Are you just starting a keto diet but confused about what is and isn’t keto-friendly? If so, no worries you are not alone. In fact, getting started on the keto diet is confusing for most people in the beginning. Thankfully, however, with just a little bit of time, you will quickly get the hang of it. I have created a free keto guide for people to get the hang of the diet as quickly as possible. But for right now I just want to answer a question I get often from people starting the diet. That is: Are bananas keto-friendly?
Unfortunately, the answer is that bananas are not allowed on the keto diet. In fact, one large banana contains more net carbs than most people are allowed for a whole day on keto. That said, though they might be tasty, bananas are a very poor choice for the ketogenic diet.
I know what your thinking, I love bananas myself and they are hard to give up. After all, I had been eating them ever since I could eat solid food. Heck, I was even eating them mashed up before then! Even so, I just had to come to terms with the fact that if I wanted to stay in ketosis I had to avoid bananas. But just how many carbs to bananas contain anyway?
How Many Carbs Are In A Banana?
A large banana contains roughly 12o calories, 31 grams of carbs, and 3.5 grams of fiber. Bananas contain more sugar than most other fruits do. In fact, of that 31 grams of carbs, 17 grams are in the form of sugar. If you were to subtract the 3.5 grams of fiber you are still stuck with 27.5 net carbs in just one large banana.
Seeing as how most people on keto eat less than 25 net carbs per day, you can quickly see why bananas are not a keto-approved fruit. Just for some more context, a slice of white bread contains just over 14 net carbs and 10 crackers ( 32 grams ) contains just about 20 net carbs.
Fruit, for the most part, is off-limits are off-limits for the keto diet. Though they are a popular choice for most diets, they often contain too much sugar to keep you in ketosis. Thankfully, however, there are still a few fruits you can have in very small amounts on the keto diet.
If I Can’t Eat Bananas On Keto What Fruits Can I Have?
They’re a bunch of “fruits” such as avocados, olives, and zucchini that you can eat in large amounts on the keto diet. Though these are technically a fruit, they are likely not the kind of fruit you had in mind. There are, however, more tradition fruits that you could fit in as long as you keep your net carbs in check. That said, don’t get your hopes up too high as the list of fruit you can eat is not very extensive.
The number one fruit I would suggest for the keto diet is the blackberry. This is because 100 hundred grams of blackberries contains just 10 total carbs and 5 net carbs. I understand that is still relatively high compared to many vegetables but as far as fruit goes that is hard to beat.
Blackberries are about the only fruit I will use in my keto dessert recipes. There are many traditional dessert recipes such as apple and cherry pie that call for fruits as there filling. Though I can’t make those recipes I do have a great blackberry cobbler and blackberry tart recipe. If you are an ice cream lover like I am, one of my favorite recipes is my low-carb blackberry swirl ice cream!
Two other berries you can have in moderation are raspberries and strawberries. Though not quite as low in carbs as blackberries, you can still have a small amount. There are about 12 total carbs and 6 net carbs in 100 grams of raspberries and about 8 total carbs and 6 net carbs in 100 grams of strawberries.
Another fruit I want to mention for the keto diet is lemons. Though not something you probably want to take a bite out of, lemons are healthy and low in carbs. One lemon contains roughly 17 calories, 5 total carbs, and 1.6 grams of fiber. Giving it about 3.4 net carbs per lemon.
Lemons are known to be alkalizing to the body and contain many health benefits. For these reasons alone I suggest adding a small amount of lemon into your keto diet.
But How Will I Get Enough Potassium On The Keto Diet?
Don’t get me wrong bananas do contain a good amount of potassium. And I should mention that getting enough potassium is essential for your health. Most adults should get about 4700 mg of potassium per day. As you would probably guess, many people around the globe are not getting in enough potassium.
That said, I never understood why of all the foods in the world people think about bananas when it comes to potassium. As I said, they do contain a fair amount, but there are tons over other foods that contain just as much or more potassium than bananas do.
One large banana contains roughly 487 mg of potassium. That said, let see what we would need to eat to match that using keto-friendly food choices. The first food I would recommend is the avocado. One 201 gram avocado contains a whopping 975 mg of potassium. Not to mention it is also loaded with 29 grams of keto-friendly healthy fats! For this reason, If you can swing it try and incorporate avocados into your diet on a daily basis.
One keto-approved food that has a surprising amount of potassium is zucchini. In fact, one large zucchini contains an amazing 843 mg of potassium. That’s way more potassium than in a large banana. In addition, most other squash varieties are also loaded with potassium. However, be careful as some varieties contain more carbs than others do.
Another great food is brussels sprouts. One cup of cooked brussels sprouts contains about 494 mg of potassium. Other high potassium keto veggies include but are not limited to mushrooms, leafy greens, and spinach. So as you can see bananas are not the only food that is packed full of potassium.
In addition, you can get a fair amount of potassium from animal products as well. A 3 oz portion of wild-caught Atlantic salmon contains about 534 mg of potassium. Clams, pork, and many other animal products contain fair amounts of potassium as well. As you can see the need for potassium is not a good excuse for breaking your diet by eating a banana.
Though bananas are tasty and do contain a fair bit of nutrition, they are not, however, allowed on the keto diet. These fruits are loaded with sugars that will quickly kick you out of ketosis. Thankfully, there are some fruits you can still have in moderation. Just make sure you keep track of your macros daily and keep your net carbs to 25 or fewer per day.
In addition, though bananas are touted as the end all be all for potassium, there are plenty of keto-friendly foods that are just as good or better. That said, the only down real downside to bananas not being keto-friendly is that they taste good.