Everything To Know About Bananas & Diabetes In 2021 

November 22, 2021


For long there have discussions about bananas & diabetes, whether the two fit together or not. Banana’s high carbohydrate factor has always been a barrier for diabetic people. However, that might not be the truth. The fruit is rich in other nutrients that can help diabetic people if eaten in the right proportion. Let’s find out how. 

“Finish your bananas!” Have you been waiting to hear this for long now? Or does it run you through times when you could eat everything without thinking twice? Times when spiking sugar levels were out of question and health risks were far aside. We know how difficult it can get for a diabetic person to monitor their everyday diet to control their blood glucose levels. 

From putting aside your cravings to switching between never-ending diets, it can be a hectic lifestyle. However, if you are someone who has constantly been questioning themselves that whether, are bananas bad for your blood sugar levels or not? We have some good news for you! The words bananas & diabetes can co-exist without causing any harm to your health. 

Fruits Have A Bad Reputation! 

We know you must’ve heard multiple times that a diabetic person should not consume fruits. Or how their high fructose (sugar found in fruits) levels can surge sugar in your bloodstream. Yes, it is true that high fructose intake is not good for diabetic people. However, it is also true that not all fruits contain the same amount of fructose. This means, it is possible for you to consume fruits with low levels of sugar. All you need to know is the right Glycemic index of a fruit before consuming it. 

What Is The Glycemic Index? 

The Glycemic index refers to the individual value given to a food based on the rise of blood sugar levels two hours after consuming it. Thus, foods with low Glycemic index tend to introduce glucose into blood slowly as compared to foods with high Glycemic index. As a diabetic person, you must intake foods with low Glycemic index to keep your sugar levels in control. Any food with Glycemic index of 55 or less is safe for you to eat. 

Bananas Are An Exception 

Some people may totally oppose the combination of bananas & diabetes. However, it is not the one to be completely omitted. A banana can have a varying Glycemic index of 42 to 62. The rate at which a banana can induce glucose to your blood depends on its ripeness. A ripe banana can cause rapid glucose rush whereas, an under-ripe banana can introduce it steadily. Thus, if you are still wondering are bananas a good fruit for diabetics or not? Just go for the greens! 

Bananas- Benefits, Portions & Nutrients 

From being the high in carbohydrate and high in sugar villain amongst the fruits, diabetic people often forget that bananas can help them in other ways too. The reason why we suggest you to opt for unripe bananas is their low sugar content as well as the presence of resistant starch. A resistant starch is a type of carbohydrate that resists digesting in the small intestine and slows down glucose 

from entering your bloodstream. Research has proven that 15 to 30 grams of daily intake of resistant starch can help in insulin sensitivity by 30 to 50%. 

So the next time someone asks you “are bananas a good fruit for diabetics?” Tell them yes and share how it’s helping you with better management of your blood sugar. However, you must consider portion controlling as you do not want to exceed your carbohydrate intake. Remember, moderation is the key. Opt for unripe, medium-sized bananas packed with vitamin B6 and potassium. Eating bananas will not only keep you full, but also make you feel energized and lighten your mood. Its nutrients-rich quality will also lower your tendency of developing hypertension by 20%. 

Not All Bananas Are The Same 

Now that you know the benefits of eating bananas with diabetes, going bananas over it might not be of help. It is important for you to strike the right balance between bananas & diabetes. As diabetes is a chronic illness, everything you consume must be strictly monitored and you must notice any immediate side effects. Besides, everything that looks like a banana should not be consumed as an alternative to the fruit. For example, market-bought banana chips, cookies, cereals, or smoothies. 

Most of these market products use preservatives or syrups rich in sugar to add flavors to food items. Thus, consuming them will not benefit and only result in adverse effects. Instead eat the whole fruit or home-made dishes. The best way to incorporate a banana in to your daily meal is to either add it to your breakfast cereal or blend it with milk to drink as a smoothie. You can also enjoy it with other low-sugar fruits such as apples, oranges, peaches, and grapefruit. 

Pair It With Protein Or Fats 

Pairing a carbs-bound fruit with a source of protein or fats will help you slow down the spike of sugar in your blood. If you eat a banana with another carbohydrate-rich food such as bread, it will increase your carbohydrate intake and result in high blood sugar levels. Thus, if you want to savor bananas, pair it 

with foods like peanut butter, nuts, yogurt, or an egg. This will help you stick to a balanced diet, all while enjoying bananas. The best way to keep your blood sugar is to keep a carbs track or record your sugar levels every two after eating meals. This way you can introduce new foods to your diet without any severities. 

The Takeaway 

As a diabetic person, you can eat bananas without contemplating your health anymore. However, for a person with a low-carbs diet, it is best to consult with your doctor first. If you want to blend in your bananas & diabetes, just keep in mind- 

Green bananas are your friends. Ripe bananas will have high sugar content and increase your blood sugar levels. 

Portion Controlling will make it easy. Eating all your bananas at one time can result in high blood sugar levels. Try spreading out your fruit intake throughout the day. 

Carbs + Carbs are not a good combination. When eating bananas, foods rich in protein and fats are a better option to combine. 

Less is more. A medium-sized banana can suffice your carbohydrate consumption. Keep a track of your carbs intake and customize your bananas as per your need. 

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