Can a diabetic patient eat bananas?

Yes. A person with diabetes can eat bananas but with some caution. As per Food Data Central, UFDA, one medium banana (about 126 grams) contains about 15 grams of sugar, 29 grams of carbs and 112 calories. One of the best ways to find out how bananas affect your own blood sugar is to check with your meter. Experiment a bit with bananas — vary the size, the ripeness and even the type — and check your blood sugar about two hours after you’ve eaten one. Look for a blood sugar that goes up no more than about 40 points and is less than 180 at the 2-hour mark.

Here’s why you should choose bananas-

  1. Glycemic index

The GI ranks foods based on how much and how quickly they raise blood sugar levels. Diets based on low GI foods are thought to be particularly good for people with type 2 diabetes. This is because low GI foods are absorbed more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels rather than a large spike. 

Classification-

  • Low GI: 55 or less
  • Medium GI: 56–69
  • High GI: 70–100

Ripe bananas have a GI of 51, which is considered low (a GI of 55 or lower means that the food will not significantly raise blood sugars). And a slightly unripe banana has a GI of 42, which is even lower. (You might want to limit eating overripe bananas, however, as they have a higher GI of around 62).

  1. Resistant starch

Slightly green, or unripe bananas contain less sugar and have more resistant starch, which means that the starch is ‘resistant’ to digestion. In this way, the starch functions more like fiber, which can help smooth out blood sugars after eating.

  1. Satiety factor

Because of its fiber resistant starch content, a banana can promote satiety, making you feel fuller and possibly helping you eat less.

Ways to eat bananas with diabetes

If you like eating bananas, here are some ways to fit them into your eating plan without seeing a surge in blood sugar two hours later:

  1. Choose green banana

If a ripe banana is too sweet for you, try one that is still slightly green. It will have the same amount of carbs as a ripe banana, but the carb will be more of the resistant starch variety, which is less likely to spike your blood sugar.

  1. Fit in some fat or protein

Slow the rise in blood sugar from any carb food by adding a fat or protein source.

  1. Portion Control

The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests that people with diabetes should incorporate fruit into a controlled diet, such as eating a small piece of whole fruit or a half-serving large fruit with each meal as a dessert.

So, depending on your carb goal, you can easily fit a banana into your eating plan — you just need to decide how to “spend” your carb allowance and balance the banana with other carb foods.

Disclaimer: Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can futher read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

Disclaimer
Medical Science is an ever evolving field. We strive to keep this page updated. In case you notice any discrepancy in the content, please inform us at [email protected]. You can further read our Correction Policy here. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website or it's social media channels. Read our Full Disclaimer Here for further information.

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