Bananas are one of the most popular fruits bought and consumed in the United States. They're inexpensive (about 100 calories or less) and are portable, which makes for a great snack or addition to a meal.
While there's no question that they are a way better option than other snack foods, the question still remains - when is the best time to eat a banana?
As most people know, as they ripen bananas go from green to yellow to yellow-with-brown-spots. They taste very different with each stage they progress to:
- In the green/unripe phase, they taste very starchy, somewhat bitter and less sweet than their yellow counterparts... and there is a reason for this. While they are green, they are mostly made up of resistant starch and have less sugar. This makes them very low on the glycemic index scale, and have less impact on blood sugar.
- As they ripen, the resistant starch gets converted to glucose (aka sugar), making them easier to digest and sweeter tasting. As they ripen, they do get higher on the glycemic index due to how easily your body can break them down. To offset this, I would recommend including some protein with your banana which will take your body longer to break it down.
If you don't have diabetes then it doesn't matter at what stage you consume the banana. If you are a diabetic, the less ripe banana will have less impact on your blood sugar after you consume it than the ripe banana will. That being said, bananas are also loaded with fiber, potassium, vitamins and antioxidants. So regardless of when you consume it, you're still doing a great thing for yourself by including them in your diet.
Happy and healthy dieting!
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