How many calories are there in a banana? This is a good question if you’re trying to lose weight or count calories. Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world, but they have a bad reputation due to outdated myths. It’s no wonder you want to know about the calories.
Fortunately, bananas are nutrient-dense and contain multiple minerals and macronutrients to benefit your body. Bananas have gained a bad reputation due to their high-carb counts. However, it is helpful to know more about banana nutrition to understand if those carbs are worth it.
How Many Calories Are in an Average Banana?
The number of calories in a banana depends on its size. The calorie values are as follows (3):
- 1 extra-small banana (81 g) contains 72.1 calories
- 1 small banana (101 g) contains 89.9 calories
- 1 medium banana (118 g) contains 105 calories
- 1 large banana (136 g) contains 121 calories
- 1 extra-large banana (152 g) contains 135 calories
The exact number of calories in any banana is also dependent on other factors, such as ripeness. Let’s now explore how you can determine the number of calories in your banana in any state.
How to Tell How Many Calories in a Banana
How many calories there are in a banana comes down to ripeness and state. Let’s explore how you can enjoy bananas, whether they’re useful for weight loss, and how nutritious they are for your overall wellness.
1 Medium Banana Calories
A banana is medium if it weighs 118 grams or measures 7-7 ⅞” (3). It’s easier to grab a scale than to physically measure a banana. However, this size of banana will have approximately 105 calories in a ripe, unmashed state.
A perfectly ripe banana is sweet and has a soft but firm peel with some brown spots coming through. An unripe, unmashed medium banana will only have 89 calories (2). Unripe bananas are non-sweet and have solid yellow or green skin and are more difficult to peel.
However, an overripe medium banana contains 100 calories (4). Overripe bananas slowly turn from extremely sweet to bland. They’re the soft, brown-peeled fruits you love to use in banana bread recipes. Why does the banana’s ripeness change its calories slightly? The carbohydrates within the banana change as it ripens and becomes overripe. However, the difference in calories between an underripe and overripe banana (and everything in between) is not significant, so it’s not something you need to worry about too much. You should go by the size when estimating the amount of calories in your banana.
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Are Bananas Good or Bad Carbs?
Harvard explains that both ripe and unripe bananas have resistant starch and a low glycemic index and load (6). The glycemic index (GI) measures how blood sugar increases after eating certain foods. Any number below 55 will not raise glucose much.
Glycemic load (GL) measures the amount of carbohydrates per serving. A count of 10 or lower is considered low. Unripe bananas have a GI of 42 and a GL of 11. Ripe bananas have a slightly higher GI of 51 and a GL of 13.
Carbohydrate type is what makes the numbers rise. Unripe bananas have more resistant starch, which functions similarly to dietary fiber and doesn’t cause much glucose to be released into the bloodstream (6). Some of the starch turns into fructose in ripe bananas, which gets released into the bloodstream.
Chinese researchers reviewed 19 studies to see the effects resistant starch has on glycemic control (9). They found that resistant starch had moderate effects on improving glycemic control.
Ripe bananas also contain resistant starch, although some of this has been converted into sugar, which gives ripe bananas a slightly higher GI and GL. Ripe bananas still contain fiber and many other beneficial nutrients, so they are still healthy despite the small amount of sugar.
1 Banana Calories and Protein
Ripe, unripe, or overripe bananas contain incredible nutrients. They don’t have high protein values, but the vitamins and minerals are impressive. Here are the values of a medium-sized ripe banana (3):
- Protein: 1.29 g
- Fat: 0.389 g
- Carbs: 26.9 g
- Fiber: 3.07 g
- Iron: 0.307 mg
- Calcium: 5.9 mg
- Magnesium: 31.9 mg
- Potassium: 422 mg
- Vitamin C: 10.3 mg
- Vitamin B6: 0.433 mg
- Vitamin A: 3.4 mcg RAE
- Vitamin E: 0.118 mg
- Tryptophan: 0.011 g
Bananas May Boost Energy
Fruits that give you energy include bananas due to their dense nutrients (10). Bananas contain large amounts of potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins C and B6. These nutrients help the body convert food into energy.
Are Bananas Good For Weight Loss?
Are bananas good for weight loss? Bananas are low in calories but contain a fairly significant amount of carbs, which some people try to limit when following a weight loss diet. However, don’t write off your favorite fruit as a useless weight-loss tool. It is still a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food that can be a part of your diet. Bananas make a healthy snack, particularly when paired together with some protein and healthy fat, such as nut butter or Greek yogurt.
Can I Eat 2 Bananas During Weight Loss?
This is dependent on your energy requirements and overall diet. Let’s see the macros for two bananas.
2 Banana Calories
Two medium-sized bananas will provide approximately 210 calories, 2.5 g protein, 54 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, and less than 1 g fat (3). Whether this fits into your daily meal plan and where is an individual decision.
You must only take caution if you are on the keto diet, as it limits carbs to fewer than 50 per day (8). You won’t have many other carbs to eat throughout the day if you consume a banana on a keto diet. Also, it won’t meet the protein and fat needs of the meal plan.
2 Banana Protein
The protein in two medium-sized bananas that weigh 236 grams is 2.58 grams (3). This is low, particularly for a keto weight loss plan. The fat content in two medium-sized bananas is 0.6 grams. If you follow a diet plan that requires a balance between carbs, fat, and protein, you should not eat bananas alone for breakfast. You’ll also need to add other foods that provide protein and healthy fat.
Here are some incredible ideas for using bananas in your diet.
Idea 1: Weight Loss Smoothies
Our banana smoothie for weight loss allows you to enjoy the fruit while consuming a more balanced snack (5). At the same time, it increases the protein and fat content to meet your dietary needs. You can make it with tofu, strawberries, and/or peanut butter, depending on your individual taste.
Idea 2: Fruity Drinks or Juices
Add bananas to fruits that hydrate to keep your hydration levels high (1). Juice bananas together with oranges, cantaloupe melon, strawberries, starfruit, watermelon, or grapefruit to give them a juicy twist.
Idea 3: Banana Dipping
Dip bananas in peanut butter to increase the protein content. Two tablespoons of natural peanut butter contain 7.02 grams of protein (12). The same amount of peanut butter also adds 107 milligrams of phosphorus and 0.17 milligrams of vitamin B6.
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What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat?
Nutritionist Cynthia Sass from Health says that you need five food types to burn belly fat (13). She recommends eating whole grains, vegetables, fish, and nuts to burn belly fat.
Which fruit is best for weight loss?
Medical News Today suggests apples, avocados, bananas, berries, grapefruit, kiwis, melon, and oranges as the best weight-loss fruits (7). Oranges, kiwis, grapefruit, and blackberries are low in calories and high in fiber. Here are the average nutritional values of each fruit:
- 1 medium apple: 104 calories and 4.8 g fiber
- ½ avocado: 120 calories and 5 g fiber
- 1 medium banana: 105 calories and 3.07 g fiber
- 1 cup of blackberries: 65 calories and 8 g fiber
- ½ grapefruit: 65 calories and 2.5 g fiber
- 1 kiwi: 44 calories and 2.3 g fiber
- 1 cup of honeydew melon: 56 calories and 1.2 g fiber
- 1 medium orange: 72 calories and 3.7 g fiber
Why does a mashed banana have more calories?
Mashed banana has more calories due to the higher volume per cup. A cup of mashed banana weighs 225 grams and contains 200 calories (3), while a cup of sliced banana weighs 150 grams and contains 134 calories. Mashed bananas will encourage you to eat more.
Is drinking a banana worth more calories than eating one?
Banana smoothies containing other ingredients will have more calories than a simple whole banana. For example, a medium banana has 105 calories (3). At the same time, our peanut butter banana smoothie contains 170 calories due to other ingredients (5).
Why should you not eat a banana at night?
You can eat a banana anytime you want, including at night. In fact, the resistant starch and fiber in a banana may help you feel full for longer and sleep better.
When is the best time to eat a banana?
There is no best time to eat a banana, but they do work well as part of a healthy breakfast. A banana is much better than eating sugar-coated breakfast cereals because you’re stocking up on fiber early to help you feel full for the first part of the day (11). You’re already eating 3.07 grams of dietary fiber toward your recommended 25 or 38 grams daily for breakfast.
What is the banana trick for weight loss?
Drink plenty of water and eat nutrient-dense, slightly unripe bananas with slow-releasing starch to kick-start your daily metabolism as a weight loss trick. Pair them with yogurt or nut butter to balance your breakfast with protein and fat.
The Bottom Line
How many calories there are in a banana is an issue you can now finally lay to rest. You can also use the information you have learned here to incorporate bananas into your diet to lose weight.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 7 Fruits That Hydrate And 7 Recipes That Include Them (2023, betterme.world)
- Banana: Green, Unripe (n.d., myfitnesspal.com)
- Bananas, Raw (2019, fdc.nal.usda.gov)
- Bananas, Raw, Overripe (n.d., nutritionvalue.org)
- Banana Smoothie for Weight Loss to Skyrocket Your Metabolism (2022, betterme.world)
- Bananas | The Nutrition Source (n.d., hsph.harvard.edu)
- Best Fruits for Weight Loss: Types, Benefits, and Risks (2021, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss (n.d., hsph.harvard.edu)
- Effects of Resistant Starch on Glycaemic Control: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Fruits That Give You Energy: 7 Of The Best Options (2023, betterme.world)
- How to Lose Weight With Banana | Medicover Hospitals (2020, medicoverhospitals.in)
- Is Peanut Butter Good for You? Health Benefits and Nutrition (2018, medicalnewstoday.com)
- Losing Belly Fat: A Nutritionist’s Top 5 Foods (2020, health.com)
- The Effect of Resistant Starches on Fat Oxidation in Healthy Adults as Measured by a 13CO2-Breath Test (2017, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)