Bananas and Diabetes

Diabetics have to be very careful about their intake of sugar. Having too much or too little can cause upsetting side effects such as hypoglycemia. One common offender of blood sugar problems can be bananas. Because they are high in carbohydrates, they increase blood sugar more so than many other fruits.

Many dietitians will tell diabetics not to eat bananas; however, they can be acceptable as long as they are consumed in moderation. The body will convert carbohydrates into glucose in order to provide energy to the entire body. This also causes the pancreas to secrete insulin so that glucose can be absorbed by all the cells in the body.

Diabetics should pay careful attention to something called the glycemic index. This tells them how much a particular food will impact blood sugar levels. If a food has a high glycemic index, blood sugar and insulin levels will go up faster and higher. Obviously, diabetics need to stay away from these foods as often as possible. Bananas have a higher glycemic index than apples, for instance. However, all things considered, they are still relatively low.

Researchers also found that the more ripe banana, the higher its glycemic index. This is thought to be because the starch makes up about 80 to 90% of its carbohydrates. As the banana gets riper, it changes to free more sugars.

Although bananas have been thought to be a bad guy in the diabetic diet, they can be consumed in moderation as long as the patient is consistently monitoring their blood sugar levels as they should be. Eating some protein with the banana, such as yogurt or eggs, can help to prevent any blood sugar spikes.

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