By Gabriel Olawale
Are bananas really too high in natural sugars to be part of a healthy diet? No. Eating bananas becomes risky only if you eat too many. About two bananas a day are okay.
Fruit provides relatively few calories from its volume, thanks in part to its high water and fibre content. Not only are those who eat plant-based diets thinner they have reduced risks for most chronic disease, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome.
When it comes to the glycemic index of bananas, all fruit is rich in fructose, which is digested and absorbed slowly by the liver as opposed to other sugars that are metabolized through the small intestine.
In fact, because bananas provide equal amounts of glucose and fructose and a small amount of sucrose, they have a low-to-moderate glycemic index of 51, which is the same as many other fruits like grapes, pineapple and mangoes.
A medium banana (7 to 8 inches long) has 110 calories and provides 30 grammes of carborhydrates, 3 grammes fibre and has 13 percent potassium and 15 percent of each, vitamin C and manganese.
As a general rule, half of a medium-sized banana or 1 small banana (4 to 5 inches long) is recommended as a serving. When you eat that portion size, bananas are essentially equivalent to any other piece of fruit in terms of calories and carbs.
The unripe fruit also contain resistant starch, a type of carb that your body can’t digest so it doesn’t contribute any calories and acts as a prebiotic. Prebiotics help boost the amount of probiotics in the gastrointestinal tract. The resistant start and fiber in bananas help to fill you up and not out. (The greener the banana, the more resistant starch it contains) In addition, smelling bananas has been shown to be a natural appetite-suppressant, so be sure to take in their aroma before eating them.
Bananas are a dieter’s friend and a nutrient-rich fruit that should be part of any diet.