Should I Weigh A Banana With Or Without Peel?


If you’re following a recipe or you are counting calories you may be wondering about how to weigh some fruits that have a peel, including bananas.

Should I weight a banana with or without peel?

You should weigh a banana without the peel because all the calories come from the edible part of the fruit. Average banana weight 181 grams unpeeled, and 116 grams peeled. Therefore, including banana peel in your calculation can provide an inaccurate number of calories.

But in most recipes or meal plans nobody is explaining that part. That’s why it can be really confusing.

How Do You Measure The Weight Of A Banana?

Measuring weight of a banana isn’t complicated task. All you need to have is a small kitchen food scale and a banana.

If you’re following the recipe and cooking something from bananas then you would need to measure the exact amount of banana without the peel. Most of the recipes are straight forward and they use measurements like cups or handful or even one piece of banana.

Non of the recipes ask you to add 100 calories from bananas.

This makes it so much easier and saves the headache of to trying figure out if you should weigh bananas with or without peeling.

But the problem is when you’re calculating calories for yourself. Because when you want to measure how much energy you consume as a part of your daily diet monitoring, you want to be sure that you’re right with the numbers.

And here’s the problem. Most of the calorie chart provide only information about bananas as a whole. Not as a peeled or unpeeled.

So unlike following the recipe, where you just add one or two bananas, here you don’t really know how many calories are exactly in the bananas because there is a big discrepancy in weight between peeled and unpeeled.

Unpeeled banana can weigh anywhere from 150 grams to 200 grams, depending on the region and time of the year. Bananas are fruits. They aren’t manufactured with the same weight like mobile phones. So the size vary.

Fortunately, some of the websites already provide the numbers of fruits with and without the peel. But I will save you the hassle and show you exactly how much weight peeled bananas have and the calories they provide.

Peeled banana Calories
1 ounce26 calories
3.5 ounces87 calories
100 grams88 calories

Those calories are the estimates and they will vary depending on the bananas. But you don’t need to be surgically precise about it.

Now once you know exactly how much they weigh, you can measure your bananas using a food scale. Here’s how to do it.

How Do You Measure The Weight of Banana?

  • Place the bowl on your food scale
  • Calibrate the food scale that will show you 0 grams with the bowl on it
  • Peel the banana
  • Place the banana inside the bowl

This way you always will make sure you get the best reading. Alternatively, you can place the peeled banana straight on the food scale. It will work too.

Do Ripe Bananas Have More Sugar?

Another aspect is the maturity of the bananas. One of the recommendations for people to reduce excess weight is to stay away from high sugar foods, including bananas. But do all bananas are created equal and does the ripening process affect the sugar levels?

Do ripe bananas have more sugar?

Ripe bananas don’t have more sugar but they have a higher glycemic comparing to under-ripe bananas. The under-ripe banana has 80-90% of starchy carbohydrates that change into free sugar during ripening. A higher free sugar ratio means bananas can be easily digested by amylase and quicker release glucose into the body.

In one fascinating study done by the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetes in Denmark, 10 people were eating 120 grams of under-ripe bananas, 120 grams of over-ripe bananas, and 40 grams of white bread on separate days.

The results show that glucose response was for white bread (181 mmol), over-ripe bananas (106 mmol), and under-ripe bananas (62 mmol) (source).

This means that the ripening process significantly influences the glycemic index. The riper the banana, the more it will increase the glucose levels.

Banana Calories Peeled Or Unpeeled?

If you’re doing calculations for your daily calorie intake, you should only take into consideration calories from peeled banana, not from the unpeeled.

Peel from the banana can weigh anywhere from 50 grams to even 80 grams which will give you inaccurate weight. In 100 grams of peeled banana, you have 89 calories.

The unpeeled banana can weigh around 181 grams. The peeled banana can weigh 116 grams. So banana peel can weigh anywhere from 50g to even 70g depending on the size of the banana. Therefore, calculating calories, including the peel, will give you wrong information.

This won’t matter that much if you only have one banana. But if you consume 4-8 bananas a day, this can mess up your numbers.

Conclusion

Doing calorie counting can feel like a dreadful task. And if it’s done over a long period of time it can definitively take the pleasure out of the food when all you’re focused on is the calories, food scale, and rules.

I used to believe that calorie counting is the only way to stay lean. But the more I’ve learned and studied nutrition, I’ve realized that there are several other ways to stay lean all year round, without counting calories.

In case you want to learn more about how to stop counting calories, without sacrificing your favorite foods, check out my article where I take you by hand and explain the simplicity of mindful eating.

Michal Sieroslawski

Michal is an exercise physiologist (MSc), nutrition coach, Ashtanga teacher, and fitness blogger. He shares his successes and failures to help busy men and women squash down 20, 50, or even 100 pounds of fat without leaving their home.

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