Bananas are some of the most frowned-upon fruits when it comes to fatty liver disease. The main reason why most people tell you to stay away from bananas is the high amount of carbs (aka sugars) they contain.
But are bananas good or bad for fatty liver, in the end? This is the question that I’m going to answer in this article, based on my own experience with these fruits as well as research I have done.
Not to keep you waiting, I will start with the answer and then go more in depth.
You can eat bananas if you have a fatty liver disease, but don’t eat more than one per day. Make sure to track calories and sugars consumed that day to stay within limits. Bananas are good for our liver as they have lots of Potassium, Magnesium and Vitamins C & B6.
Before getting into specific details, I must repeat what I say every time. Fruits are extremely important when it comes to your quest of reversing fatty liver and I disagree with those who say that you should completely cut off fruits from your diet. You can read more about fatty liver and eating fruits here.
Even the sweetest fruits are still better than most other food choices out there – especially those with added sugar (so basically any kind of sweets that you can get in a store or even prepare at home).
Humans have been eating fruits for tens of thousands of years and our bodies have adapted to processing them – and their sugar – better than they do with processed foods.
Also, fruits don’t have just added processed sugar and nothing else. There’s a mix of other healthy nutrients like minerals and vitamins in each fruit, including fiber – all of these making the sugars themselves to release at slower rates than the refined type.
They are also giving our bodies a boost of vitamins and minerals that we so much need.
Bananas and NAFLD: Nutritional information
Everybody probably knows already, bananas do have a lot of sugar. This is undeniable and it’s probably what makes them so tasty and enjoyable in the first place, right?
In order to get in depth with the answer to the question “Are bananas good or bad for fatty liver?” we should look at some facts. The most important one is the nutritional information of these fruits.
So, according to Google, this is the nutritional information of a regular, medium banana:
So looking at the numbers above, we can see that they are not as scary as some say.
Yes, there are plenty of carbs there, but less than 14% is actual sugar (most likely under the form of fructose, which is the natural sugar in fruits) and quite a bit of dietary fiber.
For example, white bread usually has LESS fiber than bananas do (per 100 grams). This is why I recommend going for keto bread alternatives if you have a fatty liver disease.
It’s worth noting something extremely important regarding the nutritional info seen above.
We can see that one banana also has around 450 mg of Potassium, an extremely important mineral for our bodies, as well as high amounts of vitamin C and B6, as well as other minerals and fiber.
It is true, one medium banana does have a lot of sugar and carbs, but this doesn’t mean that we should completely ignore them, especially since we have to look at the other benefits it offers.
Apart from the Potassium that I mentioned earlier, the vitamins and even a bit of Protein, one banana also provides something extremely important: Dietary fibers (like all fruits and vegetables).
These dietary fibers lower your cholesterol levels and some consider them helpful in controlling blood sugar levels.
I also feel like one banana fills me up better than other fruits. For example, one medium apple can have more sugar than a banana does but it doesn’t fill you up just as much!
Oranges have less carbs, that is true – but they also don’t manage to make you feel full for just as long.
And this should be considered as well, in my opinion: how long you feel full afterwards.
Finally, you can use a whole banana as a sweetener in various foods. You no longer add sugar, but bananas are usually sweet enough and have a pleasant aroma to taste good in most homemade sweets.
Therefore, it’s a double-win: you eat something sweet that you cook at home and you also eat one healthy fruit.
Can you eat bananas if you have a fatty liver?
After looking at the facts and data, we can definitely say that you can indeed eat bananas if you have a fatty liver.
While I wouldn’t go as far as saying that they are “good” for NAFLD and you should have them daily, I don’t believe that you should completely take them out off the menu as part of the required lifestyle changes.
It’s actually preferable to eat one banana or any other fruit instead of other processed foods, especially sweet snacks, chocolate bars and such.
I believe that you can safely include bananas in your diet for NAFLD (you can find out more on my recommended diet here). I have reversed my fatty liver without completely eliminating them from my diet.
During the first 3 months after being diagnosed, I ate very few bananas because I read in many places that they should be avoided. Probably one per week, so you can do the same and still be on the safe side.
However, after three months and more research, I started eating more bananas. Now, I am eating one banana as a snack between the main meals on a regular basis. I usually eat one banana per day or one every other day.
But sometimes I eat 2 bananas (as the only fruit I consume each day) and sometimes I eat them daily.
I still managed to reverse my fatty liver, which is an additional proof that eating bananas is definitely not the end of the world and not something that would prevent you from reversing this condition.
So the key here is, just like with most things related to curing a fatty liver: moderation.
Bananas are healthy fruits which indeed have a bit more sugar than we’d like in our diets, but eating one per day, especially if you’re sticking to a healthy diet, shouldn’t be a problem. Even if you have fatty liver.
Just make sure that overall, at the end of the day, you don’t go above your daily threshold of carbs (read here how much sugar to eat per day).
And always choose a fruit over cakes, cookies or candies as they are the healthier option and they still satisfy our sweet tooth, better than we might think they do.
Are there any other types of foods that you are curious if you are allowed to eat when suffering from a fatty liver? Let me know by sharing your comments below.
I was diagnosed with a fatty liver back in 2014 and managed to reverse it by mid-2015. Since then, I’ve been studying it, continuously updating my knowledge with the latest scientific findings and practical approaches to give others the help they need to reverse their condition.
My approach to managing fatty liver is holistic, balancing scientifically-backed information with real-life, practical advice based on personal, direct experience.
I am also the admin of the Fatty Liver Support Group on Facebook and the Fatty Liver Subreddit.