Much confusion exists around bananas. Some consider it a superfood and others blame it for weight gain or constipation. What is it really? This text demystifies some myths commonly heard around this fruit.
Bananas cause constipation.
No food has the power to cause constipation. In addition, a diet that is too low in fiber, too little hydration, an excessive sedentary lifestyle, certain medical conditions and medications can affect the regularity of bowel movements. A banana contains about 2g of fiber (1) and can help improve the consistency of our stools.
Banana is a source of protein.
A medium banana contains 1 g of protein (1). It is not a source of protein. Here are some high protein sources: eggs, fish, seafood, meats, dairy products, legumes, tofu, etc.
Take for example a sedentary person measuring 1.5 m, weighing 50 kg. Her protein needs are around 50g of protein per day (1g per kg of weight). If she wanted to meet her protein needs, she would have to eat 50 bananas. Moreover, if she eats foods rich in protein, such as meat, it is very easy to meet her needs. With a consumption of 180 g of cooked chicken breast (about 3 palms) spread throughout the day, her needs will be met.
We should only eat half a banana.
Bananas are nutritious. Who said you should only eat ½ banana at a time? A good reason would possibly be to have room to eat other fruits and that it is important to have variety in our diet. For a person who does not have a medical condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, there is no limit to the amount of bananas one can consume. It is important to vary the fruits we consume, so we do not get tired of them and to meet our nutritional needs.
Bananas are unhealthy because they are too sweet.
Some say bananas are too sweet to eat regularly. It's wrong. Like all fruits, bananas contain carbohydrates (sugars) which are good for your health.
Bananas make you fat.
It's a myth, no single food can cause weight gain. Banana is a nutritious fruit that does not make you fat. You can eat it every day without fear of gaining weight.
In short, bananas can be eaten without fear!
Karine Drouin, RD, Registered Dietitian
1- Santé Canada. (2008). Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods. Retrouvé le 25 janvier 2023 au https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/hc-sc/migration/hc-sc/fn-an/alt_formats/pdf/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/nvscf-vnqau-eng.pdf