Banana bread rescues your overripe bananas from the recycling bin. But does the process of baking bananas deplete their nutritional value? Are there any banana bread recipes for diabetics?
Quick Nutritional Comparison of Bananas and Banana Bread
Bananas are well known to be a good source of potassium and carry several other vitamins and minerals with only 105 calories per banana. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, because no single food item can do everything.
The bad news is that a slice of banana bread has less than a fifth of the potassium of a single banana, one quarter the magnesium, far more sodium, adds fat and doubles the calories. Positive changes include tripling the protein, doubling the calcium and iron and adding some B vitamins. Plus, banana bread is a better partner for coffee or tea than a piece of fruit and it resists spoiling longer.
To Find A Great Banana Bread Recipe
The four best ways to find a reliable recipe for healthy banana bread are:
- A “tried and true” recipe book
- A very trusted friend or relative
- An online search within a trusted site
- An online search, and then determining whether that site is a reliable source of information
An important trick when searching the Internet is to include more details, such as a key ingredient, in the search key. Adding the word “nut” or specifying “gluten-free” will narrow down the results.
Banana Bread Recipes for Diabetics
Recipes for diabetics often focus on several themes. One is to substitute complex carbohydrates for simple sugars. An example is using unsweetened fruit juice rather than sugar, while also adjusting the other liquids.
Another trick is to use wholewheat flour to replace at least some regular flour. In general, anything that can add dietary fiber will tend to slow digestion and therefore regulate blood sugar levels. This is one key factor in managing diabetes.
Finally, some artificial sweeteners are available in the market to replace sugar altogether. It is important, of course, to ensure that the substitute is intended for baking, rather than for sweetening coffee.
Finding reliable recipes for diabetics should start by searching within a reliable site. The American Diabetes Association has two recipes; one is here. The Canadian Diabetes Association also has recipes; but alas, does not seem to include banana bread.
A general Internet search should include all four of the key words “diabetic recipes banana bread”. Changing the order of the words can give different search results.
Nutrition Facts About Bananas and Banana Bread
Based on Health Canada’s nutrition data, some significant nutritional comparisons are:
One Banana has:
- 105 calories
- 27 grams of carbohydrate
- 1 gram of protein
- No fat
- 422 milligrams of potassium
- 32 milligrams of magnesium
- 1 milligram of sodium
One Slice of Banana Bread has:
- 196 calories
- 33 grams of carbohydrate
- 3 grams of protein
- 6 grams of fat
- 80 grams of potassium
- 8 milligrams of magnesium
- 181 milligrams of sodium
- Small amounts of the B vitamins Thiamin, Riboflavin and Niacin
Versatile Banana Bread Recipes
Banana bread can include nuts such as walnuts, pecans or almonds. Chocolate shows up in many recipes. Dates, citrus zest and rum are other options. As the final image shows, even bread pudding can be made from banana bread.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice.
Health Canada, “Dietary Reference Intakes Tables“, modified Aug. 3, 2006, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
Health Canada, “Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods: Baked Goods“, modified March 28, 2006, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
Health Canada, “Nutrient Value of Some Common Foods: Fruit and Fruit Juices“, modified March 28, 2006, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
Dr. J. D. Decuypere (chiropractic physician), “Fruit Chart“, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
American Diabetes Association, “Food and Fitness: Recipes: Banana Bread“, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
Canadian Diabetes Association, “Recipes“, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.
“Pattycake”, Group Recipes, “Healthy Banana Bread“, referenced Oct. 24, 2010.