Are bananas fattening?
Those who claim their argue that bananas cause the body to make lots of insulin, and insulin causes fat growth.
How much insulin we produce is related to how fast a food becomes sugar in our bloodstream. How can you know if a food makes a lot of sugar quickly? The glycemic index (GI) rating tells us. Foods with GI scores above 75 are considered high-GI foods. Bananas have a GI of 62, which is considered low.
Weight loss can be a struggle for anyone, but it is especially hard for diabetics. A study looked at how the starch from unripe bananas affected the weight of a group of obese diabetics. After four weeks of a diet high in bananas, diabetics lost significantly more weight than on a control diet. They also saw improvements in insulin sensitivity from the banana diet.
Bananas are a rich source of resistant fiber, which has been shown to help weight loss. Bananas that still have some green on the skin are even higher in resistant fiber.
Are bananas unhealthy?
No. On the contrary, bananas have been shown to cut risks of stroke, diabetes and cancers.
A group of over 90,000 women, ages 50-79, was tracked for 11 years to see how their diets predicted their stroke risk. Those who had the potassium from an extra banana each day had a 25 percent reduction in their risk of stroke.
Along with helping diabetics lose weight, bananas lower the risk of developing diabetes.
Bananas are the most powerful fruit for cutting the risk of kidney cancer. In a large study, 61,000 adult women were asked about their diets and monitored for kidney cancer for 13.4 years. Many types of produce were helpful, but bananas were the best fruit for lowering the risk of kidney cancer.
How can you use banana skins?
Skins from green bananas can be taken and, after removing the stem and dark tip, cut into small strips 2-3 inches long and 1/2 inch wide. These strips can be made into a high-potassium tea or added to a stir fry. I love stir-frying them with onions, bok choy and mushrooms.
When you eat the skins, be sure you are eating organic bananas. The flesh of regular bananas are low in pesticides, but the skins are not.