Diabetes can be controlled with the correct diabetes diet and regular exercise. Many believe that all types of fruits should be avoided if you have diabetes because they contain fructose, a natural sugar. However, this is untrue. Many fruits have a low glycemic index, e.g. bananas, apples, oranges, etc., which avoid a rise in blood sugar levels. So, even people with diabetes can benefit from them when ingested in moderation because they provide various health benefits.
People with diabetes can utilize the glycemic index (GI) to evaluate the effect on blood glucose after consuming a particular food. This rating system provides a general notion of how quickly certain carbs raise blood sugar levels. Including foods with a GI score of 55 or less is considered safe to be added to your diabetes diet.
So, is banana good for diabetics? Ripe bananas have a GI score of 51. As long as the serving quantity is carefully considered, diabetics can enjoy them.
Carbohydrates in Bananas
A person with diabetes should strictly adhere to their meal plan. A medium, 7-8-inch banana has about 26 g of carbohydrates. Therefore, eating a banana together with some other item — like a piece of toast or cereal — will increase your total carbohydrate intake. Hence, it is crucial to control the portions of fibre, protein, fat, and carbohydrates consumed.
Health Benefits of bananas in a diabetes diet
Almost all fruits, including bananas, contain phytochemicals that reduce your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, and stroke. Hence, your diabetes diet plan should have bananas to prevent diabetic complications like heart disease, but in moderation.
When a banana is ripe, its carbohydrate content increases. Compared to yellow bananas, green, unripe bananas have much less sugar and more resistant starch. Resistant starch functions similarly to fibre since it is resistant to digestion in the upper digestive tract. It prevents a surge in blood sugar levels as a result.
Bananas are abundant in vitamin B6 and essential for avoiding diabetes-related problems such as neuropathy, gestational diabetes, and reduced glucose tolerance and must be included in a diabetes diet.
How Many Can You Consume in a Day?
The response to this query depends on the person, their degree of activity, and how bananas affect their blood sugar. Bananas in a diabetes meal plan should be discussed with your physician or trained dietitian. It is generally recommended to have one banana daily.
Diabetes Diet Tips To Consume Bananas
- Combine bananas with a good fat or source of protein:
A source of unsaturated fats like almond or peanut butter, walnuts, pistachios or sunflower seeds with a banana can improve blood sugar control and enhance flavour. Combining a banana with a protein source, such as Greek yoghurt, is another healthy choice for diabetics. As a result, a person will feel fuller for longer and have less impulse to snack during the day, which will help them control their blood sugar.
- Try consuming green bananas:
Bananas that are green or unripe often affect blood sugar more slowly than ripe bananas. Also, unripe bananas have a higher starch content. Starches are more difficult for the body to digest than simpler sugars. This causes blood sugar levels to rise more gradually and under better control.
- Eat small bananas:
Controlling your food intake can affect how much sugar you take in. For example, there are many different sizes of bananas. If you consume a smaller banana, you intake fewer carbohydrates. A serving of a small banana, which is 6-7 inches long, has 23.07 g of carbohydrates, whereas a serving of an extra-large banana contains around 35 g of carbohydrates.
If you have diabetes, you can still follow a healthy diet and eat fruits like bananas. However, you have to watch how much you eat and reduce the quantity of sugar you consume in one sitting by eating a small banana. You must choose a banana with reduced sugar content, ensure it is not overripe and spread out your daily fruit consumption to lessen the glycemic load and maintain stable blood sugar levels. So, to answer the question, ‘Is banana good for diabetics?’, yes, it is.