Remember that Jamie Oliver show where he taught an English town about unhealthy food? I’ll never forget how those people were surprised when greasy food from the “chippy” was revealed as fattening. One young mum thought filling her vege bin with lollies was perfectly legit parenting.
I watched it smugly, happy in the knowledge that I knew the difference between “good for you” and “bad for you”. However, after Annie was born I started dieting and discovered something disturbing. Weight loss plans always included “five plus a day” yet one fruit was missing. It’s yellow, a bit phallic, and up until that point I thought it was the perfect healthy snack.
I’m talking about the humble banana, that funny looking fruit which we eat bunches of each week. The kids love them and I can’t think of a better portable snack for a busy mum on the run. I have one or two in my handbag at all times and most days I have a banana smoothie as an afternoon snack.
So why are bananas missing from meal plans? And how come ads keep popping up on Google which include bananas as one of Five “Healthy” Foods That Are Making You Fat? I know for certain there are no fat monkeys at Auckland Zoo!
I’m no expert, so I thought I better seek the advice of one. I went to high school with Renee from JERF Nutrition so I asked her to help me with this confusing conundrum. Here’s what she said:
“In my opinion, bananas are a nutrition powerhouse. They are a great portable snack full of anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. They are an awesome pre and post workout snack. Interestingly the riper the banana the higher the sugar content therefore if you are trying to lose weight you would be better to choose a greener banana. Paired with a small serve of nuts they are a great on the go snack.”
Her opinion was backed up by almost everything I read online about bananas. So what are the naysayers on about? As far as I could gather, some people aren’t bananas about bananas because they are too high in carbohydrates, so if you’re doing a low-carb diet, bananas aren’t ideal.
I think this is silly. Most overweight people would have to admit they can hardly blame the odd banana for their problems. I’m going to keep stocking our fridge with bunches of bananas and I’ll keep feeding them to my hungry little monkeys.
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