Should banku be avoided? Study reports moderately high glycemic index for banku

BANKU, neatly wrapped in transparent polythene (by Dromo Tetteh)

Carbohydrate-containing foods have an influence on the level of blood glucose. A measure of how carbohydrate-rich foods raise blood glucose is referred to as Glycemic index (GI). A reference food (such as pure glucose) is used as the basis for ranking other foods. High-GI foods raise blood glucose more than moderate or low-GI foods. The consumption of low-GI foods is associated with lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A recent clinical trial at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has found that banku has a moderately high GI compared to fufu (pounded/processed), Tuo Zaafi and Ga Kenkey. The study, published in the Food Science and Nutrition journal, determined the GI of the five staple foods among 10 healthy non-diabetic individuals.

The study found that “processed-powdered fufu had the least glycemic response (31), followed by Ga kenkey (41) and locally pounded fufu (55), all recording low GI.” “Tuo Zaafi (68) had a medium GI and banku (73), moderately high GI,” they write.

Determining the GI of carbohydrate-rich foods in Ghana will help in planning effective dietary interventions for diabetics in Ghana. The researchers noted that the GI of many carbohydrate containing foods in Ghana are unknown and there is a need for further research in this area.

Authors of the study were Divine Eli-Cophie and Reginald A. Annan of the Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, KNUST; and Jacob K. Agbenorhevi of the Department of Food Science and Technology, KNUST, Kumasi, Ghana.

Read more: Glycemic index of some local staples in Ghana

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