Bananas and peanut butter are both nutritious foods that are often incorporated into weight loss diets. Bananas provide key nutrients like potassium and vitamin B6, while peanut butter is a good source of protein and healthy fats. The combination of banana and peanut butter also provides fiber, which promotes feelings of fullness.
However, as with any food, moderation is key. Bananas and peanut butter are calorie-dense foods that can lead to weight gain if consumed in excess. To understand whether bananas and peanut butter support weight loss, it is important to look at the nutrient contents, potential benefits, and downsides of this pairing.
Nutritional profile of banana and peanut butter
Bananas are high in carbs and low in protein and fat. A medium banana contains about:
- Calories: 105
- Carbs: 27 grams
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Protein: 1 gram
- Fat: 0 grams
- Vitamin B6: 25% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 12% of the RDI
- Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 8% of the RDI
Though high in natural sugars, bananas have a low glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how quickly foods raise blood sugar levels.
Bananas are also rich in antioxidants like dopamine and catechins (1). These compounds may reduce inflammation and decrease oxidation of cells in the body (2).
Peanut butter is very high in fat and low in carbs. A 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving contains:
- Calories: 188
- Fat: 16 grams
- Carbs: 7 grams
- Fiber: 2 grams
- Protein: 8 grams
Peanut butter contains mostly monounsaturated fats, which are linked to reduced heart disease risk factors like cholesterol levels when eaten in moderation (3).
It’s also a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Additionally, peanut butter provides resveratrol, an antioxidant also found in red wine that may help reduce inflammation and protect against chronic disease (4).
Potential benefits for weight loss
Eating banana and peanut butter may promote weight loss in the following ways:
High in nutrients and fiber
Both banana and peanut butter are nutritious foods that provide key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber.
Getting adequate fiber promotes feelings of fullness. It also feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which may aid weight control (5, 6).
May increase feelings of fullness
Banana and peanut butter are high in fiber and protein, two nutrients that help increase feelings of fullness (7, 8).
Both foods may help you eat fewer calories throughout the day by curbing appetite and reducing hunger between meals (9).
One study gave women milkshakes containing either peanut butter or peanuts. The peanut butter shake increased fullness and lowered hunger more than the peanut shake (10).
Good source of plant-based protein
Peanut butter is a plant-based source of protein, providing 8 grams per 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving (11).
Higher protein diets that contain 25–30% of calories from protein are linked to decreased belly fat and more weight loss than low protein diets (12, 13).
Pairing peanut butter with banana provides extra protein to help you feel fuller for longer.
May help manage blood sugar
Though bananas are high in carbs, they have a low GI. Their high fiber and potassium contents help slow the digestion and absorption of their sugars (14).
Slower digestion of carbohydrates may improve blood sugar control. In turn, this leads to reduced insulin levels, which may promote fat burning (15).
Furthermore, peanut butter is a low carb food, so pairing it with banana can help manage your blood sugar levels.
While banana and peanut butter offer some benefits for weight loss, there are a few potential downsides to consider:
High in calories
Both banana and peanut butter are high in calories.
One medium banana contains over 100 calories, while 2 tablespoons (32 grams) of peanut butter pack nearly 190 calories (16, 17).
This small serving provides 11% and 10% of your daily calorie needs, respectively. Consuming large portions may easily lead to excess calorie intake.
Easy to overeat
Thanks to their rich textures and flavors, banana and peanut butter are easy foods to overconsume.
If eaten in large amounts, banana and peanut butter could contribute excess calories without proper portion control.
Contains saturated fat
While peanut butter provides healthy fats, it also contains saturated fat.
A 2-tablespoon (32-gram) serving has 3.4 grams of saturated fat, which provides 17% of the daily value (18).
High saturated fat intake is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Most health organizations recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of your calories (19).
Still, enjoying peanut butter in moderation as part of a diet low in saturated fat is unlikely to negatively impact heart health.
How to incorporate banana and peanut butter into a weight loss diet
Here are some tips for adding banana and peanut butter to your diet in a weight loss-friendly way:
Measure your portions
To avoid overeating, always measure out proper serving sizes of banana and peanut butter.
For peanut butter, limit yourself to 1–2 tablespoons (16–32 grams) per serving. For bananas, stick to a small or medium-sized banana.
Measuring your portions can help you better estimate calorie intake.
Enjoy as part of a balanced diet
Be sure to combine banana and peanut butter with other whole foods as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet. Fill your diet with non-starchy veggies, quality proteins, healthy fats, and fiber-rich carbohydrate sources.
A balanced diet comprised of mostly whole foods can help promote weight loss (20).
Pair with protein
Enjoy peanut butter with an additional source of protein like Greek yogurt or eggs. Protein increases fullness and helps control hunger and food intake (21).
For example, spread peanut butter on Greek yogurt or pair it with a hard-boiled egg for more satiating power.
Add to smoothies
Blend banana and peanut butter into smoothies with protein powder, milk or yogurt, and leafy greens or berries. Smoothies help you increase volume using nutrient-dense ingredients.
You can also freeze banana slices to use in smoothies for a thicker, milkshake-like texture.
Try as a pre-workout snack
The combination of carbs, protein, and healthy fats in banana and peanut butter makes a great pre-workout fuel source (22).
The carbohydrates in the banana provide energy for your workout, while the peanut butter gives you sustained energy from protein and healthy fats.
The bottom line
Banana and peanut butter can be included as part of a healthy weight loss diet.
Both foods offer nutrients like fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. Adding them to your diet may aid weight loss by boosting fullness and controlling hunger and blood sugar levels.
However, it’s important to be mindful of your portion sizes, as banana and peanut butter are calorie-dense. Be sure to measure your servings and enjoy them alongside other whole foods as part of a balanced diet.
To prevent overeating, have banana and peanut butter only occasionally and in moderation. Pair them with protein sources and eat as part of a diet focused primarily on whole foods like vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and whole grains.
When enjoyed in reasonable amounts as part of an overall balanced diet, banana and peanut butter can be a nutritious addition that promotes weight loss. But it’s best to limit your intake if trying to cut calories for weight management.
Frequently asked questions
Is banana good for weight loss?
Bananas can be included in a weight loss diet due to their high nutrient content and fiber. Fiber promotes feelings of fullness and can help reduce calorie intake. However, bananas are still high in natural sugars and calories, so portions should be controlled.
Is peanut butter good for weight loss?
Peanut butter can aid weight loss due to its protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It may promote fullness and curb overeating when paired with whole foods as part of a balanced diet. However, you should still watch your portions since it’s high in calories.
Should you eat banana and peanut butter together?
Combining banana and peanut butter can make a tasty, nutrient-dense snack that provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and healthy fats. As long as you mind your portions, enjoying them together as part of a healthy diet can help promote weight loss.
What’s the best time to eat peanut butter for weight loss?
The best times to eat peanut butter for weight loss are as a snack between meals to manage hunger or as a pre-workout fuel source. Peanut butter is satiating, so it may curb overeating at additional meals. As a pre-workout, it provides lasting energy.
Can peanut butter help burn belly fat?
There is no evidence that peanut butter directly targets belly fat. However, it may reduce overall body fat when eaten as part of a low calorie diet due to its hunger-fighting effects. Higher protein intake from foods like peanut butter is also linked to lower belly fat.