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Are Bananas Safe for Diabetics?

Diabetes By Gunjan Rastogi , Onlymyhealth editorial team / Aug 01, 2012
Are Bananas Safe for Diabetics?

Can Diabetics Eat Bananas? — Bananas have always been known to fall under the category of restricted fruits for diabetics, but consuming them in moderation can indeed help manage diabetes better.

The American Diabetes Association and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases say that bananas are safe for diabetics provided they are consumed in the recommended amounts. Diabetics can avoid spiked blood glucose levels by evenly spreading their fruit intake throughout the day. Bananas are high in carbohydrates, but they also provide potassium, fibre and vitamin C, thus making it a nutritious food that is good for all.  


Carbohydrates in Bananas

Diabetics need to keep a tab on the amount and type of carbohydrates they consume. Carbohydrates are converted into glucose by insulin for energy production, however, due to insulin resistance, diabetics should limit their carbohydrates intake. One medium-sized banana has over 24 grams of carbohydrates and 105 calories that can be a threat to usually high levels of blood sugar in diabetics. Still, carbohydrates are essential for normal functioning of the body and therefore, diabetics must know their recommended amount of banana while properly managing their condition.


                                           You may also like: Can Diabetics eat Strawberries?


Sugar in Bananas

A medium banana (7” to 7.5” long) contains about 14 grams of sugar, which makes up 53 per cent of the total calories it contains. Bananas include three types of sugar, namely fructose, sucrose and glucose all of which are naturally occurring. If banana is eaten in excess amounts, the body of a diabetic will find it hard to utilise the additional amount of glucose. Moreover, excess fructose elevates triglyceride levels, which can contribute to the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack or stroke.

Bananas on Glycemic Index

Food items that have a higher glycemic index raise blood sugar levels more quickly than those of low glycemic value. Fully ripe bananas have glycemic index of 52 whereas under-ripe bananas stand at 42.  If you want to consume a fully ripe banana, make it a part of your diet that includes low glycemic foods or foods that are low in carbohydrates. This will prevent your blood glucose levels from rising.


                                                   Also read: Can a Diabetic Eat an Orange?


Want a Banana Milkshake Treat?

Diabetics can eat bananas in moderate amounts, however, banana milkshake must at any cost be avoided. No matter what diet plan a diabetic is following, he must never gulp down banana milkshake at any point of time.  Given the naturally rich amount of carbohydrates in bananas and the added sugar, banana milkshake can spike up your blood sugar levels in a jiffy and lead to unintended weight gain.


If you wish to add bananas to your diet, it is recommended that you consult your dietician before making modifications in your diet plan. Diabetes cannot be cured, but a vigilant eye on what one eats, making lifestyle changes and following a regular exercising schedule can control the situation.



Read more articles on Diabetes.




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