Slipping on a banana peel? The stuff of comedians. Slipping up on your diet? Not likely to elicit a belly laugh.
For every decadent dessert, there is a lighter, leaner version.
A pared-down banana split, The Star’s Glazed Bananas With Frozen Yogurt offers plenty of natural sweetness and creamy goodness without all the wretched excess.
“For the past 100 years, the concoction we call the Banana Split has been, if not America’s most popular dessert, then surely the most visible culinary symbol of our national indulgence,” Michael Turback writes in The Banana Split Book (Camino Books).
Indeed, a traditional banana split — with three scoops of ice cream, flavored syrups, whipped cream, nuts and a cherry on top — can blow a week’s worth of otherwise conscientious eating by as much as 1,200 calories.
Dairy products add B vitamins, calcium and protein to the diet, and compared to ice cream, frozen yogurt typically contains less fat. But the key to making this dessert really work for you is to keep the portion sizes realistic. Softball-size scoops at the local ice cream parlor may seem the norm, but a single serving of ice cream or frozen yogurt is actually just 1/2 cup — roughly the size of a tennis ball.
Whenever possible, nutrition experts encourage adding fruit to desserts, since Americans rarely get enough in their daily diet. Bananas have long been America’s favorite fruit, and a small to medium banana has only 100 calories, no fat and only 1 milligram of sodium.
Bananas also add vitamins B6 and C, fiber and potassium to the diet. An important nutrient that helps to counteract the excess sodium in the typical American diet, the potassium in bananas can help control blood pressure.