Updated: Jan 19, 2022
Is it okay to break an Intermittent Fast with a banana? If you search this on the internet, you'll likely read a lot of articles telling you that bananas are a great way to break a fast. But most of these articles are discussing long term fasting. What about with Intermittent Fasting? Is it okay to break an intermittent fast with a banana? Today, I'm diving into the details of bananas and Intermittent Fasting!
Is It Okay To Break A Fast With A Banana?
Bananas are fairly high in sugar and relatively low in fiber. This means breaking down and absorbing the sugars from bananas will be easy and fast for the body to do. The faster something is broken down and absorbed, the bigger the blood glucose spiking potential and therefore the larger corresponding spike in the storing hormone insulin.
It turns out that each person may have differing levels of carbohydrate sensitivity. This means some people may secrete more insulin in response to the same amount of carbohydrates than others. In this circumstance, someone who isn't very sensitivity to carbohydrates may be able to have half a banana in their break-fast meal and be relatively unaffected. Whereas someone who is very carbohydrate sensitive may experience a much higher spike in insulin from the same half banana. For this reason, if weight loss is a goal with Intermittent Fasting and you suspect you may be more sensitive to carbohydrates, it is likely best to avoid sugar dense fruits and opt for high fiber, lower sugar alternatives -- such as raspberries.
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What Is The Best Food To Eat After Intermittent Fasting?
The three most important foods to consume when breaking a fast are protein, fat and fiber. When in a fasted state, the blood glucose levels are fairly stable because the body is using fat as a fuel source.(2) If the goal with Intermittent Fasting is weight loss or not, stabilizing blood glucose levels is generally considered a good thing to do for health and wellness. By consuming a meal that is rich in proteins, fats and fiber rich veggies or fruits, this helps to slow the release of glucose into the blood supply and help prevent a large spike and fall in blood glucose levels.
Protein and fat are also particularly useful for preventing hunger. Protein and fat combined allow the body to release the satiety hormones (the hormones that make you feel full and satisfied) peptide YY and CCK.(3) And if weight loss is one of the goals with Intermittent Fasting, proteins and fats are incredibly useful tools. Protein is the most important macronutrient for achieving body recomposition goals (3) and fat causes the lowest secretion of the storing hormone insulin.
In fact, protein is so important with Intermittent Fasting that I filmed a free Nutrition Bootcamp on how to calculate your protein needs with the video below:
So SHOULD You Break Your Fast With A Banana?
A banana eaten on its own provides essentially zero protein and fat and very little fiber. For this reason, I typically don't recommend breaking a fast with a banana when eaten by itself. However, if you don't suspect you are sensitive to carbohydrates and you pair a half a banana (to lower the sugar content) with high quality sources of protein, fat and additional fiber (like with one of my free smoothie recipes HERE), then a banana can be used when breaking an Intermittent Fast.
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Autumn Elle Nutrition