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FutureStarrHow Many Carbs in a Bananaor
This question may sound simplistic and even obvious to some, but it’nt one I hear much. That’s because the answer is difficult to figure out. Is there a banana in your pantry that is individually packaged with the number of grams of carbs (of which there are 108) printed on the label? Or have you tried counting the number of fibers?
A medium banana has 102 calories, 17% of recommended daily vitamin C and 3 grams of fiber. It also has 27 grams of carbohydrates (and 14 grams of sugar). “Many of my patients are fearful of this fruit due to its high carbohydrate content,” says Kristin Kirkpatrick, registered dietitian and manager of Wellness Nutrition Services at Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute. Her advice: slice a banana in half and pair it with a fat, like peanut or almond butter, to lessen its effects on blood sugar and insulin.
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, a vital mineral and electrolyte in the body that carries a small electrical charge. These charges cause nerve cells to send out signals for the heart to beat regularly and muscles to contract. Potassium is also needed to maintain a healthy balance of water in cells, and offsets the effects of excess dietary sodium. An imbalance in the diet of too little potassium and too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure. Excessive sodium can lead to a buildup of fluid in the blood, placing pressure on the walls of blood vessels and eventually causing damage. Potassium helps the body to flush out extra sodium in the urine, and eases tension in blood vessel walls. Bananas, rich in potassium and fiber and low in sodium, are an important component of heart-healthy diets like DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) that aims for about 4,700 mg dietary potassium daily. (Source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)