Should a diabetic have banana?

Those diagnosed with diabetes or even pre-diabetes are often asked to eliminate banana from their diets. “But, as a dietitian, I can safely say that diabetics can have bananas. However, there are a few dos and don’ts to follow,” said Lakshita Jain, certified clinical dietician, lecturer, diabetes educator, and founder of Nutr.

She added that we usually eat ripe bananas (yellow-coloured) as they are easier to peel and soft to eat. “But, greener the banana, less will be its natural sweetness — making it suitable for diabetics,” said Jain.

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Banana, as per its ripeness, can be divided into 5 stages:

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banana Should you have bananas as a diabetic? (Source: Lakshita Jain)

Bananas in which stage are best for diabetics? 

While green bananas are the safest, patients with controlled blood sugar levels can even have even yellow bananas — but ensure they do not have brown spots, as their appearance on the banana signifies the fact that the starch in banana is converted into natural sugar, and should be avoided by diabetics, she advised.

The best way to eat a banana?

Having one banana a day as a whole fruit is good, but combining it with a protein source is the best. So, have banana with sprouts or paneer, for example. “Banana has a glycemic index of 51, which is borderline low, therefore a lot of people avoid it altogether. But having it in combination with other low GI sources or a protein source will ensure the blood sugar levels do not spike, “she told indianexpress.com.

Notably, GI is a measure of how quickly a food can make your blood sugar (glucose) rise. Low GI : 1 to 55. Medium GI : 56 to 69. High GI : 70 and higher.

Who should avoid it?

Patients with uncontrolled sugar levels or blood sugar more than 300mg/dl should consult their dietitians about fruit consumption, in general.

Final verdict

Diabetics can include one banana (unripe, barely ripe) a day in their diet. This will help in controlling sugar levels, bone pain, PMS symptoms, muscle cramps, and blood pressures. “If your sugar levels are uncontrolled or fluctuating, contact your dietitian first,” suggested Jain.

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