With summer at our doorstep, mangoes will be back in abundance. This much-loved summer fruit’s sweet, fragrant and hydrating qualities are what attract everyone towards it. However, diabetes patients have remained sceptical when it comes to eating mangoes, mainly because of their sweetness.
We at Only My Health spoke with Anupama Menon, a certified nutritionist and lifestyle coach based out of Bengaluru and Mumbai, to get some clarity on whether diabetics should eat mangoes or not. Read on to find out all about it.
“Living with diabetes can be challenging, but that does not mean one must give up all the delicious foods in life. Moderation is key when it comes to managing blood sugar levels. By making small but meaningful dietary and lifestyle changes, a diabetic person can take control of his/her health and well-being,” says Anupama Menon.
Also Read: Hyperglycemia: Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment
Can Diabetics Eat Mangoes?
Popular belief suggests sweet fruits like mangoes should be avoided by diabetes patients. However, according to the nutritionist, mangoes can still be enjoyed in moderation by diabetics due to their high fibre content, which in turn helps regulate sugar levels.
“It is essential to understand the body’s limitations since each person’s body may react differently to the fructose in mangoes. As a general guideline, it is recommended that diabetics consume mangoes in moderation, around 100-150 grams, approximately three times a week. The quantity may vary depending on how well one’s body can regulate the sugars from mangoes,” she explains. Your doctor’s advice can help decide the exact quantity.
Benefits Of Eating Mangoes
Besides being sweet and delicious to eat, the fruit:
- Contains a lot of fibre, aiding digestion
- Helps to cut sweet cravings
- Is High in beta carotene that is converted to Vitamin A in the body
- Serves as an antioxidant as it is rich in Vitamin C
Fruits That Diabetics Should Eat And Avoid
In addition to mangoes, diabetics can generally consume a range of complex carbohydrates. These include:
- Whole wheat
- Brown rice
Nutritionist Anupama Menon further says, “According to research, these foods generally have a low GI (Glycemic Index), which means they don’t raise sugar levels as much as high GI foods. Besides, vegetables and proteins are also great low GI food options that can be incorporated into a diabetic’s diet.”
For diabetics, the total quantity of fruits in a day could vary between 200-300 gms, as per the expert.
But it is imperative to keep a check on the total quantity of food consumed by diabetics, she adds. “Even low GI foods should be eaten in moderation. Monitoring and maintaining a healthy diet is a vital aspect of managing diabetes,” she says.
Also Read: How Diabetes Can Affect Different Parts Of The Body
Lifestyle Measures To Take
Here are some lifestyle measures to take if you have diabetes:
- Sugars need to be minimised; if needed, use only coconut sugar
- Exercise (40 mins, five times a week) is a must to regulate sugars
- Remove all refined flour from the diet
- Practise the 4-7-8 breathing technique
- Add vegetables for fibre and fruits (200g/day) to regulate sweet cravings
- Ensure your Vitamin D levels are within the optimal range
While diabetes patients must be mindful of what they put in their bodies, it is important to know that fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamins and minerals. Eliminating them completely from your diet can backfire. With summer approaching, mangoes will be available all around. Do not hesitate to feast on them, but be mindful. They are not banned for you, but take your doctor’s advice and go ahead.