Mango and Diabetes
The high amount of calories and sugar in mangoes seemingly overpower its nutritional benefits. This renders its benefits debatable, raising questions on its suitability in a diabetic diet. Overall, you can still eat mangoes but in moderation.
Many studies on diabetes and mango abound, supporting the theory that mangoes can assist the breakdown of glucose and lower insulin resistance in diabetics. In light of this, this article analyzes the benefits of eating this edible stone fruit in people with diabetes, as well as exciting ways you might want to consider when eating them.
- Protein 0.82 g
- Carbohydrate 15 g
- Fat 0.38 g
- Fiber 1.8 g
- Sugar 13.7 g
- Cholesterol 0 g
Nutritional Profile of Mangoes
Mangoes are sweet fruits packed with a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals. A cup of mangoes contains 24.8 g of carbs and 22.6 g of sugar. However, the effects of its high carb and sugar content are adequately regulated by its dietary fiber and protein content — an impressive 2.64 g and 1.35 g of fiber and protein per cup, respectively.
Furthermore, mangoes pack a low-calorie count of 99 cal per cup alongside a low glycemic index (GI) of 51. While this might benefit people looking to shed weight and control blood sugar levels, it’s important to point out that this sweet, creamy fruit enlists among the high glycemic load (GL) foods with a value of 18.9 for one medium-sized fruit. As such, it’s likely to cause blood sugar spikes, and you should only eat it in tiny portions if you have diabetes.
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Can Diabetics Eat Mango?
Mango, like every other high GL food, must be eaten in moderation due to its high sugar and carbs content and its high GL value. Nonetheless, it’s proven to possess some beneficial qualities in certain studies, as we’ll observe below.
Reduces Fasting Blood Glucose
This fantastic fruit has shown prowess in reducing diabetics’ blood glucose levels. A Nutrition and Metabolic Insights pilot study validates this theory. Namely, feeding 20 obese adults daily with 10 g of freeze-dried mangoes for 12 weeks presents considerable reductions in blood glucose levels. However, the study records no significant improvement in their body weight.
Insulin-Mimetic Effects and Antioxidant Function
Preventing blood sugar spikes is a significant challenge for people with diabetes. Thankfully, research claims the intake of mangoes may help with this. In a Journal of Functional Foods study, mango by-products yielded considerable reductions in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats’ serum glucose levels through its insulin-mimetic effects. It also reduces serum triacylglyceride levels in these rats by decreasing intestinal lipid absorption.
Additionally, it remedies diabetic neuropathy through its renal antioxidant activity. These properties are attributed to mango’s carotenoid and polyphenol content.
Rich in Vitamin C
Mangoes are packed with a healthy amount of vitamin C with a cup of mangoes containing 67% of the total daily value. A study conducted to determine the beneficial effects of vitamin C on blood glucose, serum insulin, and serum lipids in people with type 2 diabetes presents remarkable findings.
Namely, randomly administering 500 mg or 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily to 84 type 2 diabetes patients for six weeks resulted in significantly reduced levels of triglyceride, fasting blood sugar, LDL cholesterol, serum insulin, and HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin) in those that took the higher dose.
Low Glycemic Index (GI)
According to an article from Harvard, low GI foods release glucose slowly and steadily, preventing dangerous spikes to your blood sugar levels. They also foster weight loss which is essential for people with diabetes to manage their body glucose. Since mango is a low GI food, it may offer these benefits when eaten. However, it’s essential to consume them in controlled amounts as they surprisingly have a high GL.
Safe Ways to Eat Mangoes
Although mangoes are high in carbs, it does not mean that you cannot eat them. Here are some safe recipes to ensure you benefit maximally from these stone fruits:
Overall, mango is a decent fruit with fantastic health benefits. Still, it presents specific health risks to diabetes patients, especially when eaten without discretion. As such, consult your doctor or dietitian on the optimal amount to consume.
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