Can diabetics eat Bananas and Apples? Apple, Banana and Diabetes

An apple a day surely keeps the doctor away, but the real question is does it keep the doctor away from a diabetic? This article will talk about the implications of apple and diabetes and also banana and diabetes.

Don’t let one bad apple make you think everyone’s gonna be bananas.

– karen salmansohn

Banana and Diabetes

Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana 😉

– Groucho Marx

100g of ripe banana:

Table showing nutritional information of 100g ripe banana
Calories 89  
GI 51  
Saturated Fat 0.1g  
protein 1.1g 2%
Carbohydrates 23g (of which 12g sugars) 7% of daily value

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Glycemic load = 51*23/100 = 11.73 NOT BAD

The ideal serving size => 85g which is equivalent to 1 small banana (less than 6 inch length)

These calculations point to the fact that diabetics should prefer to eat only 1 small (<6” length) banana at a time and it can be clubbed with other foods with similar glycemic index and glycemic load because it’s a low GI food (therefore, the spike in blood glucose level will be avoided).

However, one small banana accounts for almost 6% of daily value of carbohydrates. Thus, it will restrict you from eating other food items just because you will need to control your carbohydrate intake.

So, in conclusion, ripe yellow banana is not something you would want to eat daily or on regular basis. One small banana every 3-4 days will be fine to harvest all its benefits.

100g of unripe/green banana:

Table showing nutritional information of 100g unripe banana 
Calories 137
GI 30
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Carbohydrates 35g (of which 0g sugars) 12% of daily value

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Glycemic load = 30*35/100 = 10.5 ALMOST GOOD

‘But commonly who eats raw green banana, I don’t! Do you?

Well, there are number of recipes out there which turn raw green banana into delicious repast. But again being a diabetic, all the food that we eat must pass the diabetic friendly checklist.

At this point, I would like to suggest a quick recipe by FoodNetwork which involves boiled green bananas. Now this recipe may not reach up to your taste expectations but it will definitely benefit your blood glucose levels, blood triglycerides (the fat) and good-bad cholesterol levels.


Vitamin B6 – 20% of RDA |Deficiency of vitamin B6 leads to reduction in circulating levels of insulin mainly caused by deficiency induced degenerative changes in the beta cells of pancreas which are the insulin secreting cells of the pancreas.

Vitamin C – 14% of RDA | Please see the Apple section below.

Potassium – 13% of RDA | Various scientific studies have found that potassium depletion is associated with pancreatic beta cell sensitivity to hyperglycemia with a reduction in insulin release.

Magnesium – 6% of RDA | There is enough evidence to suggest that higher dietary intake of magnesium inversely associates to the lower fasting glucose and fasting insulin levels in people who do not have diabetes. However, this relation between magnesium intake and fasting levels of glucose and insulin is not influenced by the genetic variations. This conclusion can help us to predict the potential use of magnesium in blood sugar control among diabetics.

Apple and Diabetes


Table showing nutritional information of 100g apples
Calories 52  
GI 36  
Saturated Fat 0g  
Proteins 0.3mg  
Carbohydrates 14g (of which 10g sugars) 4% of daily value

Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

Glycemic load = 36*14/100 = 5 VERY GOOD

As you can see, the glycemic load of 100g of apples is 5. Thus, the ideal serving size can be more than 100g in this case, isn’t it great?

Ideal serving size => 200g which is equivalent to 2 cups of apple slices THAT’S GREAT

You can eat apple anytime during the day as a quick snack. (Being a diabetic you should always correlate your food intake with your insulin or oral antidiabetic medications).

Other forms of apple intake such as unsweetened apple juice, boiled apple, microwaved apple or even Mcdonald’s apple dippers have similar nutritional indexes as fresh apple.


Vitamin C – 7% of RDA | An experimental study suggests that vitamin C supplementation of 1000mg per day for 6 weeks can cause reduction in blood sugar and lipid levels along with insulin. However, the supplemental dose is almost 17 times the RDA, but increasing the dietary vitamin C intake can help reduce the supplemental dose. Also, as you can see, vitamin C will also help to prevent dyslipidemia which is commonly seen among diabetics.

Know more on apple and diabetes here.


  • Almost every individual, diabetic or non-diabetic, has its own bodily mechanism and metabolism. It is always cautioned that food recommendations should be correlated with personal health history and the advice of the doctor.
  • These calculations are based on the daily calorie intake of 2000. Therefore, if your calorie intake exceeds 2000 a day, you can increase the ideal serving size and vice versa. However, the recommended blood glucose level still remains the same.

Also, it is a good practice to have a rough calculation of the nutritional facts of the food items before eating them. This applies to the people belonging to all the spectra of health and fitness and not just diabetics.

Do you want me to analyse any other food item? Comment your request below.



Hey there, I'm a final year undergrad medical student at Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Medical College (SSRMC), Mauritius.

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