Banana fun facts
Are Banana Chips Healthy?
Bananas are a nutritious food rich in potassium and fiber, which are fried or dehydrated to make banana chips. Though banana chips supply essential vitamins and minerals, you’re better off eating a fresh banana. Banana chips contain large amounts of saturated fat and smaller amounts of key nutrients when compared to a banana. Here are some of Banana fun facts you need to know.
High in Sugar and Calories
Banana chips taste like candy for a reason — they’re typically high in sugars, including added sugar used to make the chips taste sweeters. An ounce of banana chips has 147 calories — about the same as a whole large banana — and about 16 grams of sugar. All that sugar can expand your waistline, and it’s also linked to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
High in Fat
Because many manufacturers deep-fry banana slices to achieve the crunchy texture, they are high in fat. A 1-ounce serving of banana chips contains 10 grams of fat, of which 8 grams are saturated. Saturated fats can be harmful to your health because they elevate your cholesterol levels, contributing to heart disease. Including too much saturated fat in your daily diet might also put you at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Limit your intake of saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your total calories, MayoClinic.com recommends. Because banana chips are so high in saturated fat, make them an occasional indulgence rather than a regular part of your diet.
There are 2 grams of fiber in a 1-ounce serving of banana chips. If your diet is like that of average Americans, you probably get only about 15 grams of fiber a day. You should aim to consume between 20 and 35 grams, the Harvard School of Public Health reports. Fiber keeps your digestive system working properly, which can cut your chance of constipation. Eating a diet rich in fiber might also lower your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In comparison, a fresh banana contains about 3 grams of fiber, making it a healthier choice.
A fresh banana contains 422 milligrams of potassium, but a serving of banana chips contains much less. One ounce of banana chips supplies 152 milligrams of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that promotes a normal heartbeat and proper muscle function. The mineral also plays a role in the health of your digestive system and skeleton. You need 4,700 milligrams of potassium on a daily basis.
Banana chips can be a part of your healthy eating plan, but only on an occasional basis. Have an ounce once or twice a month if you enjoy the taste, but don’t eat more than that. Better yet, make your own banana chips. Slice a fresh banana and use a food dehydrator to achieve the crunchy texture. Alternately, bake banana slices in an oven at a low temperature for several hours until they are crisp.<