One food that many people with type 2 diabetes avoid is the banana as it is believed to be high in sugar and calories and as such is a fruit to be avoided. However, this is not necessarily the case. The fact is that the banana can be a very healthy food to include in the diet of any diabetic for several reasons. The key thing to remember is to combine it with a protein source or a fat source. Adding protein will slow the release of sugar into your bloodstream, ensuring that you won’t get the sugar spike that you would otherwise get.
Here’s why bananas aren’t food to fear …
1. Controlled calories. First, bananas are a relatively low calorie food, contrary to popular belief. A medium banana contains around 90 to 100 calories, and a large banana comes in slightly above. Comparing this to other foods you might be eating, a few slices of bread or a bagel, and it’s pretty low in calories.
2. Rich in dietary fiber. Bananas are rich in dietary fiber. Fiber is the indigestible portion of food that a person with type 2 diabetes needs to help regulate their blood sugar level and help prevent spikes.
When you combine this fruit with a protein or fat, you get the useful fat / protein-fiber combination to keep your blood sugar in check.
Dietary fiber is also vital for keeping you feeling full during the day and for regulating bowel movements.
3. Loaded with potassium. The next cool point about bananas? They are high in potassium – This is important because potassium will help counteract any sodium you may be getting in your diet, which can lead to increased blood pressure readings.
The more potassium you have in your diet, generally speaking, the lower your risk of heart health problems. Most people should include more potassium in their diet plan and less sodium. Bananas help you do just that.
People taking beta-blockers …
- propranolol (Inderal LA, InnoPran XL),
- atenolol (tenormin),
- metoprolol (Lopressor, Toprol-XL),
It is not advised to increase your intake of bananas suddenly. Check with your doctor beforehand, as foods high in potassium should be eaten in moderation when beta-blockers have been prescribed.
4. Ideal for before exercise. Finally, bananas are an ideal pre-workout food. Eat them before hitting the gym and you’ll have a fast-acting energy source that won’t run out within 20 minutes of your session. This is because they contain a nice mix of complex carbohydrates (starch) with simple sugars, which is precisely what your body needs.
Keep these points in mind and consider buying a banana the next time you go shopping. They can really be part of the diet of any type 2 diabetic.