These days, there are many companies that market “healthy” products which in actuality aren’t that healthy at all. Hidden sugar or fat content can quickly transform your snack from a guilt-free bite to a calorie packing munch.
With such concern over the truth of health food, many people need to know; are banana chips healthy, or not!?
We here at Dehydratedfoodz are on hand to answer this question. This way you can stop worrying about how healthy your banana chips are and start worrying about where you’re going to get them from!
What Are Banana Chips?
For those who don’t know, banana chips are small, crispy slices of banana. The snack originated in India though there are variations across the world including places like Indonesia and the Americas.
Banana chips aren’t the only fruit chips on the market, though they are one of the most popular. Some other popular fruit chips include apple chips, pear chips, and pineapple chips.
There are two main ways in which banana chips are produced; fried or dehydrated.
Fried Banana Chips: These are made by deep-frying sliced banana in either coconut or sunflower oil. This method is normally reserved for desserts rather than snacks, which is why for the purposes of this blog we are focusing on the dehydrated option.
It is, however, worth noting that this method is considerably more unhealthy. This is due to the process of deep-frying. Deep-frying is notorious for adding calories and trans fats to your food.
Dehydrated Banana Chips: These are also known as dried banana chips. They are created using a process known as food dehydration, or food drying. There are numerous health benefits to using a food dehydrator, though many have asked the question of whether this remains true for banana chips.
Banana chips can be covered with something sweet, like sugar or honey, which turns them into more of a treat than a snack. If you’re watching your calories, it would be wise to avoid too many of these toppings on your banana chips.
Are Banana Chips Healthy?
The overwhelming health benefits of bananas themselves have been well-documented. They are proven to be a good source of potassium, fiber and vitamin B6. This means they’re great for regulating blood pressure and can help to lower cholesterol.
But does this continue after they’ve been turned into banana chips?
You can rest easy, as many of the healthy aspects of normal bananas are retained in banana chips. Banana chips remain very high in fiber, so much so that a 4-ounce serving can contribute towards 23% of a grown man’s daily fiber intake. They also retain high levels of potassium, approximately 13% of the daily recommended intake for every 4-ounce serving.
In addition to potassium and fiber banana chips can provide a large amount of iron. Iron is an essential mineral for the body and can help to boost your energy levels throughout the day. This makes banana chips an ideal snack for anyone on long hikes or in the midst of intense exercise.
You can also add banana chips to other healthy products to turn them into a whole meal. Consider sprinkling them into your oatmeal, or mixing them through a sweet salad.
There is a caveat to this though. Healthy banana chips are dependent on the way they have been produced and packaged. There are some banana chips you must avoid if you want to eat a healthy option.
What Banana Chips Should I Avoid?
As mentioned earlier, any banana chips that have been created through a deep-fried process are unhealthy compared to a dehydrated method. Deep-fried banana chips will retain a lot more saturated fat through the process which will go straight to your waist-line.
Bananas are already very high in natural sugars. Natural sugars, contrary to popular belief, are good for your body, but adding extra sugar to this certainly isn’t. Many pre-packaged banana chips have additional sugar added to them to increase their sweeter taste.
This can make some banana chips a good choice as a one-off treat, but absolutely not as a regular snack. You should steer clear of any banana chips that have additional sugars added to them if you intend to eat them regularly.
Often people over-indulge on banana chips due to just how tasty they are, but they are reasonably high in calories. Typically, banana chips contain around 147- 169 calories per ounce depending on who you ask. This means you should have small portions of the snack to avoid consuming too many calories.
These facts don’t mean that banana chips are unhealthy, just that you should consider which banana chips you consume as well as the quantity.
The best way to ensure that you are eating healthy banana chips is to dehydrate them yourself. This means you know exactly how much additional sugar is added if any, and can oversee the whole production process.
Many people are apprehensive about starting to dehydrate their own food but it is actually a fairly simple process. As long as you follow the right guidance, you can start dehydrating your own banana chips.
What If I Need More Advice on Food Dehydration and Banana Chips?
If you want to find out more about healthy banana chips (yes, banana chips are healthy), you can read many of our other posts on dehydrated fruit. Here at Dehydratedfoodz, we have a huge amount of helpful advice on the best ways for you to eat or create your own dehydrated snacks.
Our website also looks at the best dehydrators on the market today. If you’re looking to invest in a new dehydrator but have no idea where to look, this is the place for you.
If you have any further questions you haven’t been able to answer through our website, please do contact us directly. We’re on hand to assist with any and all food dehydration questions, to make sure what you eat is as healthy as can be.