Do you go bananas over Bananas? Well, you are not alone. Bananas are the most commonly consumed fruit worldwide. At times you might question ‘Is banana good for diabetes?’ or ‘Can diabetic patients eat bananas?’. The answer is ‘Yes’, sugar patients can eat bananas; however, the key is to consume in moderation and keep a check on your calorie intake. Let’s read along to understand nutrition in a banana, sugar content in bananas, the benefits of eating bananas for diabetics, and the risks of overconsumption.Contents:
Banana (also known as Musa) is sweet, tasty, creamy, seedless, easy to peel, and convenient to eat fruit. Worldwide, bananas have more than a thousand varieties and you can find a few in your local market.
The Glycemic Index (GI) of bananas varies from 42 to 62. Unripe and ripe bananas have a low GI (i.e. <55) and overripe bananas have a medium GI.
GI of unripe banana: 42 (low)
GI of ripe banana: 51 (low)
GI of overripe banana: 62 (medium)
Nutrition in one medium (7-inch) banana or one serving is as follows:
28 g carbohydrate
15 g sugar
0 g fat
1 g protein
3 g fiber
450 mg potassium
Bananas are also a rich source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, manganese, phosphorus, and calcium. Additionally, they are packed with various micronutrients and vitamins such as copper, zinc, selenium, thiamine, folic acid, and niacin.
Banana is a healthy fruit for people with diabetes. Unripe and ripe bananas are absorbed slowly and do not spike your blood glucose levels. Unripe (green) bananas are rich in resistant starch – a substance helpful in increasing insulin sensitivity in Type 2 diabetes. Resistant starch also helps to regulate blood sugar levels in diabetics and is gut-friendly. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) has promoted bananas as a “superfood” for diabetics.
Fiber present in bananas slows down digestion and absorption; hence, is useful in maintaining blood sugar levels.
Bananas are rich in micronutrients and antioxidants that reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and stroke – common complications of diabetes.
Bananas can be eaten raw during any time of the day. Preferably eat a green banana or a nearly ripe banana to avoid a spike in blood glucose levels. However, you can get creative and enjoy some delicious meals while managing your blood sugar levels:
Bananas are rich in sugar content and various essential nutrients. Diabetics can eat them in moderation and should avoid daily consumption of bananas. You can eat bananas or banana-containing dishes once or twice a week while keeping a tab on your calorie intake and blood glucose levels. If you must daily, then go for a ladyfinger size banana or reduce the proportion.
Overconsumption of bananas is not healthy, especially for diabetics. It can lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels as bananas are rich in carbs and sugar, albeit low GI. Eating bananas in excess can also cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, or indigestion. For some, it can cause high blood levels of potassium. It’s not recommended to eat bananas after dinner as it can trigger indigestion.
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