Banana Bread, Lightened Up

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 »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Bread Pudding, Lightened Up

Soaked in sugar, eggs and half-and-half, bread pudding is decadent to say the least. Good news – it’s possible to cozy up with a tasty version of this comfort food for less calories.

Recipe Spotlight: Lightened-Up Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a classic, creamy, indulgent dessert, but Food Network Kitchen's came up with an easy-to-make lighter version.

Zucchini Bread, Lightened Up

It’s easy to be fooled into believing that zucchini bread is good for you – it’s made with vegetables after all! In actuality, many recipes are weighed down with fat and sugar -- so we’re going to lighten things up.

Burgers, Lightened Up

Spring and summer are prime time for burgers. Whether you like beef, poultry or veggies, there’s a burger out there for you. Here are some fresh ways to build a lighter (but still delicious) burger.

Tiramisu, Lightened Up

In honor of Italian week, we’re lightening up this all-time favorite dessert. Find out how you can enjoy this delectable classic without all the guilt.

Pancakes, Lightened Up

Butter, syrup and processed flour don't do much to make pancakes healthy, but you can make your own -- with a few simple swaps -- and enjoy a lighter breakfast.

Cheesecake, Lightened Up

Velvety smooth, sweet and creamy, but with more than 600 calories and 45 grams of fat per slice, can it be part of a healthy diet? Here’s how you can have your (cheese)cake and eat it too!

Brownies, Lightened Up

I’m a brownie kind of girl—my friends and family can vouch for me. There are in fact ways to lighten up this delectable dessert. What’s the secret? Read on to find out.

Hearty Chili, Lightened Up

Yes, it's easy to load up your chili with calories and fat, but here are easy steps to make a pot for under 400 calories per serving.

Cupcakes, Lightened Up

They may come in pretty little packages, but cupcake calories can get ugly! Here are some lighter ways to enjoy these tasty pastries.