• Ayesha Fathima

Can People With Diabetes Eat Mangoes?


With summer waves hitting the city hard, mangoes find their place in everyone’s household. With a lot of allegations evolving around this yellow fruit, the verdict is quite complicated to deal with. Mangoes scientifically called Mangifera indica are native fruits which are seasonal during summer and seen all over India. The raw fruit as well as the ripe one finds its place in the native kitchens. From aam panna to mango milkshakes, these can be used in numerous recipes. Some common varieties include baganpalli, alphonso, malgoa, rumali, kesar, nellam, paheri, gulabkhas, etc. The outer skin and inner seeds are usually discarded, but there are claims about their health benefits that are yet to be applied practically in everyday settings. The flesh is usually eaten raw or is processed in the form of juices, milkshakes, pickles, desserts, etc.


Nutrition:

Talking about the nutrition that mangoes offer, they are an excellent source of beta carotene, potassium and fiber. It also is an excellent source of polyphenols like mangiferin, gallic acid, gallotannins, quercetin, isoquercetin, ellagic acid, and β-glucogallin. But, it is slightly on the higher scale when the consideration is about the calories. On an average it has around 10 -15 g of carbohydrate (per 100mg) with a medium glycemic index and glycemic load. All these nutrients differ among the varieties of mangoes available in the market.


Diabetes and Mangoes:

To cope up with the sugar cravings that people with diabetes have, they are often advised to replace desserts with fruits. Fruits are a good source of fiber and the natural fructose available in fruits give it a sweeter taste that is not just empty calories like regular sugar. But fruits must also be taken with caution as excess consumption leads to higher glucose levels as at the end of the day they still have carbohydrates. Mango is one such fruit, it has a good nutritional profile but when it comes to diabetes it has to be taken wisely.


How to include mangoes in a diabetic diet?

Moderation is said to be the key in diabetes management. Same applies to eating mangoes, being a seasonal gift, these can be had in exchange to foods containing higher carbohydrates. Example instead of having aval / poha as a snack 50 g mango can be had. Other alternatives include having it in a combination with other fruits (i.e., as a fruit salad) that might bring down the total quantity of mango consumed.


How not to consume?

  • Fruit Juices

  • Icecreams

  • Any form of desserts

When to avoid?

  • When blood glucose is above 200mg/dl

  • When you have already had a full carbohydrate rich meal

  • In the form of pickles when a person has hypertension or other conditions where salt has to be restricted


Best time to take mangoes:

  • Any seasonal fruit is meant to be consumed in the available season for reasons known (availability, freshness and to stay away from artificial ripening procedures)

  • Always advised to have fruit as a mid morning/ evening snack instead of having them along with a meal

  • Avoid taking fruits during late evening and nights


Controversies over the fruit:

Many researchers have shown positive results in terms of glycemic control , anti-inflammatory , anti-cancerous, antioxidant properties. Increasing evidence of the possible health benefits of an unusual phenolic compound mangiferin in mangoes has caught the limelight in the field of research with the fruit’s nutraceutical properties. At the end it all boils down to the single fact that it still has carbohydrates that a diabetic is meant to restrict for better compliance and hence regular consumption is to be limited as much as possible.


When you know how much to take and when to take, managing diabetes becomes easy. A little bit of self discipline and better lifestyle choice goes a long way. Mangoes are one of the most precious gifts of nature. So, try to make a judicious use of them for a healthier living.




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