Bananas are an incredibly popular fruit — and it’s no wonder why. They’re convenient, versatile, and a staple ingredient in many cuisines worldwide.
Though bananas are a healthy, nutrient-dense snack, eating too many could be detrimental.
This article explores how many bananas you should eat per day.
Bananas are highly nutritious
Bananas are as delicious as they are convenient, but their nutritional value is what makes them shine.
They’re a good source of several essential nutrients, including manganese, potassium, and vitamins C and B6.
A medium-sized, fresh banana (118 grams) provides the following nutrients:
- Calories: 105
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Vitamin C: 17% of the daily value
- Vitamin B6: 22% of the daily value
- Potassium: 12% of the daily value
- Manganese: 16% of the daily value
- Magnesium: 8% of the daily value
Bananas also contain various plant compounds that may reduce stress, inflammation, and your risk of chronic diseases.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Adding bananas to your routine is a great way to boost your intake of whole fruit and promote your overall health.
Summary: Bananas pack a variety of essential vitamins, minerals, and health-promoting plant compounds.
Bananas are low in protein and fat
The vast majority of the calories in bananas come from carbs. They only provide negligible amounts of protein and fat.
Protein and fat combined make up less than 8% of the total calorie content of a banana.
Protein is a major structural component of your body, and it’s needed for proper immune function, tissue repair, muscle building, and bone health.
Meanwhile, fats provide energy, assist with the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients, and play a role in hormone production and brain health.
Because bananas lack these vital nutrients, they don’t hold up well on their own as a nutritionally complete meal.
If a banana is your usual go-to snack, consider pairing it with a source of healthy fat and protein, such as peanut butter, a handful of walnuts, or a boiled egg, to make it more nutritionally balanced.
Summary: Bananas are naturally very low in protein and fat. Thus, they don’t make a completely balanced meal or snack on their own.
Eating too many bananas can harm your health
Bananas are a healthy addition to almost any diet, but too much of any single food — including bananas — could do more harm than good.
Bananas are not typically considered a high-calorie food. However, if your banana habit is causing you to eat more calories than your body needs, it could lead to unhealthy weight gain.
Additionally, over 90% of the calories in bananas come from carbs
In unripe or green bananas, the main source of carbs comes from starch. As the fruit ripens, the starch converts to sugar. Thus, by the time your banana is ripe enough to eat, a large proportion of the calories may be coming from sugar.
Carb over-consumption — without balancing it with proteins and healthy fats — could make blood sugar control more difficult for those with blood sugar conditions, such as diabetes or prediabetes.
Additionally, eating too many bananas may lead to nutrient deficiencies, especially if you’re not making room for foods that contain the nutrients bananas are lacking, such as protein, fat, calcium, vitamin D, and iron.
Summary: Eating too many bananas may have detrimental health effects, such as weight gain, poor blood sugar control, and nutrient deficiencies.
How many bananas should you eat?
Balance and variety are hallmarks of a healthy diet.
Suggested read: Starchy vs. non-starchy vegetables: Food lists & nutrition
Your body is a complex system that requires many types of nutrients to function properly. The best way to ensure you’re getting everything your body needs is to eat an assortment of foods from each food group.
There is no specific number of bananas that automatically makes them good or bad. It depends on your unique calorie and nutrient needs.
In theory, you could eat as many bananas as you want, as long as you’re not over-consuming calories, displacing other foods and nutrients that your body needs, or harming your health in other ways.
That said, one to two bananas per day would likely be considered a moderate intake for most healthy people.
Don’t forget to include a variety of other nutrient-dense fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats.
Summary: Practicing moderation is the best way to reap the most benefits from bananas. One to two bananas per day is likely alright for most healthy people. Make sure your diet is balanced by also including other foods that provide the nutrients that bananas lack.
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the world.
They’re full of important nutrients, but eating too many could end up doing more harm than good.
Too much of any single food may contribute to weight gain and nutrient deficiencies.
One to two bananas per day is considered a moderate intake for most healthy people.
Be sure to eat this fruit as part of a balanced diet that provides all the nutrients your body needs.