Do bananas reduce or increase belly fat? These are some of the question that linger in our minds whenever we consume this fruit.
How true are some of these statements? Or are all these myths? By the time you are done with this article you will have all your worries eliminated. We will discuss the banana in detail to aid us in making an informed decision.
Description and History
Bananas are thought to have been first grown in Malaysia about 4000 years ago. From there they spread to all parts of the world to become one of the most widely grown fruits in the world.
Today the fruit is widely and readily available all over and is known to do best in tropical and subtropical parts of the world. Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico and Ecuador are the largest commercial producers of bananas.
A banana is an elliptically shaped fruit that is naturally prepackaged in a yellow or green peel. The fruit features a creamy and firm flesh. Banana fruit can be categorized into two major groups: plantain banana (musa paradisiacal) and sweet banana (musa sapienta).
A medium sized banana fruit contains 105 calories, and in terms of the glycemic index (GI), it’s categorized as low. Bananas contain a host of other compounds which include manganese, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, fiber, biotin and copper. According to the food rating system, bananas are ranked among the best and most efficient sources of nutrients.
Glycemic Index (GI)
The glycemic index is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale of 0-100, depending on the way they affect blood sugar levels when they are eaten. High GI are carbohydrates that are digested very fast, and are quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing a marked rise in the blood sugar levels.
The digestion of low GI foods is slower, and when absorbed they don’t cause a rapid rise in the sugar levels.
Low GI foods have more health benefits for the body and are highly recommended. They promote the mobilization and use of fats for energy instead of carbohydrates. The main reason for the increased rates of obesity and diabetes is that a typical western diet is composed of mainly high GI foods. The scale groups foods as follows: low GI >55 and high GI< 55.
Where Does the Banana Rank?
The GI of bananas ranks between 42-62 depending on how ripe your fruit is. This means that bananas are ranked low on the GI scale relative to other carbohydrates, and when compared to other fruits, it ranks higher. Overall, banana is classified as a low GI food.
Are Bananas Fatty and are they Fattening?
Bananas contain just 0.3g of fat per 100g, so they are not considered a fatty food. The GI index cannot answer the question of whether they’re fattening or not in a conclusive way because no GI level can be said to actually be fattening. It depends on the quantities consumed.
To have a complete insight into the question we must consider the nutritional benefits of the fruit in question. When compared to other food of the same category banana comes out as the best natural whole food.
Bananas contains fiber and resistant starch that helps prevent fat build up. Compared to other fruits, bananas contain a lot of starch, but the most interesting part is that it doesn’t cause weight gain. The resistant starch contained in bananas acts as soluble fiber in the body.
The starch is not digested in the small intestine and is only acted on by the good bacteria in the large intestine. The starch and fiber found in bananas prevents fluctuations of the blood sugar levels that can cause weight gain.
Maintaining balanced sugar levels is key to preventing unwanted weight gain. This is because when your blood sugar levels are high more fat will be stored, and when the levels drop below normal your appetite rises.
Bananas have a moderate calorie content and can be safely included in any diet without causing weight gain. Therefore, consuming bananas cannot be said to be the root cause of weight gain and belly fat. You can now comfortably enjoy your bananas either cooked or raw, and eliminate any fear of adding belly fat. So, it’s safe to say that bananas don’t cause belly fat.