The energy content of different types of fruit varies widely, and there are many misconceptions about which fruit are best suited to a healthy diet. More often than not, this decision comes down to the calorie content of the food in question.
In 2014 Paignton Zoo attracted international attention when it banned bananas from its primates’ cages. They deemed the fruit to be too sugary and too calorific, with concerns that they could be contributing to health problems including type-2 diabetes. Compared to many other fruit, bananas are indeed high in energy, and have been shown to be just as effective as sports drinks at refuelling the human body during exercise. They also have a high potassium content, something many people don’t get enough of in their diet.
Alongside fruit such as tomatoes and cucumber (yes they are both fruit) bananas are by far better equipped in terms of their calorie content, with a portion offering six times more energy than the same mass of cucumber. However, whether this higher energy content is desirable depends on what else an individual consumes as part of a balanced diet, and how much exercise they do. There’s also cost, vitamin C and fibre content to consider. But if you’re a runner or a cyclist, bananas are great.
I produced this physical infographic to simplify the concept of calories, and to show very simply which fruit contain the most stored energy.