Are Bananas Okay for Blood Sugar?

Fruit is delicious and nutritious. Some people with blood sugar concerns worry that fruit is too high in sugar to be healthy. It’s easy to discount them for being carb-heavy until you take fiber into account. Fiber, found in high amounts in fruit, slows the absorption of sugar in your blood stream. It also keeps you feeling fuller for extended periods. Frequently highlighted as an unhealthy fruit is the banana. It’s true that they are quite high in carbs. However, that doesn’t mean you should exclude them from your diet completely.

A medium yellow banana has 27 carbs and three grams of fiber while a medium apple has 22 grams of carbs and five grams of fiber. The earlier you eat them, the lower they are in carbs. Unripe, green, bananas contain resistant starch, a type of indigestible carbohydrate that acts like fiber. The younger the banana is, the less sugar it contains. But, obviously, that makes it less sweet. Overripe, brown, bananas have far more sugar and far less resistant starch.

Bananas contain pectin, which binds to carbs and slows their absorption. In addition to the fiber, bananas are a great source of B6, which regulates blood glucose levels. A medium banana can contain as much as 25 percent of your daily recommended intake of vitamin B6. Bananas are also excellent sources of other nutrients: they contain 14 percent of your recommended amount of vitamin C and manganese, 10 percent of your copper and biotin and nine percent of your potassium. That’s amazing for one medium fruit.

Research has shown the nutrients of bananas are so high that two bananas would keep you charged for a 90-minute workout. Most of us don’t need to worry about fueling for a workout, but it’s nice to know that bananas can also fight anemia, strokes, depression, heartburn, high blood pressureand more.

Eating a lot of bananas isn’t a great idea; it’s true that you can have too much of a good thing. Excess fiber can cause constipation. And, while they are healthy and fiber-packed, the carbs in them can still impact you. As with most things, moderation is key. Bananas should not be the only fruit you eat. They have less folate, vitamin A and other nutrients than some other fruits. No one fruit or vegetable can give you all you need. Plus, be aware that the nutrients vary widely between bananas due to size differences and levels of ripeness.

With all this in mind, speak to your doctor and see if bananas can be a part of your healthy diet!

June 21, 2019
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