A bit of…

I have mentioned a number of times that I am not into those expensive imported fruits that many seem to love so much. As a matter of fact, I am not really into fruits except for perhaps, bananas and sometimes, papayas as well. However, I was told to avoid eating bananas because of its high sugar content and for that reason, I have not had any for a long time.

There are many types of bananas and I am not into most of them. One that I particularly like is the one that we call in Hokkien, kayleng chio (Musa x acuminata)

…but it is very hard to come by. When there is any, usually, they are so very green so you would have to buy and wait for them to ripen and turn yellow. The problem is when that happens, they will ripen so quickly and will turn black and over-ripe in a short period of time rendering all the bananas quite inedible as a result.

Generally, this variety is smaller than many of the others, the chay geh (cavendish) especially and it is not so sweet. In fact, when it is not ripe enough, it may be siap siap – I don’t know how they say that in English.

I like to consume a lot of vegetables, green leafy ones, in particular, for the roughage and when I did not get enough, I used to buy these bananas to eat but having heard what I was told. it seemed that I should not do that anymore and just to confirm everything, I went and googled in search of more information on this.

This website says: Despite being a healthy fruit, bananas are pretty high in both carbs and sugar, which are the main nutrients that raise blood sugar levels. It goes on to say that one way of determining how a carb-containing food will affect blood sugars is by looking at its glycemic index (GI) and overall, bananas score between low and medium on the GI scale (between 42 to 62, depending on the ripeness). Low GI foods are absorbed more slowly and cause a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels, rather than large spikes.

It seems that the bottom line is one may be allowed to eat bananas, depending on the size, a small one should be fine and I suppose, the number as well. One per day or every two days should be all right, not likely to cause a lot of damage.

This website says that bananas are low in saturated fat and sodium, nutrient-dense, and rich in fiber. They are also a key source of potassium, a mineral that helps balance sodium levels in the blood and bananas also have a good mix of other nutrients, including vitamin B6, manganese, magnesium and vitamin C. It also advises pairing banana with a “healthy” fat or protein source – eating a banana alongside a source of unsaturated fat such as peanut butter can have a positive impact on blood sugar as well as boost the flavour.

Peanut butter? The first time I saw anyone eating bananas with peanut butter was when my half-Kiwi nephew from Auckland, New Zealand came to Sibu. He had that with bread for his breakfast. Eventually, I discovered that those were the two basic ingredients in my favourite sandwich – the Elvis Presley sandwich…but that had jam and bacon in it too, the whole works. Ooooo…that was absolutely out of this world, so very nice but of course, gone are the days when I could indulge in such heavenly delights.

These days, this…

…will just have to do – no bread allowed because of the carbs and the hidden sugars and this too, will have to be restricted to once every two days or so. Sighhh!!!

In case anyone is wondering, I check my blood sugar very regularly, at one time, every day and it was usually around 6 – 7 something, non-fasting, sometimes creeping up to 8 or 9, and last Saturday, it was 5.4. I guess there is no cause for alarm but of course, it pays to be careful, very very careful.