How many calories are in a banana?

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How many calories are in a banana?
Bananas contain few calories for the benefits they provide. (Dean_Fikar/iStock/Getty Images)

Bananas are one of the most consumed and best selling fruits in the world. Like most fruits, the majority of calories in a banana come from carbohydrates like sugar and starch. Consider the calories in a banana a bargain. For about 100 calories, one banana provides 3 g (0.1 oz) of healthy fibre and more than ten per cent of the daily requirement of vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and manganese.

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Significance

Bananas have less water content than juicy fruits like oranges and grapes, so bananas contain slightly more calories per ounce than juicier fruits. One medium banana has about 105 calories, while one medium apple has about 95 calories, and one orange has about 65 calories. But since most adults require about 1600-2500 calories per day, small differences in calories among fruits are not significant. Experts recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to obtain the nutrition found in each type.

Function

The calories you get from a banana, as from any food, provide energy for your body's basic metabolism and physical movement. Calories in food come from fat, carbohydrate and protein. Like most fruits, the majority of calories in bananas come from carbohydrates. In fact, over ninety per cent of the calories in a banana are carbohydrate calories. These carbohydrates include sugar, starch and fibre. One medium banana contains about 14 g (1/2 oz) of sugar, 3 g (0.1 oz) of fibre and 6 g (0.2 oz) of starch. Small amounts of protein and fat are also found in bananas, and each makes up about 3 to 4 per cent of calories.

Types

The long yellow banana is the most common banana type found in British supermarkets. You might also come across other cultivars of bananas like plantain bananas, baby bananas, and red bananas. Plantains have more calories than the types of bananas you can eat raw. Bananas types that you eat raw generally have the same calories, although the ratio of sugars to starch varies.

Size

Of course, the bigger the banana, the more calories in it. For exact calorie counts or to adhere to specific recipes, you might need a definition of banana sizes. A small banana has 90 calories, measures 15 cm (6 inches) to just under 17.5 cm (7 inches) long and weighs 99 g (3 1/2 oz). A medium banana has 105 calories, measures 17.5 cm (7 inches) to just under 20 cm (8 inches) and weighs just over 113 g (4 oz). A large banana has 121 calories, measures 20 cm (8 inches) to just under 22.5 cm (9 inches) and weighs 135 g (4 3/4 oz).

Considerations

Banana is one of world's most popular flavours and, as such, bananas have made their way into many recipes and packaged foods. You'll find bananas and banana flavouring in cereals, muffins and breads, yoghurt, pudding and snack bars. Be aware that many processed foods often contain added ingredients like fats and sugars in addition to whole ingredients like bananas. Be careful, because these ingredients add empty calories.

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