Is it safe for diabetics to eat mangoes? Check this diabetes diet guide
Mangoes are one of the best things about the Indian summer and are rich in flavour as well as health benefits. But diabetics are often worried about fruit sugars and aren’t aware of which fruits to add in their diabetes diet, which ones to avoid or how much fruit to eat. And since mangoes are high in calories, some diabetics shun it as they feel it can increase their blood sugar levels.
It’s a pity as the golden fruits are loaded with nutrients. “A cup of mango has about 100 calories, no fat and 25 grams of carbohydrates. It has almost no sodium and about 3 grams of fibre. It also has a ton of vitamins including vitamin A, vitamin B6, E and K, and is rich in potassium, magnesium and folate,” says nutritionist and physiologist Ritesh Bawri.
Mangoes also contain antioxidants, can do wonders for your gut, boost immunity and give you glowing skin. “Inflammation is the root cause of all chronic diseases, and mangoes punch in the maximum amount of antioxidants, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, which banish inflammation and disease. They also have soluble and insoluble fibres, which ferment in the small intestine to multiply good gut bacteria,” says integrative nutritionist Payal Kothari.
But should diabetics eat mangoes, and is it good for their health? “Mangoes tend to have a low glycemic index, and contain fructose and glucose. Your body is able to digest both well. Glucose has a tendency to elevate your blood sugar levels quickly, but mangoes have it in a low quantity,” says Bawri.
Kothari adds that mangoes are rich in fibre, which keeps blood sugar levels in check for diabetic patients and those trying to lose weight. “One mango a day, preferably before 5 pm, is perfect to keep you energetic all day, keep sugar cravings in check, and mood swings in control,” she says.
However, since mangoes tend to be high in calories, diabetics need to check their total calorie requirement and understand how many calories they should eat in a day. “As long as you are within your total calorie limit, consuming one or even two mangoes a day is fine,” says Bawri, who also advises diabetic patients to avoid juices and eat mangoes with the pulp, as it has fibre which reduces the amount of sugar consumed.
For type 2 diabetics, whose blood sugar levels are already elevated, mangoes should be eaten only occasionally. “If you end up eating too many mangoes, you will end up consuming too many calories and too much sugar. It will end up creating stored fat in your body. Excess stored fat is linked to a host of diseases including cardiovascular illness, dementia and strokes,” says Bawri.
Kothari says that mangoes are a better option for diabetics than simple carbs, sugary drinks or processed food because they are rich in fibre, fat and protein content which slows down the release of glucose in the bloodstream.
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