Carbs in Bananas: Are They Keto?

Fact-checked article based on studies

Bananas | Carbs | Keto | Health | Low-Carb Alternatives | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies

Bananas are fruits that can be used in various ways. Therefore, you can find them in countless recipes.

As a base for smoothies and shakes, they are often traded as healthy sports food. On the other hand, fruits are nature’s sweets.

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So are bananas suitable for low-carb diets like keto? Finally, there must be some carbohydrates hiding in them. Are bananas as healthy as their image? Read on to find out.

Are Bananas Keto?

Bananas already come in bright yellow packaging by nature. They are also easy to digest.

They are an ideal snack to take with you. So it’s no wonder they’re so popular.

But how healthy is this plant-based fast food? Can bananas suit keto and other low-carb diets due to their carbs?

Carbs in Bananas

Especially since bananas have a healthy reputation, they are still fruits. And they contain sugar, as we all know. Bananas also have a high carbohydrate content.

How Many Carbs Are in Bananas?

100 grams of bananas provide the following average nutritional values (*):

  • Energy: 89 calories
  • Protein: 1.1 grams
  • Fat: 0.3 grams
  • Carbs: 22.8 grams
  • Dietary fiber: 2.6 grams
  • Net carbs: 20.2 grams

According to the nutrition values, carbs dominate in bananas. Moreover, they are almost fat-free.

In short, bananas are high-carb, low-fat food.

Banana with carbohydrates and coffee

Are Bananas Keto-Friendly?

Bananas have a fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio of about 0.01.

Due to this decidedly unfavorable fat-to-net carbohydrate ratio, bananas are not suitable for a ketogenic diet.

How Healthy Are Bananas?

According to nutrition facts, bananas are low in fiber but high in sugar. Therefore, can bananas be healthy at all?

An average banana scores above average in the following vitamins and minerals (*):

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium
  • Manganese

Unlike apples, for example, bananas are therefore not low in nutrients. Although they are not explicitly unhealthy, bananas prevent weight loss.

One medium banana contains 2820 mg sucrose, 5876 mg glucose and 5723 mg fructose (*).

Sucrose is what we understand as table sugar. And it consists of 50% glucose and 50% fructose.

Hence, a banana provides about 14.5 grams of pure table sugar. In addition, there are about 6.5 grams of starch, which the body converts into glucose. In short, 93% of the calories in a banana come from sugar.

Fruits are nature’s sweets. Bananas are particularly sweet, increase blood sugar and insulin levels, and inhibit fat breakdown (Meijssen et al. 20011).

In particular, the high fructose content makes people hungry for sweets and promotes weight gain (Teff et al. 20042).

Keto Alternatives to Bananas

If you don’t want to miss the refreshing taste of sweet fruits on keto, it’s best to reach for berries instead.

Raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries contain less than one-third of the net carbohydrates in bananas. Therefore, you can enjoy them on low-carb diets. They taste just as fresh and sweet as bananas.

For those worried about their potassium intake, I can reassure you. There exist countless potassium-rich keto foods that outperform bananas. These include salmon, tuna, avocados, mushrooms, and Brussels sprouts.

Due to Carbs, Bananas Are Not Keto

In summary, bananas are nature’s candy. Today, commercially available bananas are extremely sweet because they are almost entirely sugar.

Therefore, they are unsuitable for keto or other low-carb diets.

If you want fresh fruit on a ketogenic diet, reach for berries instead.

bananas are not suitable for keto and low-carb

Carbs in Bananas: Are Bananas Keto FAQ

Are bananas a healthy carb?

The carbohydrates in bananas are mostly sugar and, therefore, not healthy.

Can I eat a banana on keto diet?

You cannot eat bananas on keto since a single banana can kick you out of ketosis.

Is banana considered high-carb?

A banana is a high-carb, low-fat food.

How many carbs are in a single banana?

A medium-sized banana has 27 grams of carbohydrates.

Studies

1Meijssen S, Cabezas MC, Ballieux CG, Derksen RJ, Bilecen S, Erkelens DW. Insulin mediated inhibition of hormone sensitive lipase activity in vivo in relation to endogenous catecholamines in healthy subjects. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2001 Sep;86(9):4193-7. doi: 10.1210/jcem.86.9.7794. PubMed PMID: 11549649.

2Teff KL, Elliott SS, Tschรถp M, Kieffer TJ, Rader D, Heiman M, Townsend RR, Keim NL, Dโ€™Alessio D, Havel PJ. Dietary fructose reduces circulating insulin and leptin, attenuates postprandial suppression of ghrelin, and increases triglycerides in women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2004 Jun;89(6):2963-72. doi: 10.1210/jc.2003-031855. PubMed PMID: 15181085.

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