FODMAP FAQ: Can I Eat Bananas That Grow Brown in My Bag?

FODMAP FAQ: Can I Eat Bananas That Grow Brown in My Bag?
(Last Updated On: February 24, 2021)

In the FAQ articles, I will tell you the answer to a Frequently Asked Question from my dietitian practice. The FAQ of the day is: Can I eat bananas that grow brown in my bag, while on the FODMAP diet?

I think everyone recognizes it, in the morning you have a perfectly yellow banana, no brown spots, and it looks so appetizing! So you decide to take it with you for later in the day. You put the banana in your bag, and in the afternoon you decide to eat it. You take it out of your bag and are unpleasantly surprised! The banana is completely covered in brown spots now! How did that happen? And can you still eat it on the FODMAP diet?

FODMAP Banana bag

What Happens When the Banana Browns in Your Bag?

A banana can grow brown when it’s ripening, but can also grow brown as a result from pressure from the outside. We all know that a ripened banana is a no-go on the FODMAP diet, click this link if you want to read more about that. But are the brown spots that the banana gets in your bag the same as the brown spots when it ripens?

According to Ernst Woltering, a professor of product physiology at Wageningen University, the browning reaction is the same in both cases. The banana browns when certain enzymes in the banana come in contact with each other. When the banana is unripened and doesn’t get damaged, these enzymes are separated by cell membranes. Once the banana ripens or gets damaged, these membranes grow weak or get damaged and the enzymes come in contact with each other. Causing the banana to go brown.

Can I Eat the Bananas That Grow Brown in my Bag on the FODMAP Diet?

The browning in your bag has nothing to do with the ripening of the banana but is a result of the reaction described above. On the FODMAP diet, you can’t eat a brown banana because of the ripening process. The ripening causes the long-chain carbohydrates to break down into shorter-chain carbohydrates, and some of these shorter-chain carbohydrates will be fructans. Nonetheless, I would not advise you to eat the brown banana from your bag since the enzymes that come free when the banana is growing brown can also promote the ripening of the banana. In the end, you won’t know if the spot is brown from damage or from ripening. Better to be safe than sorry!

When you do want to take a banana with you during the day, buy yourself a banana container to keep your banana safe in your bag. That’s an easy way to have a healthy and FODMAP-friendly snack and some peace of mind about it! Do make sure to keep to the recommended portion sizes though! 100 grams per serving is low FODMAP.

Do you ever take bananas with you? What is the solution you found to keep them from getting brown? Let me know in a comment!

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