Bananas, Beans, and Rice, “Oh My!”
by Valerie Lawrence, RDN, CDCES

It’s hard to know what is or isn’t “safe” to eat. So many headlines, so many advertisements. On one hand, the TV, Radio, and print ads are tempting us with tantalizing images of foods we know are not good for us—on the other hand the internet is scaring us with ideas of whole foods that are BAD for us.

Remember that the goal of most of these videos is to sell—first the idea, then the product. From the perspective of the seller, they want to get our eyes on them, then hold our attention. If they can hold our attention long enough, they just might be able to sell us something. With a lot of exposure, if they sell to even a small percentage of their viewers, they can make some serious money. And now, social media influencers don’t even need a product to sell. You are the product supplied to their advertisers. If they get enough followers, they get paid from the ads on their platform. So, they just need to be engaging to the viewer. Splashy, eye catching titles and claims are their bait.

I saw a short video like this the other day. A man was dramatically holding a bunch of bananas over the trash can. He was telling (yelling) diabetics (people with diabetes is a better term) not to eat these! The dreaded banana.

The punchline at the end of the video was his recommendation to take copious amounts of cinnamon. He happened to be selling cinnamon supplements. He was not a diabetes educator and had no medical background. But he gets airtime, just like anyone else.

As a diabetes educator, it’s my job to help people understand how they can eat bananas, beans, rice, and other carbs and still manage their blood sugar well. It’s all about context. How much of this food group in relation to the other food groups at your meals and snacks is the best focus. Carbs are not bad. In fact, they are great. We love the taste of them, and our bodies need the nutrients from them.

We are lucky enough to be given the freedom to choose what to eat. So many people in the world don’t have much choice at all. We are also lucky that our bodies are resilient and intelligent, our bodies can derive fuel from a diverse number of fuels (macronutrients and foods).

If you are looking to gain a better understanding of what eating well looks like, research The Mediterranean Diet, and/or consider working with a dietitian like me. I’d be happy to help you come up with an eating plan that you can enjoy while still managing your health concerns.

Valerie Lawrence, RDN, CDCES ~ Nutrition Counseling
Medical Nutrition Therapy | Diabetes classes | Most insurances accepted
In Emmett, ID ~ 208-365-8212 ~ In office / Telehealth sessions