Mangoes, with their juicy sweetness and tropical aroma, are everyone’s favourite in summer. But for diabetics, the question of whether mangoes can be included in their diet is a valid concern. With the prevalence of diabetes on the rise, it’s essential to know which foods can be included in a diabetes-friendly diet. While many foods are high in carbohydrates and sugar, making them unsuitable for a diabetes diet, mangoes present a unique case. Mango is an extremely nutritious fruit with good fibre and antioxidant amount that often overshadows its shortcoming of being a high-sugar and high-calorie fruit. So, diabetics often struggle with the dilemma:
Do Mangoes Raise Blood Sugar Levels?
Let’s delve into the science and expert opinions to find out if mangoes are a diabetes-friendly fruit.
According to the book “Healing Foods” by DK Publishing, mangoes contain enzymes that aid the breakdown and digestion of protein, and also fibre, which keeps the digestive functions working efficiently. Dietary fibre also has some long-term benefits, including regulating blood sugar levels.
The American Diabetes Association also recommends mango in its list of fruits that can be eaten by diabetics. According to them, fruits can be eaten in exchange for other sources of carbohydrates in your meal plan such as starchy foods, grains, or dairy products.
So, does this mean that mangoes are good for a diabetes diet? Let’s hear what experts have to say before jumping to conclusions.
Can Diabetics Eat Mango?
It’s true that mangoes have their own benefits, even for blood sugar levels, but is it a good idea to have them on a diabetes diet? Some experts advise against it.
Dietitian Lokendra Tomar says, “Diabetics should avoid mangoes. For managing diabetes, the diet should strictly focus on low carbohydrates because every 5 grams of carbohydrates increases 100 units of blood sugar in the body. Mangoes are high in carbohydrates, which means 100 grams of mango will result in 20 grams of carbohydrates. If your blood sugar is high, it is imperative to avoid mangoes. However, if you wish to add mango to your diet, avoid consuming other carbohydrate sources like wheat or rice. Also, mangoes should be eaten in the daytime.”
Bengaluru-based Nutritionist Dr Anju Sood said, “I never say ‘no’ to something eaten in moderation. Mango has natural sugar present in them, and sugar is the only culprit for diabetics. Hence, I would recommend that people with diabetes must have mangoes according to the intensity of the problem. If their sugar levels are always high, I wouldn’t recommend mangoes at all, and if it is on the borderline, a small portion can be taken once in a while.”
It is clear that mango is not a particularly great food to be included in the diabetes diet. But, owing to its otherwise high nutritional profile and great taste, diabetics can manage to sneak it in only by following these mindful practices:
Smart Ways to Include Mangoes in a Diabetes Diet:
- Nutritionist Anju Sood says that one can have mangoes sometimes, but they should not be paired with any other high-carb food item or those that have a high glycemic index like maida, pasta, or any dessert.
- Dietitian Jasleen Kaur suggests, “Eating a limited amount of carbohydrates daily helps diabetics maintain normal blood sugar levels. A large serving of mango will raise your blood sugar levels more substantially than a small serving. So, it is better to eat mangoes in small quantities.”
- Sanjay Kalra, Endocrinologist, advises consuming limited portions of mango (50 – 75 grams daily). Strictly avoid mango shakes and mango juice as they have a higher concentration of sugar.
- Nutritionist Rupali Dutta tells us that mango is a treat meal for diabetics. “You cannot have it anytime you want. I would recommend that people with diabetes on the borderline can have small amounts, but it is best for people with high blood sugar to refer to doctors who know best about their condition and have been treating them for the longest time.”
The Final Verdict:
The solution is not abstinence but portion control. If you crave mangoes, having them in small quantities might be alright but avoid other high glycemic index (GI) and carb-rich foods with them. However, if your blood sugar level is high at that moment, it is best to skip the fruit until the level comes back down to normal.
(This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.)