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Bananas And Diabetes | Are Bananas Good For Type 2 Diabetics

Bananas are so convenient – they even come with their own biodegradable wrapping! They are the perfect snack since you can simply peel a banana, eat the fruit, and chuck the peel without dirtying your hands. However, as a diabetic, it is important to find out the glycemic index as well as the carbohydrate, sugar, and calorie content of the foods in your diet plan.

Are Bananas Good For Diabetics?

Bananas have about 25 grams carbohydrates and about 2.6 grams of dietary fiber. It is usually recommended that diabetics avoid carbohydrates, however, only those carbohydrates which are digested quickly need to be excluded from the diet. To make it a little simpler, foods are classified according to their glycemic index. Glycemic index of a food item determines how quickly the digested carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. Knowing the glycemic index of foods makes it easier to plan a diabetes diet plan. Foods that have a high glycemic index must be strictly avoided as they cause sudden spikes in blood sugar levels. Bananas for diabetics are considered safe, as they have a low glycemic index of 55. In comparison to a fully ripe banana, a raw banana has a lower glycemic index. Unripe bananas are therefore preferred for diabetic patients.

Banana And Type 2, Gestational Diabetes

The October 1992 issue of ‘Diabetic Medicine’ carried an article about a study of banana nutrition and type 2 diabetes. Researchers found that participants who ate overripe bananas observed a rise in blood sugar levels, while those who ate slightly unripe ones, did not observe any great change in sugar levels. Don’t eat bananas with sundaes, caramelized, or coated in sugar syrup as this increases the sugar content and makes it unhealthy for diabetics. The best way to eat it is in the natural form, however, you can also eat it dried, frozen or canned.

Diabetics should include bananas in their diet because of the potassium content. Bananas are a good source of potassium, which is important for smooth muscle contraction and proper functioning of all cells in the body. Potassium can also minimize the risk of a heart stroke and high blood pressure. Banana contains an amino acid called tryptophan, which aids in the production of serotonin. Bananas therefore helps calm our anxious moods. After a heavy afternoon lunch, enjoy a banana, go for a short walk and then drift into your siesta hour!

Since bananas are high in fiber, they facilitate good bowel movement and form an important part of the BRATY (bananas, rice, apple sauce, toast, & yogurt) diet. Bananas can actually help relieve stomach problems like dyspepsia and constipation. Vitamin B6, an important nutrient that aids in the production of hemoglobin, and antibodies, is also present in bananas.

Gestational Diabetes

Pregnant women often experience elevated blood sugar levels and this condition is known as gestational diabetes. Obstetricians generally suggest a combination of diet and lifestyle changes to stabilize the mother’s blood sugar levels.

Recipe:

There are simple banana delights that you can try out in your kitchen without too much hassle. There are a number of banana pies, pancakes, and bread recipes for diabetics available online. Here is a really simple and healthy banana split pie recipe:

  1. Blend instant vanilla pudding mix (the sugar-free variety) with low-fat milk.
  2. Beat this mixture thoroughly and pour it into a reduced fat graham cracker crust.
  3. Arrange banana and well drained pineapple slices over the pudding.
  4. To make it even more delectable, cover the pudding with cool whip lite and sprinkle with pecans.

Make your breakfast meals more interesting and healthy; add sliced banana over your cooked oatmeal and glaze it with a teaspoon of honey. You can also add blackberries and/or blueberries to your breakfast as berries contain antioxidants and they can help to reduce the severity of your condition. However, make sure that you limit your consumption as any food in excess can be harmful.

Reference Links:

http://www-group.slac.stanford.edu/esh/medical/wellness/stressfoods.html
http://www.ars.usda.gov/News/docs.htm?docid=9236
http://www.bda.uk.com/news/080609DiabetesPressRelease.pdf