Are Bananas a Healthy Choice for People with Diabetes? | Diabetes Health Page

Are Bananas a Healthy Choice for People with Diabetes?

By Gabriela | Foods

Are Bananas a Healthy Choice for People with Diabetes?

The meaning of having diabetes is either the body’s inability to fabricate enough insulin or the inability to utilize the insulin it builds efficiently. In short, it affects the processing way of the sugar in the body.

Hence, it’s imperative that we monitor what we ingest, and how could it additionally affect the sugar levels in our blood. The average amount of carbohydrates in an average-size banana is around 30 grams, from which more than half of the amount are sugars.

Furthermore, the banana contains a healthy amount of essential fibers and nutrients like:

  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B-6

Let’s take a closer look at the fruit’s pros and cons.

Is Banana Beneficial for Diabetes?

Reportedly, eating a banana might be particularly beneficial for diabetics. Results from a 2015 study claim that starch (that’s found in the unripened banana) could improve the sugar levels in the blood as well as the body’s response to insulin.

In addition, the vitamin B-6 in the banana could aid in decreasing stress and control the proper function of the metabolism. Generally, both of these processes have a vital part of managing diabetes.

Moreover, the relatively high contents of fiber in the banana can aid maintain proper digestion. Potassium, on the other hand, controls the blood pressure and bestows to the cardiovascular system overall wellbeing.

Is Banana a Healthy Choice for Diabetics?

Even diabetics are to eat at least 2 servings of fruit per day. So, as long as we keep track of the carbohydrate content we ingest, we can combine them with any meal.

On average, 1 banana provides our body with:

  • 8% of the daily value for Potassium
  • 2 grams of dietary fibers
  • 12% of the daily value for vitamin C
  • 15 grams of sugar

For diabetics, the recommended serving size for carbs in the daily diet is 19 grams or 1 small banana (no longer than 6 inches) which is about one-third of their preferred daily value (45-60gr/day).

Fruits (and foods in general) that are high on the glycemic index cause a rise in blood sugar level, unlike the ones that are low on the glycemic index.

The glycemic index (GI) evaluates the influence a particular food has on the blood sugar levels, due to its sugar content. Foods with values of 55 (and higher) are said to be medium and high on the GI index and should be utilized in moderation.

Foods that have a GI index value of 50 (and lower) are considered safe & healthy. Further, the GI index shouldn’t be an utter damper on what you shouldn’t or should eat anyway.

However, it’s a rather useful tool to help you understand precisely how food impacts the blood sugar levels. Bananas can be both low and medium glycemic index foods, contingent on their state of attainment/ripeness.

For example, unripe banana has a GI index value of 42, while ripe banana (brown speckled) has around 48-51 GI. It’s a rule – the larger and riper the fruit is, the higher the sugar amount is.

Eating half a banana (approximately 15gr of sugar) should have little or no impact at all on the sugar levels in the blood whatsoever. Combining it with foods that contain little or no carbs at all (low GI index) safeguards our blood sugar levels from spiking.

In addition, we want to present you with list of foods & their ratings on the GI index scale:

Low GI Index Foods:

  • Beans
  • Non-starchy vegetables
  • Nuts
  • Apples
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruits
  • Oatmeal (muesli)
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Barley
  • Bulgar
  • Peas
  • Lentils
  • Carrots

Medium GI Index Foods:

  • Rye, whole wheat, and pita bread
  • Quick oats
  • Wild, brown or basmati rice, couscous

High GI Index Foods:

  • Bagel or white bread
  • Cornflakes
  • White rice
  • Rice pasta
  • Russet potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Pretzels, popcorn, crackers, and rice cakes, etc.

Foods Low on Carbs:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Cheese
  • Eggs

Watermelon, dry dates, and pineapple are also on the high GI index list.

How to Implement Bananas in The Daily Diet

It’s simple, just follow these steps:

  • Choose unripe over riped bananas at all times. A slightly green tone on the yellow banana is picture-perfect.
  • If you want a good nutritious breakfast, slice and add a banana to a dish of oats scattered with some nuts.
  • Do implement green plantains in your cuisine. Like the bananas, they are also very inflated with potassium and low in carbs when they are green.
  • If you’re about to eat a banana rich desert, compensate with light-in-carbs dinner, to avoid blood sugar spikes
  • Cinnamon on a banana makes a great diabetes-benevolent dessert.

The reason behind it is the richness of antioxidants, and cinnamons’ abilities to manage the insulin responses as well as to decrease the sugar levels in the blood.

Final Summation

Although there are no endorsements against banana intake for diabetics, moderation is imperative. Not only is banana a luscious fruit, but it’s also highly beneficial for our overall health due to the complexity of its’ nutritional profile.

Also, they are full of high amounts of vitamins, minerals, and fibers, mainly responsible for maintaining proper digestion and balancing metabolism.

The intake of a certain amount of carbohydrates throughout the day is equally important to the total amount of carbs in a diabetics’ diet.

Not to mention that diabetics also need to intake proteins and fats with every meal, to prevent blood sugar levels from rising due to the carbohydrates in the food.

Sources: BMJHealthline; Diabetic Connect; Diabetes