Consumer Reports: Are bananas healthy?

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Nutrition experts at Consumer Reports weigh in on whether we should be counting bananas out.

Bananas are among the most popular fruits in the world. But some consumers have relegated bananas to the "do not eat" list because of their relatively high sugars and carb content.

Nutrition experts at Consumer Reports weigh in on whether we should be counting bananas out.

Christian Yanez thinks bananas are one of nature's handiest snacks.

"He loves bananas. He eats it as a snack, sometimes after school or in the mornings with his breakfast," Veronica Yanez said.

Bananas transport easily in their own packaging, open in a snap and taste sweet. But some people worry about the amount of sugars and carbs.

One large banana has about 120 calories and 17 grams of natural sugars. That's more than double what you'd get in a cup of strawberry slices, which has 53 calories and about 8 grams of sugars.

So, are bananas healthy?

"Compared to some other fruits, it's true. Bananas can be higher in sugars. But it's far less than what you would get in a soda or a candy bar. Even a nutritionist will tell you, it's unlikely you're going to get fat or develop diabetes from eating a banana," said Julia Calderone, Consumer Reports Health Editor.

Also keep in mind that some of the carbohydrates in bananas come in the form of dietary fiber - 3.5 grams in each large banana. That's about 15 percent of the amount you need every day.

Eat green bananas and you get an added bonus. Resistant starch.

"Resistant starch isn't easily digested, so it can help to reduce blood sugar levels," Calderone said.

Bananas are also rich in vitamins like B-6 and C, and a bunch of nutrients. Including potassium, which can help promote heart health.

Consumer Reports also suggests being mindful of kids eating banana before bedtime. It's a particularly sticky fruit and the sugars can stick to the teeth, increasing the risk of cavities.

All Consumer Reports material Copyright 2018 Consumer Reports, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Consumer Reports is a not-for-profit organization which accepts no advertising. It has no commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site. For more information visit consumer.org
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