Downsides of Eating a Banana Every Day, Say Experts
Bananas are the perfect food in so many ways. They make the perfect grab-and-go snack, cereal topper, smoothie base, and of course, a staple "bread" ingredient. Not only are they sweet and satisfying, but they are loaded with nutrients. (See: 17 Amazing Things That Happen to Your Body When You Eat Bananas.)
"As a nutritionist, we love to recommend bananas for all the powerful benefits they provide. Bananas are fat-free, cholesterol-free, and packed with complex carbohydrates and vitamin B6, which helps to keep you energized," says registered dietitian Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RDN.
But as is the case with anything, when eaten in excess, bananas may cause some negative side effects. Here are 5 downsides nutrition experts tell us about eating bananas every day, and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
They may leave you hungry.
"Because bananas are very low in fat and protein, the majority of calories in bananas come from carbohydrates. If breakfast or a snack only consists of a banana, you might find yourself feeling unsatisfied or still hungry immediately after eating," says Amber Pankonin, MS, RD, registered dietitian, and owner of the Stirlist. "Personally, I prefer to pair bananas with a protein source like cheese or peanut butter so that I can make sure to balance the carbohydrate content with a protein source."
They're not great for people with high potassium levels or kidney diseases.
"People with high potassium levels may also have kidney disease or kidney issues. Limiting certain foods high in potassium (such as bananas, oranges, watermelon, etc.) can help you feel better and prevent the progression of the disease," says Melendez-Klinger.
Adds Pankonin, "This is because those with advanced kidney disease are not able to properly remove potassium from the blood. High potassium levels could potentially lead to heart attack or death." See more: Popular Diets That May Cause Damage to Your Kidneys, Science Says.
They may cause gas or bloat.
"For some individuals, bananas might cause gas and bloating due to the amount of soluble fiber and a natural sugar alcohols that are found in bananas," says Pankonin. "Even though soluble fiber is needed in the diet, too much might cause feelings of gas or bloating [immediately afterwards]." Cut back on bananas to reduce bloat, or try these 25 Tips on How To Reduce Bloating In Less Than 24 Hours.
You shouldn't eat them if you're taking certain medications.
"There are certain medications that interact with foods so make sure to ask your doctor or dietitian to see if any of the medications you take may have an interaction with foods," says Melendez-Klinger.
Two types of medication that you should avoid eating bananas with are ACE inhibitors (such as lisinopril, enalapril, or ramipril) and spironolactone. That's because they raise blood potassium levels, according to Harvard Medical School.
They're not necessarily low carb diet-friendly.
"In general, bananas are a convenient fruit source that contain calories mostly from carbohydrates," says Pankonin. One medium-sized banana contains 27 grams of carbs. So if you're on a low-carb diet, bananas may put your carb count over the edge. For more, read on: Eating Low Carb and Still Gaining Weight? This Could Be Why.