Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fostering Bananas

This morning in the gym I heard a, well, rather large woman tell her trainer that she does not eat bananas because they are high in calories.

You're blaming the banana? I thought to myself.  rude, i know

Then her trainer went on to spew all kinds of useless information about bananas being high on the glycemic index and blah blah blah -- big words here and there, went on to tell her that indeed bananas were not good - when I had just seen him shovel one into his mouth minutes before his client arrived.

In defense of the banana -- it is a great source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium and manganese.  It's portable, it's filling and it's calorie count is between 80-115 calories depending on it's size.  The glycemic index, which rates foods by how much they increase your blood sugar levels 2-3 hours after you eat them, actually rates the banana low to medium, depending upon it's ripeness. The more brown spots on the banana peel, the more sugars it has produced.

But stop right there. The only reason you need to worry about the glycemic index of a banana is if you were only eating bananas ALL THE TIME!  In any grocery store, there is produce rainbow of healthy fruit and veggies from which to choose.  And that's exactly what you should be doing!  Make your plates colorful, flavorful and bounteous.  Fruits and veggies compliment each other on the glycemic index.  While some rate high, others rate low, equaling a healthy balance of flavor and nutrition.  Here's a perfect example:  A banana = good.  But a banana and a strawberry together = delicious yum yumness!  (I know some of you hate the texture of both bananas and strawberries.  Your loss, I say)

So embrace color!  Enjoy variety!  Remember the rainbow!  While they might not be the magical fruit, bananas are a great addition to any diet.  Any Gorilla could tell you that.

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