A person with diabetes needs to carefully consider the contents of each meal. While fruits and vegetables contain a wide range of essential nutrients, some can cause blood sugar spikes.
Bananas grow on plants that can have 50–150 bananas in each bunch. Stores sell smaller bunches and individual bananas in varying sizes, from small to extra large.
Furthermore, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) notes that people with diabetes can eat fruits, including bananas, as part of a balanced diet.
This article will evaluate whether bananas are safe for those who have diabetes and what factors people should consider.
A person with diabetes can enjoy bananas in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
The vitamin, mineral, and fiber content of bananas may even offer health benefits for people with diabetes, as long as an individual does not eat excessive portions.
However, the researchers also noted that a larger study would be necessary to confirm the effect of bananas on blood sugar levels in a clinically useful way.
The ADA notes that people with diabetes can incorporate fruit into a well-rounded diet in many ways, such as by eating a small piece of whole fruit or a half cup of fruit salad as a dessert.
The preparation of some processed banana products might make them less suitable for people with diabetes.
For example, some food manufacturers market dried banana chips as a healthy treat or snack.
However, these may contain added sugars or syrups to enhance flavor, which could increase blood sugar levels.
Additionally, the portion sizes for dried fruits are typically much smaller than those of fresh fruits, so they may not be as filling.
Be sure to carefully read nutrition labels and limit or avoid dried fruits that contain high amounts of added sugar.
The following tips may help a person with diabetes safely include bananas in meals and snacks.
Pair bananas with a ‘healthy’ fat or protein source
Eating a banana alongside a source of unsaturated fat, such as almond or peanut butter, pistachios, sunflower seeds, or walnuts,
Another healthful option for people with diabetes is to pair a banana with a protein source, such as Greek yogurt.
This will help a person feel full longer and
Consider eating an underripe banana
Unripe bananas might release glucose at a slower rate than ripe bananas.
According to a review published in
For this reason, unripe bananas usually contain less sugar than ripe bananas. Unripe bananas also contain more resistant starch — a type of starch molecule that resists digestion,
Eat smaller bananas
Portion size can determine the amount of sugar a person consumes in a banana.
Bananas are available in many sizes. A person will consume fewer carbs if they choose a smaller banana, which will have less of an impact on blood sugar levels.
For example, a small banana contains about
How many can you eat per day?
The answer to this question depends on the individual, their activity level, and how bananas affect their blood sugar.
Some people’s blood sugar levels may be more sensitive to bananas than others. Knowing how bananas affect a particular individual’s blood sugar can help them manage their medications and insulin injections, if necessary.
Therefore, it’s best to consult a doctor or registered dietitian about including bananas in a diabetes meal plan.
Keep track of carbs
One medium, 7–8-inch banana on its own contains approximately
A doctor or dietitian can also provide more detailed information on portion sizes and balancing intake of fiber, proteins, fats, and carbs in a practical way.
A person should follow their diabetes meal plan closely.
Keep 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 a person’s meal plan and nutritional needs, a doctor or dietitian may recommend swapping out carbs in a later meal.
Alternatively, after eating a meal that is lighter on carbs, a person can enjoy a small banana as a snack to balance their carb intake.
Do bananas raise blood pressure?
Bananas are rich in potassium, an important micronutrient that can
Overall, bananas are nutrient-dense, low in saturated fat and sodium, and rich in fiber.
Bananas provide a good mix of other nutrients,
- vitamin B6
- vitamin C
Individuals with diabetes can enjoy bananas and other fruits in moderation as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet.
However, a person should be sure to consult a doctor or dietitian before making any changes to their diet plan, especially if they are taking medications for diabetes or other health conditions.
For instance, certain medications used to treat high blood pressure can increase levels of potassium in the blood, which
Additionally, people with chronic kidney disease may need to limit their intake of potassium-rich foods such as bananas to prevent an increase in blood potassium levels.
A person with diabetes should include a variety of fresh, whole foods in their diet, such as nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.
Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized eating plan.
For a more precise diet plan or personalized recommendations, it is a good idea to consult a registered dietitian or diabetes specialist.
I know bananas contain a lot of potassium. Does this help reduce the effects of diabetes?
Potassium is an important nutrient for many processes in the body, such as regulating nerve signals, balancing fluid levels, and supporting muscle contraction.
Potassium can be helpful in decreasing complications from diabetes and managing comorbidities, including high blood pressure.
It is an important nutrient for decreasing cardiovascular risks, which are often present in those with poorly managed diabetes. Including more fruits and vegetables with important micronutrients, such as potassium, can have a positive impact on diabetes management.