Should You Eat Bananas When You Have Diabetes
You can eat a banana if you have diabetes, but it should be included in an overall healthy and balanced diet set up to control your blood sugar levels. If you plan to eat five bananas at once by stuffing them into a smoothie, then that will not be a good option for you as a person with diabetes.
Using the smoothie example further, blending a banana will increase how fast your body absorbs the carbs and sugars, so it isnt ideal, but if youve included other things into the smoothie like protein powder and nut butter, then the effects may be canceled out.
They May Cause Digestive Issues
While pectin and resistant starch are excellent ways to bulk up your diet with fiber and keep you regular, eating too many bananas, or having too much fiber in your diet, has the potential to cause digestive problems, including upset stomach, nausea, vomiting, bloating, and gas.
In excessive consumption, too much fiber can cause absorption issues for other much-needed vitamins like calcium and iron.
How Many Bananas Can A Diabetic Eat Per Day
But it is rich in fibre and has a low glycemic index. Diabetics can eat banana, but in moderation. On being asked in which quantities should people with diabetes eat bananas, she says, A small banana twice or thrice a week is safe diabetics. But, a diabetic should not consume banana daily.
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Healthful Ways To Incorporate Fruits Into A Diabetic Diet:
- Keep in mind that fruit juice is not a fruit. Regular fruit juice has added sugars and it does not contain the fiber of a whole fruit. Studies show that drinking excess fruit juice has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Diet fruit juice, although not a fruit, has less calories and carbohydrates than regular fruit juice. See my article on diet cranberry juice and see how it compares to regular juice.
- Refrain from purchasing canned fruits and vegetables because they possess higher carb and sugar content for increased sweetness and shelf stability. If canned items are something you frequently enjoy, remember to read the label on the can. Many times, there is more than one serving per can. When purchasing canned fruits, I recommend those that are packed in light juice. They will have less calories with a lower carb content.
- Making fresh or frozen fruits and food products a priority is critical for people with diabetes. Canned goods are packed in sugar or sodium.
What Is The Nutritional Value Of Bananas
A medium 118g banana has around 105 calories which is reasonably low when enjoyed with a balanced diet. However, it has 27g of carbs, including 14g of sugar, which are the big problems when trying to manage your blood sugar levels.
Unlike a piece of candy though, you do get other vitamins, minerals, and health benefits from bananas, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and magnesium in reasonably high levels that you need in your diet. You also get some fiber with the banana that will slow absorption and help with your gut health.
So if youre deciding between eating a piece of candy for a snack or a banana, then bananas will win at least in that regard due to the additional health benefits you get that can help offset any negative impact from the carbs and sugar.
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Assessment Of Diabetes And Death
In all three cohorts, to inquire about symptoms, diagnostic tests, and diabetes drug use we mailed a supplementary questionnaire to participants who reported physician diagnosed diabetes in the follow-up questionnaires. A type 2 diabetes diagnosis was confirmed if participants met at least one of the following National Diabetes Data Group criteria21: one or more classic symptoms plus raised blood glucose levels , random blood levels 200 mg/dL , and/or two hour blood glucose levels 200 mg/dL during oral glucose tolerance testing), raised blood glucose levels on two different occasions in the absence of symptoms, or treatment with antidiabetic drugs . The diagnostic criteria changed in June 1998 and a fasting blood glucose level of 126 mg/dL instead of 140 mg/dL was considered the threshold for the diagnosis of diabetes.22 The validity of the supplementary questionnaire for the diagnosis of diabetes has been examined in validation studies.2324 Of 62 self reported cases of type 2 diabetes randomly selected in the Nurses Health Study, 61 were confirmed after an endocrinologist reviewed the medical records without the information from the supplementary questionnaire23 and in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 57 of 59 self reported cases of type 2 diabetes were confirmed by a review of medical records.24
Do Bananas Raise Your Blood Sugar
Carbohydrates and sugar impact your blood sugar levels and can fluctuate based on the portion. Bananas are high in sugar and carbs, meaning that regardless of it being a healthful food option, over-consumption will increase blood sugar levels.
Foods with a low GI cause less of a rise in blood sugar levels than foods with a high GI. A slightly green banana has a lower GI than a ripe banana.
Green bananas, also known as unripe bananas, have resistant starch that prevents blood sugar levels from increasing. Because yellow, ripe bananas have more sugar than green bananas, they may cause a more significant rise in blood sugar levels.
When you eat carbs alone, the glycemic index shows you how rapidly they alter your blood sugar level. Lower GI fruits include grapefruit, strawberries, cherries, and apples, while ripe bananas and watermelon are found in the higher glycemic fruit spectrum.
Bananas contain simple carbohydrates, which means that at some point, they can cause blood sugar levels to rise faster than other nutrients.
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How Many Can You Eat Per Day
The answer to this question depends on the individual, their activity level, and how bananas change their blood sugar.
Some peopleâs blood glucose may be more sensitive to bananas than others. Knowing how bananas affect a particular individualâs blood sugar can help them manage their medicines and insulin shots, if necessary.
Speak to your doctor or registered dietitian about including bananas in a diabetes meal plan.
26 g of carbs . Work with a healthcare team to define your target carb intake.
The doctor or dietitian will educate an individual on effective portion control and controlling the intake of fiber, proteins, fats, and carbs in a practical way.
A person should follow their diabetes meal plan closely.
Bear in mind that eating a banana alongside another source of carbohydrates, such as a piece of toast or cereal, means that the overall carb intake from that meal is higher. Depending on nutritional advice from the doctor, it may be necessary to swap out carbs in a later meal.
Alternatively, after eating a meal that is lighter on carbs, you can spend the carbs youâve saved on a small banana as a snack.
This will ensure no one meal or snack supplies too many carbohydrates.
Fruits That Should Be Eaten In Moderation
While fruit is definitely beneficial in a type 2 diabetes diet, you need to consider portion size with everything. Typically, the serving size for fruit is 15 grams of carbs. The list below is fruit that type 2 diabetics can have but should eat in moderation:
- Cherries Roughly 1 cherry has 1 gram of carbs. Portion size is 15 cherries.
- Grapes Similar to cherries. 1 grape virtually has 1 gram of carbs. Portion size is 15 grapes.
- Pineapples High on the glycemic index. Portion size is 0.5 cup.
- Bananas Contains same amount of carbs in 1 whole banana that is in 2 portions of fruit. Portion size is half a banana.
- Mangos Can be high on the glycemic index. Portion size is 0.5 cup.
- Watermelon High on the glycemic index. Portion size is 1.25 cups.
Diabetics should also avoid dried fruit. They contain a large amount of carbs for a much smaller portion size, which wont fill you up as much as fresh fruit. Fruit juice should also be avoided since it contains high amounts of sugar and carbs, due to the fact that it takes multiple fruits to make 8 ounces of fruit juice.
Since everyone is different, you should work with your healthcare provider on a plan designed just for you. Just keep in mind that you can have fruit as long as you count the carbs and watch your sugar intake!
For any questions, comments, or concerns about your pharmaceutical care, please contact us! Were more than happy to help you!
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Risks Of Overeating Bananas
Eating too many bananas, especially overripe ones, can raise your blood sugar significantly. You should not eat an entire bunch of bananas at once. Bananas have also been associated with weight gain, which can contribute to the effects of diabetes. Diabetes can contribute to weight gain, and diabetic medications often have weight gain as a side effect, including insulin.
However, it is not true that eating too many bananas can cause hyperkalemia. Unless you have kidney disease or are taking medicine that affects potassium levels, the amount of potassium in bananas is normally not high enough to affect your potassium levels.
Unripe bananas can sometimes cause constipation, so be careful if you are prone to it. If you have constipation after eating a meal containing unripe bananas, be aware that they could be the culprit. For most people, however, this is not a concern.
However, the primary risk of eating too many bananas remains the same as with any source of carbohydrates and sugars weight gain and/or reduced blood sugar management. Dietary imbalances can be caused by eating too much of any food, regardless of how healthy it is.
How Many Bananas Can I Eat
Unless you have been asked to limit potassium, bananas are safe. You should check with your doctor. If you have been advised to reduce carbs in general, you will need to keep your banana consumption within your “carbohydrate budget.”
You should also take into account the size of the banana. Buying smaller bananas, where possible, is a good idea to help keep your sugar down and practice disciplined portion control. Avoid banana milkshakes and smoothies, which tend to have more sugar. Avoid commercial banana chips, which often have added sugar.
Later in the article, there’s a link to make your own banana chips. Or you can check the ingredients and make sure there is no sugar or other hidden ingredients. Be particularly careful with flavored banana chips.
You should also spread out your fruit consumption. Have a banana or an apple, then have the other one later. Always pair your bananas with a healthy fat or protein source such as pistachios or walnuts. Nut butter works well with bananas as long as they have no added sugar.
When it comes to how many bananas you can eat daily, it also depends on how bananas specifically affect you. Unripe bananas are always going to be better. Some people may be sensitive to the effect of bananas on glucose. Otherwise, you might want to switch bananas for another fruit to increase potassium intake and support blood pressure control. Typically, most people should only eat one or two bananas a day.
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Healthy Eating And Diabetes
Created on August 13th, 2018 · Last updated on April 6th, 2019 ·
Medically reviewed by Shahzadi Devje, Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator
Oh my gosh nutrition and diet information – is everywhere!
And each expert tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you. Right?
And we seem to be accepting of self-proclaimed gurus, who dispense such advice.
Everyone has heard the intense focus on how much you eat. The calorie narrative has been beaten into our psyche, and we accept it without a second thought.
While how much you eat does affect blood sugars, weight, and energy level – it’s certainly not the holy grail of health and effective diabetes management.
Let’s focus a bit more on the often overlooked benefits of what you eat and drink and how you eat and drink it.
Healthiest Fruits For People With Diabetes
All fruits have vitamins, phytochemicals, and other things that make them good for you. But some are more likely to lower your chances of chronic disease:
- Blackberries. One cup of raw berries has 62 calories, 14 grams of carbohydrates, and 7.6 grams of fiber.
- Strawberries. One cup of whole strawberries has 46 calories, 11 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
- Tomatoes. One cup of sliced or chopped tomatoes has 32 calories, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 2 grams of fiber.
- Oranges. One medium orange has 69 calories, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 3 grams of fiber.
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Bananas Contain Carbs Which Raise Blood Sugar
If you have diabetes, being aware of the amount and type of carbs in your diet is important.
This is because carbs raise your blood sugar level more than other nutrients, which means they can greatly affect your blood sugar management.
When blood sugar levels rise in people without diabetes, their bodies produce insulin. This helps move sugar out of the blood and into cells, where its used or stored.
However, this process doesnt work as it should in people with diabetes. Instead, either the body doesnt produce enough insulin or the cells are resistant to the insulin that is made.
Without proper diabetes management, you may experience blood sugar spikes after eating high carb foods or have constantly high blood sugar levels, both of which are unhealthy.
Bananas Have Staying Power
When you opt for this nutrient-dense, fiber-filled treat, you stay fuller for longer. Instead of eating a sweet treat like a candy bar or cookie, adding a banana to your breakfast will keep you sated, and can possibly aid in weight loss.
Additionally, both the resistant starch and pectin have appetite-suppressing effects, further evidence for adding this delicious treat to your diet if youre looking to lose a few pounds.
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Bananas: A Popular Common Fruit
As we all know, bananas are a popular fruit, well known for their bright yellow peel and unique boomerang shape.
People from all across the world consume bananas. And as suggested above, bananas are often considered a health food because they are relatively low in calories and rich in minerals like potassium, plus theyre an easy snack to grab on the go.
Still, while they may provide various health benefits for the general population, the question still remains: are they really a healthy choice for people with type 2 diabetes and prediabetes?
To find out, lets start by taking a peek at the nutrition facts.
Not All Carbs Are Created Equal
As you can see, bananas are high in carbs and sugar, which do raise blood sugar.
But bananas also contain fiber, which is important if you have diabetes because it can slow digestion and the absorption of carbs, prevent blood sugar spikes, and improve overall blood sugar control.
Of course, bananas are famous for their potassium content.
Here are some awesome things potassium can do:
- reduce the formation of kidney stones
- support bone and muscle strength
Bananas are also high in antioxidants, which are thought to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes, as well as other chronic conditions like heart disease and some cancers.
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Diabetes Diet: Can Banana Affect Your Blood Sugar Levels
Bananas are high in carbs. Foods rich in carbs are known to result in a rapid increase in blood sugar levels. A medium-sized banana contains 14gm of sugar and 6 gm of starch. But bananas are also rich in fibre. Bananas have a low GI score, and this the fruit to be an appropriate choice for diabetics.
Dietitian Upasana Sharma, Head Nutritionist at Max Hospital says, “Banana contains sugar and carbs. But it is rich in fibre and has a low glycemic index. Diabetics can eat banana, but in moderation.”
On being asked in which quantities should people with diabetes eat bananas, she says, “A small banana twice or thrice a week is safe diabetics. But, a diabetic should not consume banana daily.”
Other Health Benefits Of Banana
- Bananas are rich in vitamin B6 an important vitamin to prevent neuropathy and gestational diabetes.
- Bananas contain various nutrients and can help prevent cancer or kidney-related diseases.
- Potassium in bananas is helpful to prevent muscle cramps, electrolyte imbalance, and dehydration.
- Antioxidants properties help in preventing various degenerative diseases.
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Low Carb Banana Bread
- Pin for Later
This low-carb banana bread recipe is quick and easy to prepare and will always come out perfectly moist and tasty.
Making banana bread sugar free and diabetes friendly is surprisingly easy.
The base ingredients provide plenty of flavor so you dont have to use a lot of sweeteners. Just half a cup of Stevia or another no-carb sweetener does the trick.
With only 5 grams of carbs per serving, this recipe is even keto friendly if you eat it in moderation!