Many expecting mothers, especially mothers from South India, crave Kerala banana chips during pregnancy. For them, munching banana chips are a healthy solution for their hunger pangs. But how healthy are banana chips during pregnancy?
Myth to bust- banana chips may look healthy, but are actually not-so-good. Even though this snack carries the goodness of banana and coconut oil, it is important to know certain facts about eating banana chips during pregnancy. And this is where we help you.
How Safe Are Banana Chips During Pregnancy?
Bananas are generally known to be healthy foods that you can easily eat during pregnancy. So you might be thinking that banana chips must be the same. Unfortunately, banana chips are a lot more different than regular bananas.
While you can still indulge in your cravings every now and then, be mindful of how much you are eating. It can still be part of your diet. But make sure you don’t exceed that limit.
Related Reading: Top 10 Food Cravings When Pregnant With A Girl
If that isn’t enough to satiate you, you can eat a fresh banana almost every day, as bananas are very healthy.
But again, bananas also have to be eaten in a moderate quantity. If you ask “can banana chips make you fat”, the answer is, “yes it can, if you do not put a tab on the consumption”.
Are Dried Banana Chips Good For You During Pregnancy?
Banana chips are full of fat and sugar. They can make your cholesterol levels shoot up and can cause obesity or unhealthy weight gain during pregnancy. For these reasons, it is recommended that expecting mothers avoid eating a large or excessive amount of banana chips.
But here comes a healthy alternative for banana chip lovers. You can buy dehydrated, non-fried banana chips that are made without sugar and with low sodium salt. Dried banana chips during pregnancy are healthier than regular ones.
Dried banana chips carry the same nutrients as regular banana chips. But what makes them healthier is you are not ingesting added fat. Dried banana chips are plain banana slices baked to a crispy snack without added oil and sugar.
Related Reading: 18 Foods To Eat To Increase Fetal Weight During Pregnancy
Some top brands of dried banana chips available in the market claim to retain the same amount of fiber and many nutrients as a whole banana. However, during pregnancy, making your own dried banana chips at home is a far healthier option rather than having deep-fried, oily banana chips that you find in stores. You can use a food dehydrator for this. You can also bake them in an oven.
8 Things To Know If Eating Banana Chips During Pregnancy
So, by now, you may have realized that there is more to banana chips than you may have thought. So it goes without saying that you need more information in order to make an informed decision on whether or not you are going to keep them in your pregnancy diet.
So, without further ado, here are 8 very important things you need to know about eating banana chips during pregnancy.
1. Banana are a source of energy and carbohydrates
Banana chips have a lot of calories. These calories mainly come from the high amount of carbohydrates and saturated fat present in banana chips. These nutrients are useful in providing a lot of energy. However, due to the lack of sufficient protein in banana chips, this energy will probably not last for a long time.
This is a benefit that banana chips provide. This energy that banana chips give can be used by your body as fuel, to keep it going. This is incredibly useful during pregnancy when many expecting mothers experience fatigue and exhaustion and extreme tiredness.
However, it can also have some negative side effects. All these calories can trigger weight gain. So, eating it in excess can cause obesity, which in turn, can cause complications when you are pregnant.
This is why it is advised for pregnant women to be mindful of the number of banana chips they eat.
2. Yes, banana chips contain potassium but bananas are a better source
Potassium is essential for the proper function of your body. It has several functions, including lowering your blood pressure to a healthy level and supporting your muscles and nerves.
Bananas are very well known because of their incredibly high amount of potassium. This is also the reason many women think banana chips are a healthy option – they’re made of bananas, so they must have a lot of potassium, too, right?
However, while it is true that banana chips do have some potassium content, it is a lot lower than normal bananas and so, much less than you would think. One serving of banana chips provides only about 225 mg of potassium, which is just 5 percent of what you need each day when you are pregnant.
Related Reading: 11 Symptoms Of Not Eating Enough While Pregnant
So, even though it is easy to digest, and quite delicious, the nutritional density is not as good as that of a normal fresh banana. So, for your potassium, it is better to just a fresh banana each day. It gives you the potassium you need without all the extra calories.
It is okay to eat small portions of banana chips every now and then, but it is not sufficient for your daily potassium needs.
3. Banana chips are an excellent source of magnesium
Banana chips, while not as healthy as regular bananas, do have many nutrients that you can benefit from. They contain several vitamins, but the nutrient they are the richest in is magnesium. Magnesium is a very important nutrient, which is even more essential when you are pregnant.
Magnesium maintains the energy levels of an expecting woman. It also does other bodily functions, such as helping with fetal formation, reducing cramps, and maintaining healthy blood pressure.
Magnesium also works together with calcium and phosphorus to increase the bone density of the mother and to reduce her risk of developing dental issues. One serve of banana chips can provide 32 milligrams of magnesium.
4. Health can be a concern the way banana chips are prepared
This point may not surprise you all that much, but it is a very important point all the same. Almost all the banana chips you see on the market, like any other kind of chips, are usually produced in bulk. This doesn’t leave a lot of room to make sure everything is being done safely and healthily.
So, the methods used to make these chips are not very good for your health, especially seeing as you are pregnant. Many a times, the chips are deep-fried in the same oil used for other batches of banana chips. This usually removes most of the nutrients from bananas. It also adds unhealthy ingredients (like a lot of oil).
5. Banana chips contain more calories than other chips
Other popular chips, such as potato chips or vegetable chips are comparatively not as filling as banana chips. They are also not as heavy. Banana chips contain a lot more saturated fat and sugar than other types of chips. So, you have to eat a lot of these chips to equal the number of calories in just a small serving of banana chips.
When banana chips are fried, this issue worsens. Fried banana chips have a lot more calories, sugar, and fat. So, if you do eat banana chips, it is better to eat baked or dried banana chips, and even those should only be consumed in small amounts.
6. Drink plenty of water after eating banana chips
Bananas are a very rich source of fiber, in whatever form you eat them. A single, small serving of banana chips (of around 1.5 ounces) contains 3 gm of fiber. This is already about 12 percent of the daily recommended amount.
Many expecting mothers do not get the amount of dietary fiber they need during pregnancy, often leading to digestive issues. Fiber is essential for digestion as it promotes proper bowel movements and also cleans out the large intestine. It can also help reduce cholesterol levels and keep blood sugar in a healthy range.
However, fiber also absorbs a lot of water when passing through your intestines. If this is not replenished it can lead to dehydration.
Banana chips also often contain sodium and in excess quantity.
For these reasons, it is important to drink a lot of water when you eat banana chips or any similar product.
7. Banana chips could spike the blood sugar level
Banana chips are often come as salted, or coated with masala or jaggery. These coatings help to enhance the flavor of this snack. However, if coated with salt, and jaggery, this deep fry should be avoided by women with gestational diabetes.
Even consuming a small serving of banana chips could cause a blood sugar spike. Even while drying the banana (without frying) its sugar content will be increased. So it is important to limit its quantity during pregnancy.
8. Gender prediction and banana chips during pregnancy
People are obsessed with gender predictions. You may have heard about “craving bananas during pregnancy boy or girl” discussions as well.
You might have heard old wives’ tale that claims eating a lot of bananas means the woman will give birth to a boy. Well, this is partially right. According to studies conducted by scientists at Britain’s Oxford and Exeter Universities, there is a link between a mother’s food intake and gender.
However, it is the food that women consume during preconception influence the gender of the baby rather than other times in pregnancy. It is found that if the mother consumes potassium-dense food, she more likely gets pregnant with a baby boy.
Bananas are an incredible source of potassium. Therefore women who eat lots of bananas during pregnancy tend to give birth to a baby boy. However, eating banana chips may not give the same result as the potassium in banana chips is not as high as in fresh bananas.
Banana chips are very popular and convenient snacks. They are easy to digest and known for being tasty. However, it is not as healthy as regular bananas. So, it is best to eat small portions, and only once in a while.
Making your chips at home, either by baking or by using a food dehydrator, is the healthiest option if you are craving banana chips during pregnancy. Try to eat banana chips that are not fried, and have no added sugar. Raw banana chips during pregnancy can be counted as a good choice.
If you are eating for nutrition, though, it is better and easier to just grab a regular banana.
But hey, at least banana chips are healthier than cake!