It’s undoubtedly a popular combination, but is banana and peanut butter good for you?
We can safely assume that bananas are healthy and full of vitamins and minerals.
But what does peanut butter offer?
Does it matter if it’s crunchy or smooth?
Butter is usually full of fats, so perhaps the peanuts will cancel out the goodness of the banana!
Will the combination cause weight gain?
Let’s take a look at the sticky truth.
Banana and peanut butter is a healthy snack and has much to recommend it. Bananas contain no cholesterol, fats, or sodium but are a good source of fiber. Peanut butter contains carbohydrates and essential fats. The combination of bananas and peanut butter can give a feeling of fullness for longer, thus resulting in fewer calories being consumed. Banana is a better option than jelly, as jelly contains few useful nutrients. However, a banana does contain sugar, and the level increases as the fruit ripen. As with all snacks, bananas and peanut butter should be eaten in moderation.
Can Bananas and Peanut Butter Help You Lose Weight?
Knowing that bananas are healthy and peanut butter only contains good fats, does that mean they can help you lose weight?
Let’s look at the ingredients individually.
An average size banana contains around 105 calories and lots of fiber.
The fiber makes you feel full, so you are not tempted to start snacking again an hour later.
However, bananas do have a lot of sugar, and the riper they are, the more sugar they contain.
A typical serving of peanut butter would be two tablespoons which are around 195 calories.
This amount would contain 16 grams of unsaturated fat.
It doesn’t matter whether you choose crunchy or smooth peanut butter, but avoid those with added sugar, salt, or hydrogenated fats.
So, a serving of one banana and two tablespoons of peanut butter would be approximately 300 calories.
This would be acceptable as a snack but no more than once per day.
For those who follow intermittent fasting, such as the 5:2 diet, then you could only really eat two portions of banana and peanut butter per day on the restricted calorie days.
But that assumes you are not having it as a sandwich, as that would add extra calories!
How to Make Bananas and Peanut Butter a Healthy Option?
Although bananas and peanut butter are relatively good snacks, there are ways to make them healthier.
Let’s look at the bread first.
White bread is the usual choice, but it’s not ideal, as it has fewer nutrients and less than 1 gram of fiber per slice.
Whole-wheat bread is much better, as one slice contains 3.8 grams of fiber which helps with digestion and can prevent constipation.
There are also small amounts of iron, calcium, folate, vitamin E, and potassium in whole-wheat bread, which are essential for good health.
You will need to add approximately 138 calories for two slices of bread if you are on a diet.
Next, let’s meet the star of the show, the banana!
As mentioned above, a typical banana has 105 calories and will increase your fiber intake.
Be sure to choose a banana that has just ripened and does not yet have any brown spots.
The browner the banana peel, the riper the fruit will be, indicating a higher sugar level.
Overripe fruit is best saved for banana bread.
There is no fat in a banana, but it does have potassium in abundance, which is necessary for muscle function.
Bananas also contain magnesium, vitamins A and C, and iron.
Finally, the peanut butter.
It goes without saying that you should not use brands that contain added sugar or salt.
Smooth or crunchy is down to your personal preference.
No more than two tablespoons per serving.
Peanut butter helps lower cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart disease.
The high fiber content keeps you fuller for longer.
It also has niacin, which is vital for healthy skin and nerves.
So, for the healthiest sandwich, use whole-wheat bread, ripe but not overripe bananas, and peanut butter with no added ingredients.
Are Bananas and Peanut Butter Actually Bad for Our Bodies?
Bananas and peanut butter are good for you if eaten in moderation.
Bananas are undoubtedly a better option than jelly, as they contain lots of useful nutrients.
Don’t use overripe bananas or peanut butter with added salt and sugar.
Stick to whole-wheat bread, not white.
And most importantly, enjoy!
If you have any health concerns, please consult a medical professional.
Another health question that may have crossed your mind is whether bananas can damage your kidneys.