Fruits and vegetables are very important for the overall health of an individual. They are identified for their health benefits and are known to prevent a number of illnesses. Recommended intake of fruits each day can minimize the risk of many chronic diseases. However, Banana is one fruit out of all which is highly misunderstood. People who are diabetic stay away from this fruit because of the belief that the bananas are rich in carbohydrates and have a high glycemic index. It is very common of diabetics to say that bananas are too sweet and have a high sugar content and that it should not be a part of their diabetes management program, but the reality is something different.
Debunking the myth!
Bananas are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients like potassium, magnesium and fiber which are a very important part of one’s diet. If you are keen on diabetes control, you must know that bananas can provide a significant benefit to your health. The starch found in an under-ripe banana can improve the insulin spike as well as it helps to control blood sugar. Potassium found in bananas checks the blood pressure and maintains it. They are known to help in minimizing stress and also normalize metabolism of a diabetic person. Also, being rich in dietary fiber, bananas help immensely in digestion and smooth bowel movement.
Diabetics should consume foods that have a low glycemic index. An under-ripe banana is comparatively lowers in GI as compared to the riper ones. The riper the fruit higher would be the sugar content. But an average banana has almost 15 grams of sugar which should have a less impact on your glucose levels of blood.
Consuming bananas can be very dangerous for diabetics if they are a part of a food or a sweet which contains more sugar, if they are consumed more than the recommended intake, if you are consuming them when they are over-ripe or in case your kidneys are already affected and you face challenges in getting rid of potassium.
You can have bananas in your diet if you follow these tips:
- Always opt for ripe or under-ripe bananas since they are low in GI.
- Enjoy bananas with other meals such as a bowl of oats and nuts or yoghurt.
- If banana is a part of sugary dessert, plan the next meal which has lighter carbohydrates.
- Add protein and fat in your diet as they help controlling the blood sugar levels even if you eat a ripe banana which is rich in carbohydrates.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon on your banana before eating it. Cinnamon is known to regulate the insulin and blood sugar levels.
- Bananas can increase your energy levels. Instead of gulping down a cup of coffee or tea, you can start your day with a banana.
- Portion size is also an important factor. The larger the fruit, more carbs will be loaded on to your body and more effect on the blood sugar level will be seen. Therefore, it should be consumed in moderation.
The bottom line is this that Bananas can be a nutritious add on to a diabetic diet and control program as they contain fiber, minerals and vitamins. Bananas can be an asset to your diet only if you know how to incorporate them in your diet. You can consult your doctor or your dietician to learn more about ways to include bananas in your diet. Also, keep an eye on your blood sugar levels as lot of factors related to the diet of diabetics depend on that.