Are you wondering if you can eat bananas on a low-carb keto diet? Well, reading this post, you are going to find the answer and some of the best replacements.
A low-carb diet is a low-carb eating plan designed to put a person into a state of ketosis by limiting carbohydrate intake. Although fruits contain natural sugars and are loaded with vitamins some can be part of a keto meal plan but most of them are too high carbs. To learn more about what are the best fruits to eat on a keto diet, head to my detailed post about low carb fruits.
Besides the fact that bananas are delicious, they’re also packed with nutrients that improve your health and provide you with an instant energy boost.
Are Bananas Too High in Carbs for Keto? Let’s Find Out!
Are Bananas Keto-Friendly?
Unfortunately, keto and bananas do not go well together. Bananas are a relatively high-carb food and would provide a source of sugar to fuel your body upon digestion.
Carbs In Bananas
You might be surprised to learn that the energy in bananas comes primarily from carbohydrates, most of which is sugar, and just one single medium banana contains 27 grams of total carbs.
So, if you want to eat a banana a day and stay keto by ensuring that all your other food is pure fat or pure protein, that’s not very feasible. Best to leave the bananas off your ketogenic menu.
Does This Mean That Bananas Are Unhealthy?
Certainly not. Even if the bananas aren’t keto-friendly, they do have quite a few vitamins and minerals. Bananas are high in potassium and a lot of vitamin B6. If your diet allows more carbohydrates, they are good for you.
However, if you follow a keto diet, you can get these vitamins and minerals from other fresh fruits and vegetables like blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, avocado, kale, and cruciferous vegetables.
Nutrients of a Banana
According to the USDA website, one medium-sized banana (118 grams) has
- Fat: 0.4 grams
- Protein: 1.3 grams
- Net carbs: 24 grams
- Fiber: 3.1 grams
- Calories: 105 grams
Benefits of Eating Bananas
Bananas contain several essential nutrients and provide benefits for digestion, heart health, and weight loss.
Here are some potential benefits of eating bananas, supported by studies:
- Improved digestion: Bananas are high in dietary fiber, which can help promote regular bowel movements and reduce the risk of constipation. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that eating bananas can also help protect against stomach ulcers.
- Reduced inflammation: Bananas contain compounds like vitamin C, carotenoids, and flavonoids that have anti-inflammatory properties. A 2017 study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that consuming bananas reduced inflammation and oxidative stress in obese individuals.
- Better heart health: Bananas are rich in potassium, which is an essential mineral for heart health. A 2017 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that a higher intake of dietary potassium was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Improved exercise performance: Bananas are a great source of easily digestible carbohydrates and natural sugars, making them a popular choice for athletes and fitness enthusiasts. A 2012 study published in PLoS One found that consuming bananas during prolonged exercise helped improve endurance performance and reduce inflammation.
- Boosted mood and cognitive function: Bananas are high in vitamin B6, which is essential for the production of neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. These neurotransmitters are important for regulating mood and cognitive function. A 2017 study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that consuming bananas improved mood and cognitive performance in healthy individuals.
Overall, bananas offer a variety of health benefits, and their high fiber, potassium, and vitamin content make them a great addition to a healthy diet.
How Much Banana Can I Eat on Keto?
Bananas are not typically recommended on a keto diet due to their high carbohydrate content.
If you really want to include bananas in your keto diet, it’s best to eat them in small amounts or opt for unripe green bananas, which have a lower carbohydrate content. A quarter of a medium-sized banana contains about 6 grams of total carbohydrates, including 1 gram of fiber and 4 grams of sugar.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that even small amounts of banana can impact your daily carb count and potentially kick you out of ketosis, so it’s best to exercise moderation and focus on low-carb, keto-friendly fruits such as berries, avocado, or olives instead.
Banana Keto Substitute
But if you want to eat bananas, even if you are on a keto diet, then you have a few options:
- Banana extract – Banana extract is a great way to add the delicious taste of bananas to your recipes without the added carbs or sugar. With just a small amount, you can achieve an authentic banana flavor in a wide range of dishes. It’s a versatile ingredient that can be used in many recipes to enhance their flavor profile with the taste of bananas.
- Avocado + Banana extract tastes surpringly close to banana. So all you need to make keto banana is one ripe avocado and a few drops of natural banana extract.
Keto Banana Recipes
If bananas aren’t keto, that doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate them into keto dessert recipes such as:
- Make a keto banana bread.
- Try keto banana pudding.
- Make keto banana muffins.
The full recipe is in the recipe card below. Readers that love this aslo made these recipes: