A diabetic must carefully monitor the nutritional components of the food they choose to eat. That is why not all fruits, that are favorable for someone with controlled blood sugar, will have a positive impact on someone dealing with diabetes. How about bananas? Are they safe?
Continue reading to learn more about bananas and diabetes.
What is a Banana?
Bananas belong to a species of plant called Musa that grows naturally in the tropical belts. They are a great source of iron, carbs, minerals and vitamins, and is a popular choice for breakfast, shakes and smoothies.
Are bananas good for Diabetes?
The answer is yes and no. Yes for unripe green bananas that have a negligible amount of sugar, but are rich in iron, calcium and other essential minerals. Unripe bananas are considered as vegetables, popularly known as plantain. It is highly beneficial for those with iron deficiency. They also contain resistant starch, which does not affect the increase in your blood sugar levels and may improve your long-term blood sugar management. They have a very low GI index of 30. Green or unripe banana is therefore safe for diabetes.
On the other hand, ripe bananas or yellow bananas are eaten as fruits. The health benefits of ripe bananas are no different than unripe bananas. The only thing that changes in the amount of sugar and the GI index that can go up to 60. Anything with a GI index above 55 is not favorable for diabetes. A partially ripe banana can have a GI index between 50 to 55 which may be “borderline safe” for diabetes. However, it is not possible to estimate this number while purchasing the fruit. Therefore, it is better to stay away from them if you are in a strict blood sugar management regime.
Diet and Tips for Bananas
Combine bananas with a “good” fat and protein source. In addition to improving blood sugar control, eating a green banana with an unsaturated fat source, such as almond or peanut butter, pistachios, sunflower seeds, or walnuts, can also enhance the flavor of the fruit.
Think about eating a green banana. Compared to ripe bananas, unripe bananas may release glucose more slowly.
Eat portion-sized bananas. There are many different sizes of bananas. A smaller banana has fewer carbs and has less effect on your blood sugar levels.
Ask your doctor about the portion size: They will know best how many bananas, or which type of banana, will be the most beneficial for you.