Those who are living with diabetes know that is essential to have stable blood glucose levels.
When it comes to healthy fruits, bananas are high in sugar and fiber, the two primary nutrients which raise blood glucose levels. And that raises many questions.
Should people with diabetes eat bananas? How do bananas affect blood glucose?
Bananas Have Carbs; Carbs Raise the Blood Glucose
People with diabetes know that the type and amount of carbs are significant. It’s like that since carbs raise the blood glucose levels more in comparison to other nutrients.
This means that carbs significantly impact blood glucose control. As a matter of fact, around 93 percent of the calories in bananas are from carbs. Carbs are found in the form of fiber, sugar, and starch.
One banana of medium size contains around 6 g of starch and 14 g of sugar.
Bananas Have Fiber; Fiber Might Lower Blood Glucose Spikes
One banana of medium size in addition to the sugar and starch contains 3 g of fiber. Everyone, no matter whether with or without diabetes needs to consume suitable amounts of dietary fiber because of its health benefits.
However, fiber is particularly vital for people who have diabetes, because it can help slow down the absorption and digestion of carbs. This can help lower blood glucose spikes and also improve the overall control of blood glucose.
Unripe, Green Bananas Have Resistant Starch
Resistant starches are actually chains of sugar – starch which is actually immune to digestion when it comes to the upper part of the digestive system.
Meaning that resistant starches function similarly to fiber and that won’t lead to a rise in blood glucose levels.
A Banana’s Impact on Blood Glucose Depends on Its Ripeness
Ripe or yellow bananas have less resistant starch in comparison to green bananas. Also, they have more sugar, which is more promptly absorbed in comparison to the starch.
Fully ripe bananas contain a higher glycemic index and might lead to a faster rise in blood glucose in comparison to unripe or green bananas.
However, ripeness is not the only factor in the amount of sugar in the banana. Size is also another factor. The larger the banana, the more carbs. Yes, as a matter of fact, a large banana will have a more significant influence on blood glucose levels.
In order to ensure you don’t lead a big rise in blood glucose, it’s vital to be aware of the size of the banana you choose to eat.
Are Bananas Good for People with Diabetes?
Most dietary guidelines for people with diabetes recommend following a balanced, healthy diet that includes fruit. It’s like that since consuming vegetables and fruits has been related to a lower risk of heart disease and better health.
People with diabetes are at higher risk of developing certain diseases, therefore consuming enough vegetables and fruits is vital.
Bananas provide you with vitamin C, fiber, vitamin B6, and potassium. Also, bananas contain plant and antioxidant compounds. As a matter of fact, for most people who have diabetes bananas are a healthy choice.
But there is one exception, and that is if we are on a low-carb diet in order to control our condition. In that case, even a small banana might be too much for us.
If you can eat bananas, it’s vital to be mindful of the size and ripeness of the banana in order to lower its influence on our blood glucose levels.
How to Eat Bananas?
- Eat bananas with other foods, like full-fat yogurt and nuts in order to slow the absorption and digestion of sugar.
- Pick a smaller banana to lower the amount of glucose you consume in one sitting.
- Spread the intake of fruit during the day to keep the blood glucose stable and to lower the glycemic load.
- Pick a nearly-ripe, firm banana, to get a lower sugar content.