Are banana chips healthy? We all enjoy snacking, without a doubt. Who doesn’t love eating chips? It is a common habit developed since childhood, munching anytime throughout the day to avert hunger. It started with potato chips in different flavours with added sugar, salt, and spices.
These snacks are unhealthy and will help potentially avoid overeating throughout meals. But you have an alternative to these potato chips. Guessed it, right? Yes, Banana Chips. How healthy are banana chips compared to potato chips?
1. What Do You Mean By Banana Chips? Are Banana Chips healthy?
Are banana chips healthy? The Banana Chip is a convenient snack made from fried slices of bananas that are dried and eaten as a pastime. Production of chips starts with the banana slices cut into a round shape. Then they are deep-fried in frying oil, especially coconut oil or sunflower oil, giving them a crunchy texture and taste.
Manufacturers coat these products with additives like added sugar, syrup, honey, salt, or spices to make them tastier and crunchy sweetness.
We all know that raw bananas are exceptionally nutritious and a healthful source of fiber, potassium, iron, Vitamin C and B6. Although fresh bananas are delicious and nourishing and provide several health benefits, banana chips are unhealthy to eat.
They are highly processed foods that contain more fat and sugar content. Moreover, banana chips have more saturated fat that will not support your cardiovascular health directly connected to heart disease.
2. Types of Banana Chips
2.1. Yellow Banana Chips –
Classic banana chips fried and salt-sprinkled for perfect seasoning. You get the ideal crisp taste with their cared packaging.
2.2. Long-Cut Yellow Banana Chips –
A perfect crunch recipe of fresh bananas cut into long slices gives a fresh and savory taste.
2.3. Chutney Mary Banana Chips –
Perfectly seasoned fried banana chips made from pickled bananas. You get the best taste with the added pudina flavor.
2.4. Mari Banana Chips –
Fried banana chips seasoned to perfection with balanced spices. The added black pepper flavor enhances its taste.
2.5. Cheese Banana Chips –
A delicious seasoned version of banana chips with savory cheese flavor and crispness.
2.6. Masala Banana Chips –
Flavored banana chips seasoned with spices. The masalas give a lip-smacking taste for snack time.
2.7. Tomato Banana Chips –
A perfect bite of spice-seasoned banana chips with the flavor of zest and tangy tomatoes.
3. Nutritional Value of Banana Chips
Are banana chips healthy? As discussed earlier, banana chips are processed foods that contribute to calorie intake, fat, and sugar to the body. Adding excess calories will trigger weight gain due to high saturated fats. Besides, they have fewer vitamins and minerals for the body’s system. Let us look at the nutrient value of the chips.
The serving size of banana chips is one cup, which contains 72 grams. The nutrient info for a single cup is as follows:
Calories – 374
Protein content – 1.6 grams
Carbohydrates – 42 grams
Fibre content – 5.5 grams
Total fat content – 24.2 grams
Saturated fat content – 21 grams
Sugar content – 25 grams
Potassium content – 386 milligrams (8% of Daily Value)
Vitamin B6 content – 0.187 milligrams (11% of Daily Value)
4. Health Benefits Of Banana Chips
Are banana chips healthy? Do they carry any health benefits? Banana chips are easy-to-carry as a snack when you are off on a short trip, hiking, or after an exercise. Due to their dehydrated nature, these chips have a longer shelf life. Its long shelf life advantage makes it convenient to snack on hikes or camping.
Although banana chips have drawbacks as processed food, they can act as a healthier option as they provide a few vitamins and minerals based on nutritional factors. Let us discuss it below in detail.
4.1. Good energy of Calories and Carbohydrates
A balanced diet must include a calorie intake of 2000 calories from carbohydrates and fats and good concentrated energy sources for the body. The meal plan constitutes 25 grams of carbs and 14 grams of fats per day. It means banana chips keep your body energized during meals.
A 1.5-ounce (42.52 grams) banana chips provide around 218 calories, equal to 10% of the everyday calorie consumption. But at the same time, eating more chips results in more weight gain.
4.2. Sufficient Potassium
Bananas are an excellent source of potassium in maintaining fluid levels in the cells, blood pressure, and the cardiovascular system. Consuming a fresh banana can benefit you with a good amount of potassium. Banana chips do have potassium, but lesser than expected.
Each serving of banana chips provides 225 milligrams of potassium, equal to 5% of daily potassium intake. Potassium supports the nerves and muscles and also helps to lower blood pressure.
4.3. Adequate Magnesium
While you eat banana chips, you are sure to get some nutrition for the calorie investment. As for vitamins and minerals, the chips do contain magnesium, among others. So now, what is the role of magnesium in our body?
The mineral magnesium helps the body produce energy and reproduce cells. Additionally, it aids in cell-to-cell communication and DNA synthesis.
Our body’s bones contain 50% of magnesium. Magnesium, along with calcium and phosphorus, generates bone and tooth tissue. Hence, magnesium-rich foods create strong bones and keep the skeleton, nerves, and muscles healthy.
One cup serving of banana chips gives 32 milligrams of magnesium, equal to 8-10% of daily magnesium intake, based on male or female.
5. Downsides of Banana Chips
Are banana chips healthy? Although banana chips may provide health benefits, fried banana chips also pose some drawbacks. Let us look at the downsides of consuming fried banana chips.
5.1. High level of fat
A cup of banana chips constitutes 24 grams of fat, and 21 grams is saturated fat. High saturated fats are signs of chronic illnesses like heart disease and other cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, saturated fat adds more extra calories. For instance, the same serving of banana chips carries over 250% additional calories than a whole banana fruit.
5.2. High sugar content
A cup of banana chips constitutes 25 grams of sugar, and 10.5 grams is added sugar compared to a whole banana having natural sugar. The sugar content from these chips contributes to obesity, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes, together with high-calorie ingestion.
Hence, based on the fat and sugar, it’s clear that banana chips are best to consume as an occasional munching snack.
On top, people prone to coconut allergy experience some side effects or reactions while consuming chips made from coconut oil. Some people also face Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS), also called Pollen Food Allergy Syndrome (PFAS), those prone to pollen allergies to raw bananas.
6. Are banana chips better compared to other chips?
Are banana chips healthy? Bananas, as a whole, are always the best option over chips. Let us look at the nutrient comparison between banana chips and other chips.
6.1. Banana Chips –
Calories (374), total fat (24.2 grams), saturated fat (21 grams), carbohydrates (42 grams), sugar (25 grams)
6.2. Potato Chips –
Calories (133), total fat (8.5 grams), saturated fat (0.85 grams), carbohydrates (13.5 grams), sugar (0.1 grams)
6.3. Vegetable Chips –
Calories (148), total fat (8 grams), saturated fat (0.5 grams), carbohydrates – (18 grams), sugar (2 grams)
Based on the above data, we can observe that fried banana chips are high in calories, carbs, fats, and sugar. Also, it again depends on the portion size (the proportion of food you choose to eat in a meal).
7. What are the alternate healthier options?
Are banana chips healthy? Choose to eat non-fried banana chips over fried bananas. Dried banana chips form a better option than fried ones with no sugar, where you cut off on excess calories and avoid frying. They supply nutrients like magnesium, iron, vitamin A, potassium, and phosphorus good for the body.
1/3 cup of dried banana chips provides roughly 165 calories, 1 gram of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. But, again, here, you must stick to a minimum serving.
Also, you can choose a brand of chips that uses essential herbs and spices for the body rather than honey or syrup.
7.1 Homemade baked banana chips
Monsoon is the best climate to enjoy banana chips fried in coconut oil. How healthier would it be while choosing a homemade recipe of chips? Yes, baked or dehydrated banana chips are an excellent way to maintain low fat and calories.
Banana chips made at home remain fresh if stored in a perfect airtight container for weeks. Choose to buy a suitable food dehydrator or convection oven while making chips that aid in preservation for a longer duration and remove any moisture.
Also, it is advisable to dip the banana slices in lemon juice as the lemon’s citric acid prevents it from turning brown and adds Vitamin C to the chips.
8. Final Note – Are banana chips healthy?
The question arises again – Are banana chips healthy? Crunching and snacking on chips can be a pastime to relax your mood. Banana chips may seem tasty for munching and, finally, cause an addiction to regular eating. But you aren’t choosing a snack that has healthy ingredients but one that loads the body with calories, fat, and sugar.
Choose a whole banana instead of chips, as they are very nutritious. Alternatively, you can make baked chips at home, store them properly, and enjoy them whenever you want. If you still crave something crunchy, choose salted dry fruits like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios that benefit your health.
Also, follow the American USDA’s dietary guidelines that give you the necessary information and guidance for a healthy diet and prevention against chronic diseases. You could also prefer to eat Keto snacks that support your body with healthy proteins and fats and limit carbohydrate intake.
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