Living with diabetes means controlling your blood sugar levels and keeping them in stable ranges throughout your day.This is why certain foods are best avoided because they can abruptly increase the levels of sugar in your blood.
In fact, keeping blood sugar levels under control lowers the risk of medical complications of diabetes.One of the foods with the highest sugar content that we can find naturally is the banana.
This is high in both sugars and carbohydrates, the main nutrients responsible for raising blood sugar levels.
So you ask yourself, should I continue to consume them? How does it affect my body and blood sugar?
Banana Contains Carbohydrates and These Increase Blood Sugar
People with diabetes should care for not only a number of carbohydrates in their diet but also the quality of them.Having diabetes means a change in your life in which you should always be aware of the foods you eat and the carbohydrates they contain.
Total carbohydrate intake is important because these are the ones tha
t raise blood sugar levels higher.In normal conditions, when your blood sugar rises your body produces insulin.
Insulin is responsible, in addition to other functions, for the blood sugar to be captured by the cells of your body to be used or stored.However, in people with diabetes, the functions of insulin are deficient, and these are the possible scenarios:
- Not enough insulin is produced in your body.
- Insulin is produced but your cells are resistant to it.
In either type, if you do not control a number of carbohydrates you eat, your blood sugar levels will be too high for your body.
Now, back to the bananas. A medium banana contains 6 grams of starch, 14 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber.
Bananas are made up of 93% carbohydrates, such as sugar, starch, and fiber.
Bananas Contain fiber, helps control blood sugar levels
In addition to starch and sugar, banana also contains fiber and this is highly recommended to anyone, diabetic or not.Consuming adequate amounts of fiber is beneficial to your body and improves your health.
The amounts of fiber you consume are even more important if you have diabetes.A diet high in fiber decreases the absorption of carbohydrates and the digestion thereof.In addition, a diet high in fiber reduces the abrupt increase of sugar in the blood helping to maintain it constantly.
One way to determine whether or not a food will favor the sudden rise in blood sugar is the glycemic index of food.
The classification of the glycemic index of foods is as follows:
- Low glycemic index: 55 or less.
- Median glycemic index: 56 to 69.
- High glycemic index: 70 to 100.
If you have diabetes problem, a diet with a low glycemic index will help improve your health, even if you have type 2 diabetes
Foods with a low glycemic index are absorbed more slowly, dosing the amount of sugar that enters your blood.
A food with a low glycemic index will never quickly raise the amount of sugar in your blood.
However, bananas have a low to medium glycemic index, depending on the maturity of the fruit, from 42 to 62.
Unleavened Bananas Contain More Starch Resistant
Depending on the level of ripeness of the banana, it is the type of carbohydrates you will find in it.The less mature the banana then the less sugar and the more resistant starch it will have.
Sturdy starch contains long chains of glucose (starch) that is “resistant” to digestion, so you will need more time to digest it compared to a mature banana.
Sturdy starch works in a very similar way to fiber, since its consumption does not in any way cause an increase in your blood sugar levels. In addition to this, sturdy starch helps to feed the beneficial bacteria in your intestines.The healthier the beneficial bacteria in your intestines the better metabolic health you will have and this will also help keep your blood sugar levels under control.
Scientific studies on the consumption of resistant starch in type 2 diabetics have had interesting findings:
Eating resistant starch helps control blood sugar levels more than those who do not consume it .Consuming resistant starch favors the sensitivity of insulin and also reduces inflammation.
However, the role of resistant starch in type 1 diabetics is not yet clear.Bananas, the more yellow they are, contain more sugar and less resistant starch .
This is why yellow bananas affect blood sugar levels more than unripe bananas.In fact, yellow bananas contain a higher glycemic index and their consumption must be more controlled.
If you enjoy eating bananas it is advisable for you to prefer the consumption of unripe bananas in your diet.
Banana Consumption & Size
As mentioned before, diabetics must take two things into account:
- A number of carbohydrates.
- The quality of carbohydrates.
And although maturity plays a major role in controlling blood sugar is not the only one.The size of the portion you consume also influences a number of carbohydrates you would be consuming.
The more portion of banana you consume the more carbohydrates you would be consuming, and therefore you would have more blood sugar.This is what is called the glycemic load, the relationship between the size of the portion and its effect on the blood.
The glycemic load is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index by the amount of carbohydrate in the portion, and this result is divided by 100.
The glycemic load is classified as follows:
- Low glycemic load: 10 or less.
- Median glycemic load: 11 to 19.
- High glycemic load: 20 or more.
Also depending on the size of the bananas is the amount of carbohydrates they contain .
- Extra small (15.2 cm or less): 18.5 grams of carbohydrates.
- Small (15.3 cm to 17.5 cm): 23 grams of carbohydrates.
- Medium (17.6 cm to 20 cm): 27 grams of carbohydrates.
- Large (20.1 cm to 22.6 cm): 31 grams of carbohydrates.
- Extra large (22.7 cm or more): 35 grams of carbohydrates.
If the banana is completely mature, with a glycemic index of 62, the glycemic load would be as follows:
- Small banana: 11 (medium glycemic load)
- Extra large banana: 22 (high glycemic load)
Remember, it is not a matter of not consuming banana but of verifying its maturity as well as the portion of it.
It’s Safe to Eat Banana for a Person With Diabetes
A person with diabetes should lead a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet, which includes all food groups in a varied way, and this includes fruits.It is always good to consume fruits and vegetables since these reduce the risk of diseases such as those of the heart and some types of cancer.
Its consumption is especially important in people with diabetes since diabetes increases the risk of other diseases.Fruits and vegetables provide not only carbohydrates but also fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients.
And more specifically the banana gives you:
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin C
One study found that decreasing the amount of fruit consumed per day has no impact on blood sugar, weight loss, or waist circumference.
Consuming adequate portions of fruit is a good choice for a healthy life.Remember that fruits and vegetables contain carbohydrates, this is especially important on a low carbohydrate diet.
How to Eat Bananas Even If I Have Diabetes?
Even if you have diabetes you can still enjoy the delicious tropical flavor of bananas.You do not have to leave them to one side of your diet, you just have to follow these tips:
Control the portions that you consume: It is preferable to eat complete portions, it includes types of smaller bananas like the apple tree or the Dominican one.
Always prefer unripe bananas: The more mature the banana the more glycemic index and sugar have.
Divide your intake around the day: This will help keep blood sugar levels constant.
Take with other foods: Prefers them with other foods that encourage digestion and decrease the absorption of sugar like nuts or whole yogurt.
Living with diabetes means always being aware of what you consume and how many carbohydrates your food contains.
It is therefore good if you monitor your blood sugar levels after eating bananas so that your consumption will suit your eating habits and your lifestyle.