Friday, June 26, 2009

Am I Eating Too Many Bananas?

I am a 30 year old man, about 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. Daily, I eat 4 bananas (for the potassium and also because, I love them!), munch on almonds, drink a glass of pure pomegranate juice, and 6-8 glasses of water. Is there such a thing as eating too many bananas? --Matthew N.

Dear Matthew,

Because of the fact that you are not overweight, it would seem you are not eating too much of anything. In one scenario, eating too much of something would mean eating too many calories and would cause you to be overweight.

In another scenario, however, eating many servings of one food keeps you from eating other foods. You may have an unbalanced diet if you eat four bananas a day because it's less likely you'll be eating other fruits. Sometimes people eat so much of one healthy food (such as people who drink 8 glasses of milk each day) that they push other healthy foods out of their diet. This can mean you are eating too much of a food, even one that is considered to be good for you such as almonds or bananas.

Consider alternating bananas for other fruits and even vegetables. Limit almonds to 2 ounces per day and try, at least, having another variety of nuts. Consider whether you are including protein sources such as lean meats, poultry and/or fish; vegetables; whole grains, and dairy products to balance out your diet and assure an intake of all the essential nutrients.

FYI, potassium is found in many foods we commonly eat (most fruits and vegetables, dairy, potatoes, even coffee and tea) and I have never seen anyone with a potassium deficiency unless they are on certain medications that cause their body to excrete potassium.

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