Are you a banana fan? Are you wondering, are bananas keto? We'll dive into the nutritional content of this popular fruit and give you a good explanation of why it is or isn't a keto-friendly food.
If you're interested in fruits and vegetables on the keto diet then check out our post on the best vegetables to eat on a keto diet.
What Are Bananas?
Bananas are a delicious fruit that comes from tropical climates. The banana has been grown in these tropical climates for centuries, but are bananas keto? First, let's talk more about what bananas are.
Everyone knows that bananas are delicious and nutritious, but there are also many other reasons bananas are so popular. Bananas are easy to store, can be found in just about any grocery store, and are covered in a thick skin making them easy to take with you on the go. People like to eat bananas raw, mix them into things like smoothies, or bake them into banana chips. This fruit is a very versatile food, but are bananas keto
What Are the Health Benefits of Bananas?
Bananas could be considered a superfood since they are packed with vitamins and minerals. These nutrients can be very beneficial to the human body and promote overall health. Bananas are commonly known for having high amounts of potassium. This mineral is a major factor in contributing to heart health. Foods that are rich in potassium will help you to manage blood pressure by flushing salt from the body in urine. It also affects blood pressure by relaxing the cell walls of blood cells.
Potassium has also been shown to lower your risk of stroke in several studies. It can help your muscles work better and keep your bones healthy and strong. Potassium can even help to prevent kidney stones.
Bananas are packed with healthy fiber that can help the digestive tract. It's no secret that dietary fiber is good for you. It can even help with cholesterol levels, inflammation, and blood pressure. Fiber can also help you to feel full in between meals and cause you to eat less. Not only does the fiber help your digestive system, but bananas also have prebiotics that enhances these effects. Prebiotics are a healthy form of bacteria that is good for your gut.
Then nutrients in bananas also can help to treat gastrointestinal infections and IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). They can also help with yeast and urinary tract infections (UTI). Bananas have even been shown to lesson lactose intolerance in people affected by dairy products. The probiotics may even help make the flu and common cold less severe in humans.
The other nutrients in bananas include Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Vitamin A. Vitamin B6 helps to speed up your metabolism and therefore can aid in weight loss. It can also help with brain development of children during pregnancy and immune health. Most people know the benefits of Vitamin C. It helps prevent the damage of free radicals in the body and boosts your immune system. Magnesium helps to control blood sugar and blood pressure and keep bones strong. Finally, Vitamin A is great for vision and can even help to prevent cancer. So are bananas keto?
Are Bananas Keto?
Well, a medium-sized banana contains about 105 calories, 25g of net carbs, basically no fat, and 1g of protein. If you're familiar with the keto diet then you know that it's a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet. Is the banana keto? The short answer is no. The banana is actually the opposite of the macronutrients that you want on a low carb diet like keto.
A lot of people on keto are shooting to consume about 30g of carbohydrates per day. Since the banana packs in 25g of net carbs, a majority from sugar, it doesn't fit in with a keto diet. Take a look at the nutrition facts of a banana for yourself. You'd get almost your entire daily intake of carbohydrates in a single banana. With all of that said we know that bananas are not a keto-friendly food but are there any keto-friendly fruits?
Alternative Fruits for a Keto Diet
There are some fruits that can fit into a keto diet. These fruits are mostly low in net carbs and high in fiber. Blackberries are one of these fruits. Raw blackberries have just 3g of net carbs per 1/2 cup serving and 4g of fiber. This makes them a great choice for a keto fruit. They are also packed with vitamins and minerals that you may be lacking on a keto diet.
Raspberries also fall into the low carb fruit category. You'll probably find many berries in this category. Raspberries have a similar nutrition profile to blackberries at 3g of net carbs per serving while packing in 4g of fiber per 1/2 cup serving. You'll also get many of the same nutrients that are beneficial to your body.
Cantaloupe is actually a fruit that you can eat on a keto diet. It packs in about 6g of net carbs for a 1/2 cup serving. It's also low in calories but packed with vitamins and minerals. Cantaloupes are delicious and refreshing, and eating the fruit may help you stay full longer.
Strawberries are another berry that is low in carbs and fits into a keto diet. They can be a delicious snack to help you kill your cravings for sweets. 1/2 cup of sliced strawberries contains about 5g of carbs per serving and only 27 calories. They also have some beneficial anti-inflammatory benefits.
You can eat watermelon on a low carb diet. Watermelon packs in 5g of net carbs for a 1/2 cup serving. Watermelon is also a good choice because it has a high water content that can help replenish your body. The 1/2 cup of watermelon is only 27 calories.
The final fruit we'll recommend is the lemon. A lemon wedge contains <1g of carbohydrates per serving. It's also packed with vitamins like Vitamin C and contains antioxidants that help to fight free radicals and promote healthy digestion.
Choose any of these fruits instead of a banana. Keep yourself in ketosis and burn that fat!
John Ward has been experimenting with low carbohydrate diets since the early 2000s. He successfully used a low carb diet to lose 50lbs in the past and currently follows a keto diet for a variety of reasons including general health and managing mood levels.