Are you fond of bananas? Well, you are not alone. Banana is one of the most commonly consumed fruits across the world. But is banana good for diabetes? The answer is a yes. Diabetic patients can have bananas, but the key is to have them in moderation while keeping the calorie intake in check. Let’s read on to find how bananas are good for diabetics and a few diet and safety tips to keep blood sugar levels low.
Here’s How Bananas Affect Diabetes and Blood Sugar Levels
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Diabetic patients should mind the carb content in their diet because carbs increase blood sugar levels. When the blood sugar spikes in non-diabetics, their bodies make insulin, which helps move sugar out of the blood into the cells where it is stored and used.
However, this does not happen in the case of people with diabetes. Instead, their bodies either do not make sufficient insulin, or their cells are resistant to the insulin produced. Thus, having bananas daily or without proper diabetes management can result in high blood sugar levels.
Bananas Are Fibre-Rich and Can Cut Blood Sugar Levels
Those wondering how to reduce blood sugar levels can have bananas because they are fibre-rich. A medium banana not only contains sugar and starch, but also 3 grams of fibre, potentially benefiting people with diabetes.
Fibre is crucial for diabetic patients because it helps slow carbs’ absorption and digestion. This further reduces blood sugar levels and improves the overall blood sugar management of a person with diabetes.
Bananas Are Rich in Nutrients and Can Be Made Diabetes-Friendly
Besides being rich in fibre, bananas have many nutrients like calcium, Vitamin B6, magnesium and manganese. This fruit contains less sodium and less saturated fat. Research has proved that low potassium can lead to higher blood sugar and Type 2 diabetes due to less insulin release. Thus, being rich in potassium, bananas keep the sodium level in the blood stable and sugar levels low.
Diet and Safety Tips
So, is banana good for diabetes? Some people might still be dubious. Here are some diet and safety tips to help you include bananas in the snack and meal time without any worry:
Pair Your Banana with a Healthy Protein or Fat Source
So, how to reduce blood sugar levels by consuming bananas? Can they be effective? Yes, if you consume them along with some unsaturated fat sources, such as peanut butter, almond, sunflower seeds, walnuts, or pistachios. This will not only boost the flavour of your meal, but also positively impact your blood sugar levels.
You can also have bananas along with some protein like Greek yoghurt. This will make you feel full for a long time and reduce cravings for snacks during the day. All this together regulates blood sugar as well.
Go for Under-Ripe Bananas
As per studies, green and unripe bananas affect blood sugar levels slower than yellow, ripe bananas. Unripe bananas are richer in their starch content than ripe bananas. The human body cannot break down starches in the same way as less complex sugars. Thus, the blood sugar levels increase in a more controllable and slower manner.
Portion Control Is Crucial
If you are a diabetic patient, watch out for the size of the banana before consuming it, considering the amount of sugar it may contain. Bananas come in varied sizes, and your carbs intake will significantly vary as per the banana size you pick. You will have about 26 gm of carbs if you have smaller bananas, whereas a medium and larger banana can provide you with about 28 gm and 35 gm of carbs, respectively.
The number of bananas you can eat daily depend on the level of activity and how the fruit impacts your blood sugar. The blood sugar factor comes in here because some people’s blood sugar is more sensitive to bananas than others.
If you know how bananas affect your blood sugar levels, it can help you manage your insulin shots and medicines, if required.
Track the Quantity of Carbs
Tracking carb content is necessary for diabetic patients. A dietician or doctor can educate you about managing the consumption of proteins, fats, carbs, and fibre in the most practical manner.
Remember, when you eat a banana and another source of carbs like cereal or toast, your carb intake from the meal will be very high. Based on your doctor’s nutritional advice, swapping out carbs in a meal later is crucial.
Conversely, after having a light-carb meal, you might spend the saved carbs on a banana by consuming it as a snack. This ensures that no snack or meal offers excessive carbohydrates.
Bananas are considered nutritious and safe fruit for diabetic patients only if they have them in moderate amounts as part of an individualised and balanced diet plan. People having diabetes should have plant food varieties in their diets, such as vegetables and fruits. Bananas offer a lot of nutrition without adding extra calories. To know exactly how to reduce blood sugar levels while including a banana in your diet, consult a registered diabetes specialist or dietician.