How Much Sugar Is In That Banana?


It depends!

Let me start out by saying that YES bananas are a healthy part of The Paleo Diet.  Many people surprised to hear that, after several current popular fad diets have completely eschewed them.

If eaten with a healthy fat source (like some raw walnuts) and/or protein, perhaps in a homemade smoothie with egg white protein powder, their glycemic index is lowered, and the meal collectively has a more positive effect on maintaining blood sugar levels, as opposed to a food choice that might send them soaring (like a soft drink would!).

OK, now on to the subject- how much sugar really is in a banana?   How ripe a banana is determines the answer to this question.   A green banana (read:  unripe) doesn't have as much sugar as one which is ready to eat.  That explains why, if you've ever eaten a banana that was definitely picked too early (I've done so, when there were no other options!), you likely noticed that it was A) not very sweet as well as B) perhaps not as soft as you'd have liked.

As a banana ripens, the starch in the fruit converts to sugar very quickly.  The appearance of the skin is a telltale sign of sugar content:  the more speckled and brown the peel, the higher the fructose content.

How you plan on eating the banana should be the main factor in how spotty you'd want the peel to be.  If you're going to eat it as is, you might want something with few spots, so that when you go to bite into it, you won't be faced with a mouthful of mush!  However, if you're going to use it in a post-workout smoothie, or make it into a paleo recovery banana-puree, you may well opt for a super speckled one!

Don't over think it and start attempting to calculate percentages of sugar in a banana with a little bit of speckling compared to one without- we are talking about a single banana here and the overall impact is not going to differ that much!