Comparing Bananas Vs Plantains For Nutritional Value

Plantains

Plantains are part of the banana family but offer a slightly different nutritional makeup

For many people, a favourite fruit is the banana.

They make for a great energising snack on the go, are a perfect addition to a protein smoothie, and can also be used to whip up some delicious banana bread as well.

But, did you know there is another banana-like fruit that you may be overlooking altogether?

The plantain is another excellent way to supercharge your diet, energise your body, and achieve optimal health.

Let’s take a closer look at the difference between a banana and a plantain so that next time you’re in the supermarket, you can choose which variety you want to put into your trolley.

What Is A Plantain?

A plantain is a member of the banana family, which explains their similarities.

What’s very unique about the plantain however is that it has to be cooked before it’s eaten as they don’t taste very good when eaten raw.

As such, this makes it less of a ‘grab-and-go’ type of snack, but still one that you should be considering.

Cooking a plantain is relatively fast and easy as they are usually just baked or fried.  Try frying in coconut oil to help keep them a healthy addition to your diet.

The plantain itself hails from India and is grown in tropical climates.

Some people often say that it’s the potato of the Caribbean as it is such a staple food there, often eaten as a vegetable type of ingredient rather than a fruit.

Plantains are typically far greener in color than bananas, however when at their ripest stage, they’ll be black on the outside.

Throughout this entire time, the actual colour of the fruit however is very creamy yellow or even a light pink.

As it ripens, it starts to give off that typical banana aroma that you know very well.

Plantains have less moisture than a banana at about 65% of total moisture content while bananas have 83% of total moisture content.

This makes them more starchy and dense to chew, so another important difference to note.

Let’s look at the nutritional information differences.

A Nutritional Comparison

When looking at the nutrition stats, we come to see that plantains are much higher in calories than bananas.

However, do keep in mind they are much larger as well. Your average medium sized plantain will be around 180 grams in weight, while the average banana is just 110 to 140grams.

Bananas

Bananas offer more convenience than a plantain by being a snack you can have on-the-go

Assuming everything is equal weight-wise (you eat the same amount of each food at 180 grams), bananas will come in at 160 calories while the plantain will offer 220 calories.

So there is quite a calorie difference here to note if you are considering adding plantains to your daily diet.

Both are very low in total fat content, coming in at less than one gram.

Plantains also have more sugar than bananas at 27 grams per 180 grams while bananas contain just 22 grams for that same amount of fruit.

Both contain about equal amounts of protein at just over 2 grams per 180 gram serving.  You’ll take in slightly more dietary fibre with the banana at 4.7 grams while the plantain gives you 4.1 grams total.

That said, the plantain does contain more carbohydrates at 57.4 grams per 180 gram serving while the banana contains 41.4 grams per serving.

This means that the plantain offers more starch content, which is one reason they do prove to be such an energising food to be eating.

Plantains like bananas are also a great source of potassium and will also provide a good dose of vitamin A and C as well.

So there you have a closer look at the plantain versus the banana.

Both are healthy additions to your diet plan and while the plantain isn’t quite as fast and easy as a banana, it might just be one food that you want to consider trying next time you’re preparing a meal.