In looking at which snacks can be a good fit for the Paleo Diet, as well as AIP and Whole30, one of the first snack foods I looked at where banana chips.
Traditional commercial banana chips are not allowed on the Paleo Diet due to the deep frying of bananas in industrial seed oils and added refined sugar. However , there are now several brands such as Bare banana chips and Bubba’s banana chips that exclude added sugar and only include allowed oils.
We lay out all you need to know when choosing banana chips that will fit within a Paleo Diet.
We also weigh the considerations when deciding if these healthy versions of commercial banana chips are a good fit for the more restrictive AIP and Whole30 diets.
We cover the following....
Why Consider Banana chips?
Banana chips are one of those great treats that you’ve probably come across as you’ve scoured the aisles of Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, searching for a healthy, Paleo-friendy snack that you can rely on when you need a bit of a pick-me-up.
Today, we’re looking at the top brands selling banana chips and taking a deeper look at the ingredients to find out whether or not they’re compliant on a Paleo, Whole30 or AIP diet.
But you might be wondering whether banana chips really are Paleo, Whole30 or even AIP-friendly? Well, yes and no. Honestly, it depends.
How do Banana Chips fit into the Paleo philosophy?
The Paleo diet is all about getting back to our roots, and making sure that we’re trying to consume only foods in their natural form. For example, eating potatoes cooked in animal fats instead of potato chips, or eating oranges instead of drinking orange juice.
The reason why the Paleo diet recommends this way of eating is because it avoids the problems consistent with the Standard American Diet (SAD), such as high blood sugar, consuming excess calories, and not getting enough natural fibre, amongst many other things. If this goes unchecked for a long period of time, people may develop unpleasant long-term conditions such as type-2 diabetes, obesity and bowel problems.
So how do banana chips fit into the Paleo diet?
- We have to think a little bit about the different brands of banana chips, because most banana chips are fried in industrial seed oils and added refined sugars, both of which are not permitted on a Paleo diet. However, there are other banana chips that have been baked in compliant ingredients, such as palm oil, coconut oil and honey, and some without any additional sweeteners at all.
- The majority of commercial Banana chips technically go against the Paleo, Whole30 and AIP philosophies because they are sliced bananas that have been fried and often coated with added sugar. This means that banana chips aren’t being eaten in their whole, natural form, and so are often excessively high in calories and sugars. However, if you’re not relying on them as a frequent snack, banana chips can be a useful and tasty treat in your Paleo diet, providing that they have been prepared with Paleo-friendly ingredients. Also, you may consider plantain chips as a lower sugar alternative.
What do the Paleo/Whole30 experts say about banana chips?
Melissa Urban (Hartwig) – In an article dated 2017, the Whole30 rules were revised by Melissa Urban (Hartwig) to exclude banana chips from the Whole30 diet. The reason why these rules were changed was that there has recently been an explosion of ‘healthy chips’ of many different varieties on the market that didn’t previously exist. However, this new branding of potato, kale, and banana chips takes away from the fundamental missions of the Whole30 diet, mainly because they are still refined and deep-fried snacks.
You can read more about their decision here: https://whole30.com/chips-and-aminos/
(The only caveat to this is that Melissa Urban (Hartwig) herself recently made an Instagram post stating how her own approach to the Whole30 diet has changed over the years. She explains how her own damaged personal relationship with food impacted how strictly she ran the Whole30 program, and has since relaxed her position on certain Whole30 rules. She still remains firm on the premise that you owe yourself a true and honest commitment to the Whole30 reset, but she does not vilify those who use occasional ‘Paleo treats’ in order to get through the program.)
Diane Sanfilippo – On the Balanced Bites website, Diane Sanfilippo states that chips of any kind are not permitted specifically on the 21-day Sugar Detox, which is a stricter version of the Paleo diet. She says that you can only make your own chips using approved foods and oils. The 21-day sugar detox is similar in many ways to AIP diets, because it excludes sugar of all kinds, including fresh and dried fruit. Therefore, we can safely assume that banana chips are not allowed on an AIP diet due to their exclusion on both sugar detoxes and the Whole30.
However, it does not appear that Diane Sanfilippo generally excludes banana chips from her own Paleo diet, as she often posts pictures of plantain chips with her meals on her Instagram page. Presumably she favors plantain chips for their lower sugar content, but some of the banana chip brands listed in this article are made from green Saba bananas, which are naturally lower in fructose.
To find out more about their decision, head to: https://21daysugardetox.com/21dsd-can-i-have/
So to summarise:
Are banana chips Paleo? Yes, if you find banana chips using Paleo ingredients.
Are banana chips Whole30? No, they are not generally permitted.
Are banana chips AIP? No, they are not generally permitted. However, baked plantain chips without added sugars can be eaten.
Paleo and quasi-Paleo brands of banana chips
For those of you on a Paleo diet who are interested in having Paleo banana chips as the occasional snack or treat, read below for our favorite Paleo-friendly brands, and which grocery stores stock them…
Paleo Banana Chips
Bubba’s Fine Foods AIP, Paleo Banana Chips
Ingredients: green Saba bananas, coconut oil, sea salt, organic apple cider vinegar.
You can find Bubba’s Paleo Banana Chips online at Amazon.
Bare Banana Simply Banana Chips
These Paleo-friendly banana chips can be found at Whole Foods, Safeway and online at Amazon.
Barnana Organic Original Chewy Banana Bites
Ingredients: bananas, banana powder. These aren’t banana chips but are very similar (more chewy than crunchy)
Barnana Banana Bites can be found at Whole Foods and on Amazon.
Quasi-Paleo Banana Chips (may contain added sugars)
365 Everyday Value Sweetened Banana Chips – banana, expeller pressed coconut oil, cane sugar, natural banana flavor. These chips are stocked at your local Whole Foods.
Sun Tropics Original Saba Banana Chips – saba bananas, cane sugar, coconut oil. These banana chips are stocked at Safeway.
O Organics Organic Banana Chips – organic banana, organic coconut oil, organic sugar. These organic banana chips do contain added sugar and are available at Safeway.
We hope that today’s article has been informative and has cleared up any confusion surrounding banana chips and their role in a Paleo, Whole30 or AIP diet.
Ultimately, for those on a loose (less strict version) of the Paleo diet, you likely prioritizing making your diet enjoyable as well as healthy, so if you find that including a few banana chips here and there without any noticeable detriment to your health keeps you happy, then there’s no reason to exclude them. Remember, your mental health is important too, and being unnecessarily restrictive with your diet is not a good mindset to be in!
However, if you do find that you suffer from eating banana chips (e.g. flare-up of specific symptoms), then you might prefer to switch to a lower-sugar alternative such as plantain chips. Or, you can check out some of our other articles listing Paleo-approved snacks that you can buy or make at home!