You May Also Like

How to dispose of contact lenses for environment

In the crusade to save the oceans, contact lenses are about to be the next plastic straw

The best time of day to have sex

We know the very best time to have sex…

liquid i.v. hydration

Your 3 p.m. workday slump could be caused by this one thing (and it’s not what you think)

I can't seem to win at work—how do I deal?

I can’t seem to win at work and it’s making me doubt myself—how do I deal?

Jillian Michaels afternoon slump

Jillian Michaels has never experienced the 4 p.m. slump—here’s why

10 healthy things Lauren, Lo, Whitney, and Kristin are too busy doing to return to "The Hills"

10 healthy things Lauren, Lo, Whitney, and Kristin are too busy doing to return to “The Hills”

Wait, is eating 51 bananas a day healthy?


Thumbnail for Wait, is eating 51 bananas a day healthy?
Pin It
Photo by Mike Dorner on Unsplash

Leanne Ratcliffe—also known as Freelee the banana girl—sometimes eats 51 bananas a day. No, it’s not for some sort of healthier version of the hot dog eating contests you’re familiar with, but part of her social media-famous Raw Till 4 Diet (with 450,000 followers on Instagram alone). The diet is more intense than it sounds: eat only raw fruit until 4 p.m., and a high-carbohydrate vegan meal for dinner. According to Australia’s Adelaide Messenger, Ratcliffe claims to have lost about 40 pounds on this diet. A nutritionist’s take on it? “Worrying,” says the article.

Eating a fruitarian diet or following the banana girl’s regimen isn’t actually that great for you because you miss out on vital vitamins and minerals—plus you’d be getting the sugar equivalent of six cans of Coke a day, nutritionist and food science lecturer Evangeline Mantzioris, PhD, tells the Messenger.

The first issue with the Raw Till 4 diet is that it’s not at all backed by science, Dr. Mantzioris says. It’s essentially a fad diet, which are short lived and generally unsuccessful, she says, adding that while fruit should be a part of everyone’s diet, you only need two pieces to reap the health benefits (plus imagine trying to eat dozens of bananas each day?).

As is the norm with social media trends, it can have a negative effect on adolescents, who often assume what they see online is correct.

“[Adolescents who try this diet are] running a high risk because if they lower their intake (of essential food groups), they reduce their growth rate,” says Mantzioris. “The fruit itself isn’t dangerous, it’s what you’re not eating that’s worrying.”

A few things the bananas-for-bananas diet doesn’t provide: key minerals like calcium and selenium, as well as healthy fats—something we know is essential to a healthy diet and for absorbing nutrients.

“There’s this hype around raw food, but the reality is you need raw and cooked food in your diet because when you cook food, nutrients are released,” Dr. Mantzioris says. So rather than stock up on hundreds of bananas, maybe opt for a more balanced diet full of veggies, protein, fats, and all the other superfoods—we evolved beyond monkeys, after all.

Originally posted June 8, 2016, updated August 8, 2018. 

Bananas may not be a great idea as your sole food source, but they are amazing when you’re making healthy frozen desserts, for one—and they’re a superstar smoothie and smoothie bowl ingredient.  

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

10 healthy things Lauren, Lo, Whitney, and Kristin are too busy doing to return to "The Hills"

10 healthy things Lauren, Lo, Whitney, and Kristin are too busy doing to return to “The Hills”

Need veggie sandwich ideas? Try this rainbow one

It’s possible to eat a rainbow for lunch thanks to this ultimate veggie sandwich

Low carb diets linked to shorter life span

Pass the pasta: A super-low-carb diet is linked to a shortened life span

I can't seem to win at work—how do I deal?

I can’t seem to win at work and it’s making me doubt myself—how do I deal?

The best time of day to have sex

We know the very best time to have sex…

Well+Good - Come celebrate with us—the Well+Good Council is turning one

Come celebrate with us—the Well+Good Council is turning one