My doctor just told me that I am pre-diabetic and should watch my carb and sugar intake. I really like bananas and eat 2 or 3 a day. I really like them! I also like dried banana chips as a snack. My doctor says of all the fruits, bananas have a lot of sugar and I should curb my intake. Now what do I do?
You go bananas! Just kidding – I couldn’t resist. I strongly recommend that you (and everyone) ALWAYS, ALWAYS follow the advice of your doctor. Especially since you are pre-diabetic, you need to be extra careful. That means trying to find a way to curb your intake of bananas!
Bananas do get a bad rap for being high in sugar especially as they ripen. All fruit contains sugar in the naturally occurring form of fructose. Per serving, bananas have slightly more sugar, carbohydrate and calories than most fruit but they shouldn’t be on the do-not-eat list. One concern your doctor might have is you are consuming 4-6 servings of bananas a day since one banana is two servings. Also banana chips are real fruit that has been dehydrated so one handful of banana chips contains a lot of bananas with all that fructose (sugar). The problem with any dried fruit is it is easy to eat more than you need because the pieces are so small. Bananas are a great source of potassium but like anything else, while the right amount is good for the body, too much isn’t so good.
Since you have to be careful with your sugar and carb intake, you will want to check with your doctor about changes in your diet. However, one thing that is likely to help is to have some kind of nuts with your banana. That will do two things – it will lessen the impact of the sugar on your insulin and it will hopefully make you a little more full so you won’t eat as many bananas! The strategy you want to follow is basically to eat something else that is not a carb and stay a little more full so you won’t feel like eating bananas! By mixing carbs with fats & protein you reduce the impact to your insulin. Keep this in mind with all fruits you eat – try to combine eating them with a little fat and a little protein to reduce the insulin response.