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Are Banana Chips Good for You?
Banana chips--the words sound so wholesome. But if you look at how many calories are in one banana chip you get a more accurate idea just how good for you those crispy deep fried slices of banana actually are. Compared to a raw banana, they're not very good for you at all. In moderation banana chips are a fine treat. However, as with all foods, before you put them in your mouth you should know what you're eating.
How Are Banana Chips Made?
Unripe banana, thinly sliced and deep fried it in hot oil, has long been popular in south Asia and the Pacific islands where bananas are plentiful. Today banana chips are available around the world and creative banana chip producers have come up with so many different ways to season them, there's enough variety to tempt almost anybody. Also, they're often included in trail mix or mixed in with other varieties of dried fruit.. But consumers should be aware, though they're frequently labeled "dried", the vast majority of banana chips are deep fried, even when they're mixed with other dried fruits.
Banana Chips are Deep Fried
It's the deep frying that detracts from the healthfulness of banana chips, and the nutrition label on the banana chip package reveals the facts. Each 1/2 cup serving of plain fried banana chips has 14.1 grams of fat, and 12.2 of those grams are saturated fat. This means that one serving provides the average person with 61 percent of their recommended saturated fat for an entire day. The fat in each serving of banana chips contributes about 127 calories to the total calorie count.
Banana Chips Contain Empty Carbohydrates
The bulk of the remaining calories in banana chips comes from 14.8 grams of sugar and 9.7 grams of starches make a total of 24.5 grams carbohydrates, adding 97 calories. There's also a scant amount of protein in those banana chips, about 1 gram, or 2 percent of your daily allowance. That protein finishes off the count with an additional 4 calories. The final total calories in each 1/2 cup (1.5 ounce) serving of banana chips is 228.
Maybe Just One Banana Chip is Enough
Suppose you want to forgo too much fat and too many calories by eating just one banana chip. How many calories are in just one? Because chips vary in size, the number is rough, but if 1/2 cup is 27 chips, the average chip will contain between eight and nine calories.
Banana Chips Are Not a Good Deal for Good Nutrition
On the bright side, even though they are deep fried, banana chips retain their high potassium content. Each serving provides 225.1 mg, along with 22 mg of magnesium and 16 mg phosphorus. But for other major nutrients, the numbers aren't so impressive--for the average person, each serving contains just 3 percent of vitamin C, 1 percent of calcium and 2 percent of iron needed for one day. There's also a little fiber in banana chips, about 2.2 grams. Considering their high fat content and calorie density, this is not enough nutrition to qualify banana chips as a healthy snack.