Mangoes are a delicious tropical fruit that many people around the world enjoy. However, for those who have diabetes, eating fruit can be a bit more complicated.
Mangoes have a high sugar content and can cause blood sugar levels to spike, which can be dangerous for those with diabetes.
In this article, we will explore the relationship between mangoes and diabetes and offer tips on how to enjoy mangoes in a healthy way for those with diabetes.
No doubt that fruits are a healthy addition to any diet, as they are full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. However, they also contain natural sugars that can impact blood sugar levels.
The amount and type of fruit consumed, as well as individual factors such as body weight and activity level, can all affect blood sugar.
Fruits with a lower glycemic index, like berries and cherries, are generally better for blood sugar control than fruits with a higher glycemic index, such as bananas and grapes.
Also, pairing fruits with protein and healthy fats can help slow the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream.
Well, you might be wondering, “are mangoes low glycemic?” Mangoes score 51–56 on the glycemic index (GI) chart, which is generally considered as a low to medium score.
This score is similar to that of orange but that does not mean diabetics can eat this fruit like any other fruit. Read on to explore- is mango good for diabetes?
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Diet’s role in diabetes management
Diet plays a crucial role in managing diabetes. A healthy diet can help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of complications. A balanced diet should include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
Avoiding sugary and processed foods is also important. Portion control is key, and it’s recommended to eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. In addition to diet, physical activity and medication can also help manage diabetes.
Nutritional Profile of Mangoes
By now you already know a healthy diet is a key player in regulating blood sugar levels. Now, you might be thinking, can a diabetic patient eat mango? This fruit is packed with nutrients in abundance, which are as follows-
- Vitamin C – 67 % of Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
- Vitamin A – 10%
- Folate – 18 %
- Vitamin B6 -12 %
- Potassium – 6 %
Mangoes also contribute Copper, Calcium and Iron to the diet, as well as the antioxidants zeaxanthin and beta carotene. Antioxidants help protect against cellular damage and may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
This fruit is also an excellent source of Vitamin C, which is important for immune system health and helps protect against disease. Further, mangoes are rich in Potassium, which regulates blood pressure and can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Now coming to the amount of carbs and fiber you can get from it.
If you are wondering how many carbs are in a mango, then you might be surprised to know that one cup of fresh-cut mango contains 25 grams of carbohydrates.
A 100-gram or 3.5-ounce of mango can offer you 1.5 grams of fiber per serving. About 60 percent of the fiber content is insoluble fiber, while the remaining 40 percent is soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water. Instead, it passes through the digestive system relatively intact. It adds bulk to the stool and can help prevent constipation.
Whereas soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance in the intestines. This substance helps slow down the passage of food through the digestive system, which can help regulate blood sugar levels.
Health Benefits of Mangoes
Mangoes are delicious fruit that are not only tasty but also have numerous health benefits. Some of them are as follows-
- Antioxidant properties
This fruit contains high levels of antioxidants, including Vitamin C and Beta-Carotene. These antioxidants help protect the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Free radicals are unstable molecules that can cause damage to cells and contribute to the development of diseases like diabetes.
- Digestive Health
Mangoes are a good source of fiber which promotes digestive health. Additionally, they contain enzymes that aid in digestion and reduce the risk of digestive disorders. A study found that eating this fruit can improve gut health and reduce inflammation in the body.
This is because mangoes possess antimicrobial properties that have been shown to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria in the gut, further promoting digestive health.
Mangoes contain potassium which may help to regulate blood pressure levels. They are also a good source of magnesium which is important for maintaining a healthy heart. According to a study, consuming mangoes can positively affect blood glucose levels in obese adults.
That means it has the potential to lower blood sugar levels, which is beneficial for people with diabetes.
Apart from these, this fruit has a rich nutrient profile. Mangoes are packed with immune-boosting nutrients, antioxidants, fibres, magnesium, and potassium.
These nutrients help lower blood pressure, reduce inflammation, boost energy and immunity, and are beneficial for healthy skin, hair, and eyes as well. This means diabetics should not skip this fruit but must eat in moderation.
Mangoes and Blood Sugar
Let us discuss the relationship between mango and blood sugar.
- Glycemic index and load
The Glycemic Index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar levels after consumption.
The Glycemic Load (GL) takes into account both the quality and quantity of carbohydrates in a food, giving a more accurate reflection of how it affects blood sugar levels. The GI and GL of different varieties of mangoes may differ.
- Impact on blood sugar
Mangoes have a low Glycemic Load and Index, typically ranging between 45-55 for GI and 7-10 for GL. However, while the carbs in fruit are simple sugars, 50% of the sugar in mangoes is fructose (the sweet molecule), which is metabolized differently than glucose.
Metabolized means the process of breaking down food or a substance within the body to produce energy or to create other necessary substances.
Fructose, a form of sugar, is metabolized by only two organs in our body – the small intestine and the liver. When taken in smaller quantities along with fibers, it can be metabolized with ease by a metabolically healthy person.
The small intestine metabolizes fructose into organic acids and glucose. But if consumed in large quantities, particularly in the form of juice, a portion of the fructose may not get metabolized in the small intestine and can cause problems for diabetics.
Excess fructose that doesn’t get metabolized in the small intestine can be converted into liver fat.
Although fruits are a healthy food choice, diabetics should be cautious about their fruit intake.
Tips for Diabetics Consuming Mangoes
Listed below are proven tips that will give some insights to diabetics on how to consume mangoes.
- Portion control and moderation:
Eating too much of anything can spike blood sugar levels, so it’s important for diabetics to practice portion control and moderation when consuming mangoes. A serving size is usually about 1 cup of sliced mangoes.
Even though the mangoes fall in the low-medium glycemic index and load, the real problem is the fructose content which can increase insulin resistance and raise sugar levels over a period of time.
It is imperative to have portion control while consuming mangoes in whole form (not be juiced anyway). Also, semi-ripen fruits are generally rich in minerals and low in fructose comparatively. Hence it is better for diabetics to go for semi-ripen mangoes in moderation.
- Pair with low-GI foods:
Pairing mangoes with low-GI foods can help to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, thereby reducing the impact on blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods take longer to digest and release sugar into the bloodstream gradually.
This can help maintain stable blood sugar levels and avoid spikes. Some good low-GI options to pair with mangoes include:
- Nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios
- Cheese like cottage cheese or feta
- Whole-grain bread or crackers
By combining mangoes with low-GI options, diabetics can still enjoy this delicious fruit without worrying about its impact on their blood sugar levels.
You can also count on consuming other fruits than mangoes. Listed below are some alternative fruits for Diabetics that have low GI.
- All kinds of Berries
- Green Apples
- Semi-ripen papaya
- Semi-ripen guava
- Dragon fruit
- Monitor blood sugar levels:
After consuming mangoes, it’s important for diabetics to monitor their blood sugar levels regularly. This will help them understand how the fruit impacts their body and whether any adjustments to their medication or insulin dosage are necessary.
Blood sugar levels can be monitored using a glucometer, which can be purchased at most drug stores. If blood sugar levels are found to be consistently high after consuming mangoes, it may be necessary to reduce the portion size or frequency of consumption.
It is not a good idea to have the fruits throughout the year but seasonally and locally available fruits, particularly the low glycemic fruits.
Semi-ripen mangoes have a low glycemic index and load and are packed with immune-boosting nutrients, antioxidants, and fibers, making them a beneficial fruit for diabetics when consumed in moderation and with portion control.
However, diabetics should be cautious about their fruit intake, monitor their blood sugar levels regularly, and pair mangoes with low-GI foods to reduce the impact on blood sugar levels.
It is important to understand that our body’s phenotype (physical and observable characteristics) plays a crucial role in our metabolism, and it differs from person to person.
However, in the last 40-50 years, due to an increase in ultra-processed food consumption, our metabolism has become deranged, leading to impaired mitochondrial function. Also, the level of insulin resistance and organ system involvement also varies from person to person.
Considering these variables, it’s vital to have a personalized dietary protocol that caters to the patient’s preferences and health conditions.
Precision medicine can help create an effective dietary plan that aims to reverse chronic disorders. In short, a tailored diet is necessary to achieve optimal health outcomes.
We healthcare professionals at Wellfinity decode the roots of the disease and its pathology and provide a simple and sustainable solution through a systems approach, the future of healthcare.