Green bananas have only 12.2 grams of sugar per 100g, Overripe bananas have almost 30% more sugar! The main kind of sugar in banana is glucose and fructose. Hence, it has a low glycemic index between 37 and 57.
How much sugar can we eat a day?
Too much sugar may cause serious health issues. It has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular disease, fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid and cholesterol levels.
The maximum recommended daily intake of sugar is up to 5% of the total calorie intake. Therefore, people who follow a 2,000 calorie diet better consume no more than 25 grams of sugar a day.[2,3]
But, cutting down sugar is difficult because sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. In addition, too much 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 added sugar from sodas, sweets, and processed foods should be your priority.
How much sugar in a green banana?
Banana has 12.2 grams of sugar per 100g. A banana has between 100 and 135 calories, depending on the size and the ripeness stage.
Unripe (green) bananas have the lowest concentration of sugars. They contain only 12 grams of sugars per 100g. A medium, unripe banana contains about 14 grams of sugars, while a large, unripe banana contains up to 19 grams of sugars.
Overripe bananas contain more sugar
Ripe and especially, overripe bananas have a much higher sugar content than green bananas, though. During the ripening process, starch is converted to sugar, causing a softer texture and sweeter taste. Overripe bananas contain less starch than unripe bananas. The fiber content is decreased as well.
Overripe bananas have 15.8 grams of sugar per 100g. Hence, overripe bananas have about 30% more sugar than green bananas.
A medium overripe banana has about 17 grams of sugar.
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 47 grams of sugar per 100g. Just a tablespoon of dehydrated bananas has 3 grams of sugar. Hence, better avoid consuming them. They can spike blood sugar levels.
Dehydrated bananas have almost 4 times more sugar than raw banana!
Actually, all dried fruits, such as raisins, dates, and blueberries are high in sugar.
What kind of sugar is in bananas?
Banana sugar consist of fructose, glucose, and sucrose. Banana contains equal amounts (40%) of glucose and fructose at all ripeness levels. The rest 20% 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, as well as post-harvest storage and treatment may affect the sugar content of a banana, though.
Other carbs of banana
Besides, sugars, bananas are rich in other carbs, such as starch and dietary fiber. Unripe bananas have the highest concentrations of starch and fiber.
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 a day, 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 are particularly high in 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, people with diabetes should consult their physician before eating banana.