Bananas are high in sugars as well as other carbs like starch, resistant starch and dietary fiber. Overripe bananas have the highest amounts of sugars, while green bananas are low in sugars, but rich in fiber and resistant starch.
Is sugar bad for health?
Excessive sugar intake may cause serious health issues. It has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, excess sugar consumption may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid and cholesterol levels.
How much sugar can we eat a day?
The upper recommended daily intake of sugar is up to 5% of total calories. Therefore, people who follow a 2,000 calorie diet better consume no more than 25g of sugar a day. This is extremely difficult to meet, though. Especially, if someone regularly consumes sodas, sweets, and processed products.[2,3]
Moreover, cutting down sugar is pretty difficult because sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. In other words, sugar causes overeating. Also, excessive sugar causes weight gain because it prevents leptin production. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.
Certainly, eating reasonable amounts of fruits like ripe bananas isn’t bad for your health. Cutting down extra sugar from sodas, sweets, and processed foods should be your priority.
How much sugar in a banana?
Banana is one of the most widely consumed fruits worldwide. A banana has between 100 and 135 calories, depending on the size and the ripeness stage.
Most calories of banana come from sugars. Unripe (or green) bananas have the lowest concentration of sugars. They contain only 12g of sugars per 100g. A medium, unripe banana contains about 14g of sugars, while a large, unripe banana contains up to 19g of sugars.
Also, banana is among the richest foods in potassium!
Overripe bananas contain more sugars
Ripe and especially, overripe bananas have a much higher sugar content, though. During the ripening process, starch is converted to sugar, causing a softer texture and sweeter taste. Overripe bananas contain much less starch than unripe bananas. The fiber content is decreased as well.
Thus, as an overripe banana is packed with sugars, the best time to eat it is in the morning or before/after exercise.
What’s the sugar content of dehydrated bananas?
Dehydrated bananas have the highest sugar content. They have about 47g of sugars per 100g.
Furthermore, dehydrated bananas have a much higher dietary fiber content, mainly due to the creation of enzyme-resistant starch. Dehydrated banana has about 10g of dietary fiber per 100g.
You’ll find a wide variety of banana chips on Amazon.
What types of sugars are found in banana?
Banana sugars consist of fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Banana contains equal amounts (about 40% each) of glucose and fructose at all ripeness levels. The rest 20% of the sugar content is sucrose.
As bananas ripen, starch breaks down into sucrose. Then, sucrose is further broken down into glucose and fructose.
Growth conditions, point of origin, ripening conditions, and post-harvest storage and treatment may affect the sugar content of a banana, though.
Other carbs of banana
During the ripening process, most starch breaks down to sugars. In fact, the starch content of a green banana can be decreased by 20 times!
Moreover, dietary fiber content can be decreased by 9 times as a banana ripens!
Additionally, unripe bananas contain a significant amount of resistant starch. Resistant starch is a type of dietary fiber. But, we can’t digest it. Instead, this type of carbohydrate feeds beneficial bacteria, promoting healthy gut microbiota, which is vital for a strong immune system and good health. Also, resistant starch may help lose weight, improve insulin sensitivity, and lower elevated cholesterol levels.
Can people with diabetes eat banana?
Bananas are high in carbs. Hence, people with diabetes usually avoid their regular consumption. But, many people with diabetes could eat a medium unripe banana, as part of a well-balanced diet.
First, unripe bananas have a low glycemic index of 37. In contrast, overripe bananas have a much higher glycemic index of 57. It means that green bananas won’t spike blood sugar as much as overripe ones.
In fact, green bananas contain the minimum amount of sugars. On the other hand, they contain the maximum amount of fiber and resistant starch, which prevent sugar spikes!
Actually, according to a study, a slice of white beard has a significantly higher effect on postprandial blood sugar response than a green banana.
You better avoid banana bread as well. Prefer whole-grain sourdough bread. It has less sugar.
Certainly, the ideal consumed dose of banana depends on many factors. Hence, someone with diabetes should consult her/his physician before consuming a banana in order to keep blood sugar in check.