Knowing what fruit to eat and how much fruit to eat can be tricky for diabetes patients.
An average-sized banana consists of up to 30 grams of carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are mostly made of sugars. As such, it is safe to say that the bigger the banana, the higher its sugar content. However, bananas also contain lots of important nutrients, such as the following:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B-6
Benefits of Eating Bananas if You Have Diabetes
Although there are limited studies on the benefits of eating bananas for those with diabetes, it is thought that the starch found in under-ripe bananas can help to improve one’s blood sugar level and increase the body’s response to insulin.
As mentioned, bananas have Vitamin B-6 and this vitamin can help to minimize stress while regulating metabolism at the same time. Both of which play an important role in managing diabetes. Furthermore, bananas can help in digestion due to the high fiber content. It also has potassium that contributes to the overall health of your body.
Risks and Warnings
Foods that have a glycemic index of 55 and higher must be consumed in moderation. On the other hand, those that have a glycemic index that’s below 50 are acceptable.
Ripe bananas that have brown specks have a glycemic index of 48 to 51. As rule of thumb, the riper the banana, the higher its glycemic index or sugar content. Half a banana contains about 15 grams of sugar and therefore, it has relatively low impact on your blood sugar level.
The only time where diabetes patients should avoid bananas is when it is added in a dessert containing other sugar that can spike your glucose level. And just like with other fruits, you should consume bananas in moderation. Too much bananas can impact your blood sugar levels and can be bad for your kidneys too.
The Bottom Line
There have been no recommendations against consuming bananas if you are suffering from diabetes. However, it is important not to exclude fruits from your carbohydrates count, a common mistake which many diabetes patients tend to make. Although bananas are sweet, their nutritional profile as well as their health benefits is good for everyone. The fruit contains vitamins, minerals and other nutrients, such as potassium. It also filled with fiber that can help to maintain proper digestion for as long as you drink enough water and also maintain a balanced diet.