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Are Bananas a Good Snack When You Are Dieting?

by
author image Derek Helderman
Derek Helderman is a Bariatric Registered Dietitian currently working in a nutrition counseling role. Helderman graduated summa cum laude from Southeast Missouri State and completed his dietetic internship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Are Bananas a Good Snack When You Are Dieting?
A woman eats a banana as part of her diet. Photo Credit Alliance/iStock/Getty Images

The crux of any successful weight loss diet involves limiting calories consumed while increasing calories burned through exercise. Curbing hunger between meals can often be difficult, but quality snacks like bananas are a good addition to satisfy your craving while providing a good nutrition. Full of fiber and nutrients like potassium and vitamin C, bananas can be a great snack addition to your diet routine.

Dieting Limits Calories

If you're following a diet, chances are you're limiting calories. If this is the case, staying satisfied between meals might be more difficult than usual. A large banana, at 121 calories, is a perfect snack between meals to keep you satisfied. Because overall limitation of calories is probably your goal while dieting, you should not consume an excess amount of any foods, even healthy ones like bananas.

Full of Nutrition

A banana's main contribution to your diet will likely be through it's fiber content. Fiber keeps you feeling full for longer, and bananas pack a healthy amount. One large banana contains about 3.5 grams of fiber. In addition to keeping you full for longer, fiber fights heart disease and keeps your digestive system working properly. A large banana also has 487 milligrams of potassium, which is important for muscle and nerve health.

Bananas are Convenient

Unlike some fruits and vegetables that might require constant refrigeration to maintain quality and taste, bananas are great on the go and can be left at room temperature. As with any produce, bananas do have a limited shelf life, but these versatile fruits are great for dieters because they can be thrown in your lunchbox, on your desk or in a briefcase and snacked on throughout the day.

Snack Ideas

Bananas can be eaten as a snack either fresh or dried. You can dehydrate bananas yourself or purchase them already dried. If you prefer the raw variety, combine with peanut butter or yogurt for a tasty snack that also packs protein. If you prefer to replace meals with a shake while dieting, add a banana that has begun to soften or brown to your blender while making the shake to add some nutrition and avoid having to waste older, less appealing bananas.

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