Researchers are always looking for foods that can help people control their cholesterol. Your cholesterol levels will thank you if you like bananas. Bananas are a delicious and easy way to get some essential nutrients. Since the beginning of time, people have grown this tropical fruit.
For more than a century, its health advantages have been celebrated worldwide. In addition to sucrose, fructose, and glucose, bananas contain a significant amount of fibre, nutrients, and minerals. It lowers cholesterol and blood pressure due to its high potassium and fibre content.
Bananas, like all fruits, are rich in fibre, particularly soluble fibre. Plant foods contain more soluble fibre than insoluble fibre. Beans, bananas, oats, barley, apples, and pears are the best soluble fibre sources.
Studies have shown that increasing fiber content by including fruits such as banana can strengthen immune system.
Read on to understand the correlation between bananas and cholesterol.
Understanding Your Cholesterol Levels
The American Heart Association advises keeping total cholesterol levels in the blood at around 200 milligrams per deciliter. Blood cholesterol levels between 200 and 239 mg/dL are “borderline high.”
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In contrast, blood cholesterol levels over 240 mg/dL are considered “high.” If you have high cholesterol levels, your risk of developing heart disease is higher.
Cholesterol is essential in small amounts to make hormones, bile and Vitamin D. The liver makes all the cholesterol that our body needs and hence an excess intake of dietary cholesterol is not recommended
Foods high in saturated fat, primarily animal fats, raise one kind of cholesterol—low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol. However, when this LDL reaches an excessive level in the bloodstream, it begins to build up plaque on the artery walls. This plaque slows down the blood flow, significantly increasing your risk of cardiovascular diseases such as stroke, and heart attack.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the majority of the cholesterol in your body is LDL cholesterol. The ideal LDL cholesterol level is below 100 mg/dL, even if an LDL level between 100 and 129 mg/dL is typically considered optimal for most people.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is a healthy type of cholesterol because it assists in the removal of cholesterol from the body. Normally, a healthier HDL cholesterol level, which should be at least 60 mg/dL, aids in preventing heart disease.
Remember that getting a blood test is the most reliable way to determine cholesterol levels. While making heart-healthy lifestyle changes can help reduce the problem, some people may also need statins to prevent future issues.
Bananas for Cholesterol – The Connection
Bananas are one of the healthiest, most easily available and inexpensive fruits. In addition, bananas contain many essential nutrients that may aid in weight loss, digestion, and balancing cholesterol to improve heart health.
Nutritional Facts about Raw Bananas
The USDA provides the following nutritional value for one hundred grams of bananas.
- Calories: 89 kcal
- Total Fat: 0.33g
- Protein: 1.09g
- Carbohydrate: 22.8 g
- Fibre: 2.6 g
- Sugar: 12.2 g
- potassium: 358 mg
- Vitamin C: 8.6 mg
- Calcium: 12 mg
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Bananas do not contain cholesterol; they contain fibre, and vitamins. Raw bananas have more fiber than ripe ones.
Fiber helps reduce inflammation, blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels. Fibre-rich foods typically give you a filling meal without adding calories. They are also a good option if you want to lose some weight because of this.
These soluble fibres keep some cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream from the intestines. The National Lipid Association (NLA) claims that consuming 5-10 grams of soluble fibre daily can cut total and “bad cholesterol” by 5-11 points.
However, the body cannot break down soluble fibre, and it becomes viscous when it comes into contact with fluids. Therefore, this gel-like substance can remove cholesterol from the body.
Green bananas are abundant in resistant starch which lowers cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
As per AHA data, low cholesterol level is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Because of this, if one eats bananas in moderation, it may improve cardiovascular health.
Below is the recommendation for dietary fibre.
According to UCSF Health,
- it would be best if you aimed to consume 25-30 g dietary fiber a day
- 6 to 8 grams per day must be from soluble fibre
Banana is one snack that can “significantly” improve blood glucose and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic patients. It was proven from research on thirty people with high cholesterol and fifteen with type 2 diabetes.
After that, these volunteers followed a banana diet for twelve weeks. For breakfast, they ate 250 or 500 grams of bananas. According to the findings of this pilot study, consuming 250 grams of banana per day is safe for both diabetic and hypercholesterolemic volunteers but only marginally beneficial for the latter.
One way to improve cholesterol levels is to eat a banana every day, along with other fiber rich fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains. Risk factors for high cholesterol include obesity, inactivity, smoking, and a diet high in red meat and processed foods. Improve your cholesterol levels by eating healthier, losing weight, exercising more, and stopping smoking.
How to Incorporate Bananas into Your Diet to Manage Cholesterol?
Bananas can be consumed both raw or ripe. In addition, you can eat banana pancakes, or a homemade peanut butter and banana sandwich. There are a lot of options. Some of them are:
- Breakfast Topping: Adding bits of chopped banana to your breakfast, whether a bowl of cornflakes, porridge, or even oats, help you get more nutrients from the fruit. Adding soluble fiber rich oats and bananas to your daily diet can help lower your cholesterol.
- Salad: Enjoy a tangy banana salad with some of your favourite fruits chopped up and sprinkled with a little chaat masala. Enjoy your cholesterol management journey with this delicious and nutritious salad.
- Banana Smoothie: Combine diced banana slices, a pinch of cinnamon powder, and low-fat yoghurt. Now blend them for 1 minute, and it is ready to drink.
- Raw banana sabji- Sauteed and spiced raw banana slices make for a delicious and healthy sabji and an excellent accompaniment to rotis.
- Banana Pancakes: Banana pancakes are packed with the goodness of ripe bananas. Make them healthier by using whole wheat flour or millet flour for the batter.
- Raw banana paratha- Boiled and mashed raw banana can be stuffed into parathas to make a high fiber meal. You can spice and season the stuffing as you wish.
Bananas are also easy to store and are available all year at your local grocery store.
Keep Your Cholesterol Under Control Like A Pro
Eating more fruits and vegetables is standard advice to improve your health. However, some are concerned that high-sugar fruits like bananas can lead to obesity.Most fruits are higher in sugar because they contain approximately 90% carbs. Nonetheless, fruits are essential to a balanced diet due to their significant nutritional benefits. Keep your calorie intake and expenditure in mind when trying to control cholesterol.
If you are seeking a scientific way to control your cholesterol, opt for a holistic program like HealthifyPro 2.0. It offers tailored diet and lifestyle counseling, which will help you achieve your goals. Beyond calorie counting, in-depth nutritional counseling may make choosing healthy foods that support long-term transformation easier.
A wearable Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) device, such as the BIOS from HealthifyPRO 2.0, is perfect for tracking your food and its response to blood glucose levels. CGM is one of HealthifyPro’s five pillars to ensure healthy metabolic health. As part of this programme, you can also get ongoing dietary guidance from nutritionists to support a balanced diet and exercise routine.
For example, the nutritionist will learn a person’s reaction to certain foods within a few days. Additionally, you can have personalised two-way conversations with the interactive AI RIA, which continuously scans, examines, and gives information about your overall health.
The HealthifyMe Note
Problem- High Cholesterol is a common disorder mainly due to lack of physical activity, poor diet and habits such as smoking and alcohol consumption. Thankfully there are many measures one can take to lower cholesterol levels. Adding an inexpensive fruit such as banana as part of a balanced diet can show results. Sufficient exercise is also a must.
The only way to know your cholesterol levels is a blood test. Speak to your doctor on how frequently you should check cholesterol levels so that you can take corrective measures.
Poor dietary practices can lead to an increase in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), sometimes known as “bad cholesterol,” in the blood. A sedentary lifestyle, drinking alcohol and eating fatty foods also contribute to a spike in cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of obesity and heart disease.
Choosing a diet rich in fruits, seeds and nuts, vegetable oils and good fats such as avocado can lower LDL levels. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase HDL levels.
You can start by adding a banana to your diet everyday and follow an exercise regime.When in doubt reaching out to experts and programmes such as from specialists, and HealthifyPRO 2.0 which can help you to understand your body and food better.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is just to disperse knowledge and spread awareness. It does not intend to replace medical advice by professionals. For further information please contact our certified nutritionsHere.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Can I have a banana if I have high cholesterol?
Q. Are bananas high in fat and cholesterol?
Q. Can you eat bananas everyday?
Q. When is the best time to have a banana if you have cholesterol?
- LDL and HDL Cholesterol and Triglycerides
- Raw Bananas
- Adding Soluble Fiber to Lower Your Cholesterol
- Dietary Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Risk: A Science Advisory From the American Heart Association
- Increasing Fiber Intake
- Daily consumption of banana marginally improves blood glucose and lipid profile in hypercholesterolemic subjects and increases serum adiponectin in type 2 diabetic patients
Our Review Process
The entire review process entails levels of screening and evaluation by efficient groups of writers, editors and accredited medical experts. With the aim to establish long-lasting healthy lifestyle habits, we are committed to writing concurrent, medically backed and evidence-based articles. Read more
Our Editorial Team
Author By: Parul Dube, Masters of Medical Science in Public Health Nutrition
Medically Reviewed By: Dr Poonam Sharma
Last Reviewed By: Sumita Thomas
Date: April 12 – 2023