Making Carbs Count, Carbohydrate counting for diabetes

40

LIVING making carbs count

Power plant

Now grown in tropical

climes worldwide, legend

has it that Alexander the

Great introduced the

plantain to Europe during his world

conquest around 327 BC. As trading

increased, it then found its way to

Madagascar from Malaysia and India.

And, while they may look like

their well-known cousin, the banana,

plantain offers a far different taste,

making exciting and nourishing

dishes that are firm favourites in

Latin, Caribbean and African cuisine.

Plantains are generally enjoyed as

a staple carbohydrate, like potato,

rather than as a fruit but offer plenty

of versatility. While bananas are

sweet and soft and can be eaten

uncooked, starchy plantain needs

cooking to soften its tough texture.

According to the website Foods

From Africa, The Plantain (Musa

paradisiaca) is a plant of the banana

(Musaceae) family which makes

it closely related to the banana.

Like bananas, it too flourishes well

in tropical moisture-rich, humid,

low-lying farmlands. The botanical

classification of plantains and

bananas is so complicated that

plantain is viewed as a subspecies

of the banana, and the banana as a

subspecies of the plantain. However,

the plantain is typically larger than

the common banana. Once ripe,

plantains too, like bananas, are very

fragile and show signs of decay in a

short time span.

A 100g serving of plantain provides

roughly 8% of the recommended

daily intake of fibre. Fibre has no

fat-burning properties. However,

it helps with weight loss because

high-fibre foods tend to have a lower

energy density, which means they

provide fewer calories per gram of

food. In addition, as a high-fibre

food, plantains add bulk to food

intake, which makes you feel full

and also aids digestion. The feeling

of fullness helps with weight and

portion control. As a result, a person

on a high-fibre diet can consume

the same amount of food, but with

fewer calories.

Plantain are a good source

of magnesium. 100g of plantain

contains approximately 16 percent

of the body's daily requirement of

It may look like a banana; however, plantain is

anything but in terms of flavour and texture. We

find out more about this go-to staple for exotic,

savoury dishes…

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