Banana chips are dried, fried banana slices that have become an increasingly popular snack. They are usually coated in sweet syrup or spices and salt.
Although bananas themselves are very nutritious, you might be wondering if the same can be said for banana chips.
This article explains whether banana chips are healthy.
Nutrients in Banana Chips
Unlike bananas, banana chips are highly processed. They are usually fried in oil and cooked with ingredients like honey or syrup which provide significant calories, sugar, and fat.
A 1 cup (72 gram) serving of banana chips provides:
- Calories: 374
- Protein: 1.6 grams
- Carbohydrates: 42 grams
- Fiber: 5.5 grams
- Sugar: 25 grams
- Total fat: 24 grams
- Saturated fat: 21 grams
- Potassium: 8% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Vitamin B6: 11% of DV
Although this snack contains fiber and some vitamins and minerals, these benefits are quickly outweighed by the fat, calorie, and sugar content. Plus, since banana chips are dehydrated and fried, they’re delicious and easy to eat.
Most banana chips are fried in oil and coated in syrup, which loads them with calories, fat, and sugar.
Do banana chips have any benefits?
Banana chips can be a handy snack on occasion.
Since banana chips are light, easy to pack, and a quick source of calories and simple carbs, they’re a great option when you’re on the go, hiking, or refueling after rigorous exercise.
Plus, because they’re dehydrated, they have a much longer shelf life than fresh bananas. You also don’t have to worry about bruising or damage, which is beneficial for outdoor travel.
Banana chips are convenient, easy to pack, and a quick source of energy. Their long shelf life makes them perfect for camping or hiking.
Disadvantages of banana chips
Banana chips have several drawbacks to consider.
High in fat
Banana chips are usually fried in oil to give them a crunchy texture. Manufacturers tend to use coconut or sunflower oil but can use any frying oil.
A single cup (72 grams) of banana chips contains 24 grams of fat, 21 of which are saturated. A diet high in saturated fat from processed foods is linked to a higher risk of chronic conditions like heart disease. The high-fat content of banana chips adds a lot of extra calories. For example, the same serving of banana chips contains over 250% more calories than an average banana.
High in sugar
Some banana chips are coated in syrup or honey, which significantly increases their sugar content.
One cup (72 grams) of banana chips contains 25 grams of sugar, which includes 10.5 grams of added sugar, compared to 14.5 grams of natural sugar in a medium banana (118 grams).
Most banana chips are fried in oil and sugary — factors that not only contribute to their high calorie and sugar content but may also increase disease risk.
Are they better than other chips?
A whole banana is a much better option than banana chips. Still, if you’re craving something crunchy, you might be wondering if banana chips are healthier than other chips.
This chart compares the nutrients of a whole banana versus banana chips, potato chips, and veggie potato chips:
|Nutrient||Banana, raw (medium, 118 grams)||Banana chips (1 cup / 72 grams)||Potato chips (1 cup / 25 grams)||Vegetable chips (1 cup / 30 grams)|
|Total fat||0.4 grams||24.2 grams||8.5 grams||8 grams|
|Saturated fat||0.1 grams||21 grams||0.85 grams||0.5 grams|
|Carbohydrates||27 grams||42 grams||13.5 grams|
Banana chips are much higher in calories, total fat, saturated fat, and sugar than potato or vegetable chips.
Although these chips are lighter and less filling than banana chips, meaning you’ll likely eat more at one time, you’d need to eat a very large serving to match the saturated fat and sugar content of banana chips. banana chips.
It’s best to limit your intake no matter what crisps you buy.
For a healthier option, choose dried or baked – not fried – banana chips flavored with herbs and spices rather than sugar.
Fried banana chips contain significantly more calories, fat, and sugar than potato or veggie chips. Baked or dried banana chips with no added sugar are a better option, but you should still stick to a small portion.
Although they may seem healthy at first glance, banana chips can be high in calories, saturated fat, and added sugar.
For a healthier alternative, look for dehydrated, unfried banana chips with no added sugar. Better yet, choose a whole banana.
If you decide to eat banana chips, pay attention to your portion size.
Photo by Larissa Deruzzi from pexels