Banana Bread, Lightened Up

banana walnut bread

There’s no better way to use over-ripe bananas than banana bread, but all the butter and sugar in traditional banana bread recipes can clobber you with calories and fat. Use our tips to make this breakfast classic more figure friendly.

Nutrition Facts

There’s a lot of variation in the nutrition info for banana bread recipes. Those made with butter and eggs come out higher in unhealthy saturated fat and cholesterol, while those made with vegetable oils are still high in fat and calories, but contain more heart-healthy fats. On average, most breads come out to 110 calories and 4 to 5 grams of fat per ounce -- and slices can vary from anywhere from 2 to 5 or more ounces.

Lighter Options

There are numerous ways to tone down your favorite recipe. Try a couple of these easy fixes:

  • Bananas add moisture and sweetness so you can cut back on the fat and sugar – try using 25 percent less than the recipe calls for.
  • Applesauce or apple butter can also help replace the fat and added sugar.
  • Downsize the portions to muffin or mini-muffin pans.
  • Cut a standard loaf pan sized-bread into 12 slices.
  • Make a cholesterol-free version using canola oil, apple butter and soy milk.
  • Nuts and chocolate chips are great add-ins, but keep portions to no more than one tablespoon per serving.
Recipes to Try:

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

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