Are you sitting down? We’re going to drop a bombshell: Bananas may actually be one of the worst things you can eat for breakfast. Yes, we know—we were shocked, offended, and flabbergasted at first too. What did innocent, potassium-rich bananas do to anyone, other than be delicious and so convenient to eat? According to Dr. Daryl Gioffre, the answer is simple: They’re secret sugar bombs… and they’re ruining your diet.
Meet the Expert
Dr. Daryl Gioffre is a celebrity nutritionist, alkaline diet and ketogenic diet expert, and the creator of Alkamind. He is also the author of GET OFF YOUR ACID – 7 Steps in 7 Days to Lose Weight, Fight Inflammation, and Reclaim Your Health & Energy.
Keep scrolling to find out why.
Here’s the thing about bananas—they have a good reputation in the food world because they are indeed high in potassium, as well as fiber and magnesium, all of which promote lessened fatigue and better heart health. But that’s just one side of the story, according to Dr. Gioffre. “Bananas seem like the perfect option to grab and go in the morning, but with a closer look, you’ll find that bananas eaten alone aren’t the best option because they’re 25 percent sugar and moderately acidic,” he says. “Without balancing this banana breakfast with a healthy fat, many of banana’s benefits are lost, while spikes in blood sugar and acid are gained.” Why should you care about the acidity levels in your food? Proponents of an alkaline-aware diet believe that fueling your body with alkaline-rich foods and decreasing the acid intake will balance and regulate your pH levels so your body doesn’t have do it all itself. (Learn more information on the alkaline diet.)
Dr. Gioffre claims that because bananas are acidic, they’re not enough to sustain you until lunch. “They’ll give you a quick boost, but you’ll soon be tired and feeling hungry,” he says. Sound familiar? This is indeed the same feeling you get after a sugar high—which makes sense, considering he calls bananas “nature’s candy.” “When sugar is consumed in any form, it undergoes the process of fermentation, like beer and wine, and turns into acid and alcohol in your body,” he says. “This clogs up your digestive system.” If you want to feel energized, manage your weight, and keep cravings at bay, he says to avoid eating bananas by themselves, and never eat one after a meal since he says it will spike your blood sugar and set you up for cravings, fatigue, weight gain, inflammation, and more.
Banana lovers, don’t cry (or throw bananas at us) just yet. Dr. Gioffre says that you can still eat bananas, but to just pair them with a healthy fat, spice, and/or herb that will neutralize the acids, slow down the metabolization of sugar, and prevent an insulin spike. Some of his favorites include raw almond or coconut butter, chia, hemp, flax, coconut oil, cinnamon, and turmeric. So don’t swear off bananas altogether—in fact, many of the smoothies he recommends in his 7-Day Cleanse (Kelly Ripa is a fan) consist of bananas and berries. “Because bananas are acidic, you’ll have to neutralize the acid to get the benefits of potassium, fiber, and magnesium without the sugar rush,” he says, which ultimately leads to a more balanced breakfast that should keep you energized without midday cravings.
Singh B, Singh JP, Kaur A, Singh N. Bioactive compounds in banana and their associated health benefits - a review. Food Chem. 2016;206:1-11. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2016.03.033