Nutrition

Is Mango Good For Diabetes?

Reviewed by

Shifa Fathima

Mangoes-the king of fruits is worthy of a binge because of its mouthwatering taste and a vast variety. However, despite its many benefits, the high amounts of sugar and calories in mangoes make them a cause of concern, especially for individuals with diabetes. So, is mango good for diabetics? This article will discuss this debatable topic, covering the nutritional value of mangoes, their impact on blood sugar, the glycemic index, and various ways by which diabetics can consume mangoes without any harm.

Nutritional Profile

Mangoes contain various vitamins and minerals, like Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Iron, And Zinc, that add a lot of nutritive value to our diet.

Given that they are highly nutritious, the king of fruits can definitely be consumed in moderation. One cup (165 grams) of sliced mango contains the following nutrients.

Impact on Blood Sugar

Mangoes contain sugars, which are carbohydrates and contribute to more than 90% of the calories in a mango. A Half-cup of Mangoes contains 12 grams of Carbohydrates. According to the American Diabetic Association, this is much lesser than the carbohydrates found in bananas or red or green grapes, which makes it a wise choice for consumption by diabetics.

Other than carbohydrates, mangoes are also high in fibre. Fibre slows down sugar absorption in the body. This helps to control blood glucose levels. Mangoes also contain antioxidants, which help minimise their effect on blood sugar by reducing the stress response that occurs with increased blood sugar levels. Thus, due to the presence of fibre and antioxidants, the increase in carbohydrates due to ingestion of mango is controlled and helps stabilise your blood sugar levels.

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Glycemic Index of Mango

Glycemic index (GI) is a system that rates how various foods impact your blood sugar (glucose) levels after consuming them on their own.

Foods are are ranked on a scale from 1 to 100 and categorised into low, medium or high glycemic foods depending on how they affect your blood sugar levels. Low glycemic index foods have a rating of 55 or less, medium glycemic foods have a glycemic index of 56-69, and high glycemic foods have a glycemic index of 70 or above.

For Diabetes, consuming low glycemic index foods is advised, because low glycemic index foods digest slowly, causing a slow rise in blood sugar levels. Mangoes have a GI of 51, making them low GI food. Therefore, mangoes, being low-GI foods, do not alter the blood glucose levels considerably, when consumed in moderation - limited to 1-2 slices twice a week at most.

Helpful Hints

  • Varieties of mango such as Badami or Karnataka Alphonso are the preferred varieties for consumption in diabetes since they taste a little more tangier and have a lower GI when compared to other varieties.
  • Mangoes that have become very ripe and soft have a higher glycemic index when compared to firm mangoes, and should be avoided as much as possible.

Tips to make Mangoes more Diabetes-friendly

In answer to the question, “Can we eat mango in diabetes?” the answer would be “yes,” but in moderation. There are several ways to make mangoes more diabetes-friendly by following a few tips and recipes to incorporate this tasty summer treat into your diabetic diet.

  • When in doubt, consult your doctor before consuming any food to understand whether it is safe for diabetic consumption.
  • Consume mangoes in slices rather than juice, as the concentration of sugar is higher in juice.
  • Avoid mango shakes, as additional sugar could lead to detrimental effects on your blood sugar levels.
  • It is better to consume mangoes during the day as opposed to at night-time.
  • Avoid consuming other high-sugar foods on the day you consume mangoes.
  • Consume mangoes only when you have a stable blood sugar level.
  • Mangoes can be consumed as a midday snack when paired with low-GI and high fibre fruits such as strawberries or kiwi.
  • Add a source of protein such as a boiled egg, piece of cheese, or handful of nuts to prevent blood sugar spikes.
  • Consuming raw mangoes in the form of aam panna without sugar and with a pinch of cumin powder (has anti-diabetic properties) is a safer option for diabetics due to the reduced sugar content.

Incorporating mangoes in a diabetes diet

  • Mango soup: A soup can be prepared using cucumber, mango, coconut, buttermilk and spices.
  • Mango and black bean salad: Black beans are known for their ability to control blood sugar levels and also help with digestion. The addition of mango can be suited according to your blood sugar levels, making this a delicious and nutritious salad.
  • Mango quinoa salad: Vegetable broth, quinoa, lemon juice and spices can provide you with a healthy salad with the addition of half a mango.

Bottomline

Though mangoes are high in calories and carbohydrates, nutrients within the mango can help control blood sugar levels in diabetics, making it a healthy food choice. However, is mango good for a diabetic patient? With its low GI, presence of antioxidants and fibre, mangoes, when consumed in moderation, can be an excellent diabetic snack. By monitoring portion sizes and pairing them with protein or low GI foods, these are some ways to include this King of fruit into your diet without causing a detrimental effect on your blood sugar.

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