Banana is a tasty and popular fruit that restricts the diet prescribed for diabetic patients owing to the elevated content of free simple sugars. But for under-ripe bananas, starch comprises 80-90% of the carbohydrate content. For fully ripe bananas, starch transforms into free sugars. The fruit generally has an abundance of sugars, starch, and fiber.

A person can incorporate a well-controlled amount of banana into the diet if they have diabetes. Minerals, vitamins, and fiber content can benefit diabetes if only excess portions are not consumed. Aside from being healthy fruits, bananas are rich in carbs and sugar, the major nutrients that raise blood sugar levels. For diabetic patients, it is necessary to avoid foods that can cause blood sugar spikes. This article will focus on the effects of bananas on diabetes and blood sugar levels.

Positive Effects

The Fiber in Bananas Reduces Blood Sugar Spikes

Bananas contain high amounts of fiber that help in curbing blood sugar spikes. In addition to sugar and starch, a medium fruit packs 3 grams of fiber. Everyone, including diabetic people, need enough dietary fiber as it contains potential health benefits. Fiber is especially essential for diabetes because it slows down the digestion and absorption of carbs. As a result, blood sugar is lowered. 

One strategy for determining how carb-rich food will affect blood sugar is checking its glycemic index (GI) that classifies foods based on how they raise sugar levels in the blood. The scores run from 0-100 with the following ranks: 56-69 of medium GI, 70-100 of high GI, and 55 or less of low GI. Diets based on reduced GI foods are thought to be particularly essential for people with type 2 diabetes. That is because foods with a low GI are absorbed more slowly and can lead to a gradual spike in blood sugar instead of an instant rise. Generally, bananas have a low GI score.

Green (Unripe) Bananas Have Resistant Starch

The level of this type of carbs in a banana differs depending on the degree of ripeness. Unripe bananas have low sugar and more resistant starch, which research shows are resistant to metabolism in the upper part of your digestive system. Thus, they function similarly to fibers and cannot raise blood sugar levels.

Additionally, they aid in feeding friendly bacteria in the gut, associated with improving metabolic health. A study conducted on blood sugar management in women with type 2 diabetes discovered some interesting results. Those supplementing with resistant starch had better good sugar management than those who neglected the supplements in two months. Research also dictates that resistant starch may benefit people with type 2 diabetes, like boosting insulin sensitivity and lowering inflammation.

Banana Contains Potassium

When potassium is low, the body makes less insulin causing the blood sugar levels to spike. Studies indicate that people with low potassium are more vulnerable to type 2 diabetes than those with normal levels. Consumption of bananas increases potassium levels in the body. People with low potassium are likely to contract type 2 diabetes.

Bananas Have Antioxidants

Research shows that bananas contain antioxidants which have a protective effect against type 2 diabetes. They facilitate this by impeding the formation of free radicals. Scientists explain that free radicals are created naturally in the body when the food is digested. There are health complications that these free radicals can cause.  Consumption of more bananas will increase the level of antioxidants in the body. The body becomes strong in fighting the formation of free radicals when the number of antioxidants spikes. Consequently, the risk of type 2 diabetes is reduced.

Vitamin B6 In Bananas Are Antidiabetic

Vitamin B6 plays an important role in combating diabetes-related complications such as gestational diabetes, neuropathy, and impaired glucose tolerance. This vitamin is rich in bananas. Consumption of more bananas will lead to an increased amount of vitamin B6 in the body. In return, the body resistance against diabetes will spike.

Negative Effects

Bananas Have Carbs, Which Raise Blood Sugar

Research shows that one medium banana (about 126 grams) has 29 grams of carbs and 112 calories. The carbs exist in the form of fiber, sugar, and starch. It is important to know the amount and type of carbs consumed if you have diabetes. Carbs usually raise blood sugar in the body more than other nutrients. Therefore, they can affect your blood sugar management greatly. After blood sugar level rises in people without diabetes, their bodies produce insulin.

This assists in transporting sugar out of the blood into cells where it is stored. However, this process is not as effective in diabetic people as it should be. Instead, either the body does not synthesize sufficient insulin, or the cells are resistant to the produced insulin. Without clear diabetes management, you might encounter blood sugar spikes after consuming high carb food or contain high blood sugar levels, both of which are unhealthy.

Overripe Bananas Increase Blood Sugar

Usually, overripe bananas will increase the amount of sugar in the body. They contain high contents of sugar. Consumption of multiple overripe bananas elevates sugar intake in the blood. Diabetes is linked with spiked levels of sugar in the bloodstream. It is recommended to consume a nearly ripe banana because they contain a lower amount of sugar. Scientifically, overripe bananas have a high Glycemic index (GI) which causes the blood sugar to rise faster than unripe bananas.


Bananas are nutritious and safe fruit for diabetic people to consume in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized diet plan. It is important to include other fresh food options in the diet. Unripe bananas have resistant starch, which does not raise blood sugar levels and may boost long-term blood sugar management. However, overripe fruits can increase blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, you should consider the ripeness of the banana based on your health status. Also, the size of the fruit determines the amount of sugar present. For a perfect diet plan, speak to a registered dietitian for guidance.

Ksenia Sobchak, BA (Hons) Fashion Communication: Fashion Journalism, Central Saint Martins

Ksenia Sobchak enjoys blogging on fashion, style, lifestyle, love and CBD areas. Prior to becoming a blogger, Ksenia worked for a renowned fashion brand. Ksenia is a contributing author to leading fashion, lifestyle and CBD magazines and blogs. You can bump into Ksenia at her favourite cafe in South Kensington where she has written most blogs. Ksenia is a staunch advocate of CBD and its benefits to people. Ksenia is also on the panel of CBD reviewers at CBD Life Mag and Chill Hempire. Her favourite form of CBD are CBD gummies and CBD tinctures. Ksenia is a regular contributor at leading fashion, lifestyle as well as CBD magazines and blogs.

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