Mango, a tropical fruit with sweet and juicy flesh and a distinct flavor contain essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that benefit our health. Although mangoes offer numerous health benefits, individuals with diabetes may be concerned about their safety due to their high carbohydrate content, which can impact blood sugar levels. This blog post will examine the nutritional properties of mangoes and assess their suitability for diabetics. We will also provide tips on how to include mangoes in a healthy, balanced diet for individuals with diabetes.
A Closer Look at Mango’s Nutritional Composition
People often appreciate mangoes for their high nutritional value. Mangoes provide vitamins and minerals, and they are also rich in antioxidants. These antioxidants have been associated with various health benefits. For instance, mango polyphenols possess anti-inflammatory properties, while carotenoids and flavonoids may help prevent certain types of cancer. However, mangoes are high-carbohydrate fruits, containing roughly 46 grams of carbohydrates and 3 grams of fiber in a medium-sized fruit. This can pose a problem for diabetics as consuming excessive carbohydrates can result in blood sugar spikes.
The mango contains a variety of polyphenolic compounds, including mangiferin, catechins, quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, anthocyanins, gallic and ellagic acids, propyl and methyl gallate, benzoic acid, and protocatechuic acid. These polyphenols contribute to the mango’s antioxidant capacity and/or quantity.
Recent studies suggest that relying on a combination of polyphenols found in the mango is more beneficial than using isolated compounds alone. It is preferable to consume whole fruit rather than taking individual polyphenols as a supplement. These findings indicate that the collective action of diverse mango polyphenols is essential for maximizing the fruit’s antioxidative potential.
Studies have demonstrated that mangiferin, which is present in mangoes, aids in protecting against and combating degenerative diseases like heart disease and cancer. Mangiferin serves primarily as an antioxidant, protecting human cells against degenerative illnesses, DNA damage, and lipid peroxidation damage caused by oxidative stress.
Gallic acid and Gallotannin
Scientific research has shown that gallotannin, derived from gallic acid, provides benefits for lipid metabolism and has some anti-obesity effects.
In addition, mango polyphenols are beneficial in maintaining intestinal health, particularly in preventing chronic inflammatory diseases like inflammatory bowel diseases.
Quercetin in Mangoes
Quercetin is a potent antioxidant and flavonol found in plants, including mangoes. It can protect against tissue damage caused by medication toxicities and has powerful flavonoid properties. It may also provide health benefits such as protection against osteoporosis, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
Many researchers think that catechins in mangoes could aid in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Kaempferol and “Mango Sugar”
Mangoes contain polyphenols such as kaempferol and quercetin, which can lower blood glucose levels and improve lipid profiles. Therefore, researchers are studying the possibility of producing “mango sugar” from mangoes. This alternative to cane sugar is seen as promising due to the beneficial effects of these compounds.
Mangoes also contain Anthocyanins and Rhamnetin
Mangoes contain anthocyanins and rhamnetin that benefit health. Anthocyanins are compounds that reduce oxidative stress by eliminating free radicals and slowing down oxidation.
Mangoes provide important nutrients, taste great, and boost health. Including them in your diet helps maintain balance and provides antioxidants to fight long-term diseases. Mangoes are low in fat and calories, perfect for healthy snacking. Missing out on their health benefits due to sweetness is not wise. To improve overall health, eat mangoes and take advantage of their benefits.
The Nutritional Information of Mango
One serving of mango equals 3/4 cup pieces or 124g and has 70 calories, no fat, trans fat, cholesterol, or sodium. It contains 19g of total carbohydrates, 2g of fiber, and 17g of total sugars. Mango is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, E, and K, as well as calcium, iron, and potassium. It also has smaller amounts of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, pantothenic acid, and choline.
So, it’s clear that mango provides an excellent source of vitamin C and essential nutrients such as folate and copper, supporting various body functions like red blood cell formation and energy production. Incorporating mango into one’s diet helps meet nutritional requirements and promotes good health.
Should Diabetics Avoid Eating Mango?
Diabetes affects how the body processes blood sugar, and people with diabetes must be cautious about their food choices to control their blood sugar levels. Mango, like other fruits, contains natural sugars that can elevate blood sugar levels, leading some to question whether diabetics should avoid it.
Recent studies show that mango can benefit individuals with diabetes. A few years ago, researchers found that eating mangoes can lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin resistance in obese individuals with prediabetes. As previously mentioned, the polyphenols and dietary fiber in mangoes have been shown to decrease blood sugar levels and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Glycemic Index of Mango
The glycemic index (GI) measures how carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels. Foods with a high GI value rapidly raise blood sugar, while those with a low GI value cause a slow and steady increase. Mangoes have a moderate GI value of around 50. However, the GI value may differ depending on the mango’s ripeness and preparation.
How Many Mangoes to Eat?
The natural sugars in mangoes can impact blood sugar levels, so it’s crucial to monitor the amount you consume. A 100-gram serving of mango has about 12-15 g of carbohydrates, which is equal to about one serving. People with diabetes can consume mangoes, but they should control their portion sizes and consume them in moderation.
The Truth About “Sugar-Free” Mango Claims
There is no such thing as a “sugar-free” mango because all fruits, including mangoes, naturally contain sugars in the form of fructose. Claims that mangoes are “sugar-free” are incorrect and misleading, although some mango cultivars may have slightly lower sugar content. People with diabetes should still eat mangoes in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, as natural sugars in mangoes can affect blood sugar levels.
Eating Mangoes for People with Diabetes
People with diabetes should consult with their doctor or registered dietitian for a personalized eating plan that includes mangoes and other fruits. These experts can provide advice on portion sizes and frequency of consumption based on the individual’s health needs and goals.
Mangoes can be part of a healthy diet for people with diabetes, but it’s important to consume them in moderation and monitor intake. Mangoes contain valuable nutrients and have shown hypoglycemic effects. Before making significant dietary changes, it’s crucial to consult with a doctor or registered dietitian to ensure safety and effectiveness in managing diabetes.
Tips for Including Mangoes in a Healthy, Balanced Diet for Individuals with Diabetes
Ripe mangoes are generally sweeter and have a higher glycemic index compared to unripe ones. If you have diabetes, it’s best to choose mangoes that are just ripe and not overly ripe to prevent a spike in blood sugar levels. Limit your portion sizes since mangoes are rich in natural sugars. A reasonable serving size is one cup of sliced mango, which contains approximately 12 – 19 grams of carbohydrates.
Pairing mangoes with protein and fiber can help slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. For a balanced snack, you can try combining sliced mango with Greek yogurt, nuts, or seeds. Fresh, whole mangoes are preferable to processed mango products such as dried mango, mango juice, or canned mango, which often contain added sugars that can negatively impact blood sugar levels. It’s important to work with a dietitian to create a personalized meal plan that fits your individual needs and preferences if you have diabetes. A dietitian can help you incorporate mangoes into your diet in a healthy and balanced way.
We offer helpful and informative material on eating mangoes for people with diabetes. However, this is general information, not specific to you. Every individual is different, so suggestions for one person may not apply to another. Therefore, do not replace professional medical advice with this information. If you have questions or concerns, consult your physician or other qualified healthcare providers. Do not delay seeking professional medical advice because of this post. We, the author and publisher, are not responsible for any negative consequences resulting from reliance on this information.
Further Reading: Resources on Eating Mangoes for People with Diabetes
- Bhadoria, U. S., & Jena, S. K. (2017). Mango and diabetes: Current status and future directions. International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries, 37(1), 1-7.
- USDA. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release. (2018). Mango, raw. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/341511/nutrients
- Viguiliouk, E., Stewart, S. E., Jayalath, V. H., Ng, A. P., Mirrahimi, A., de Souza, R. J., … & Sievenpiper, J. L. (2019). Effect of raw and cooked vegetables on blood glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factor 1: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, 2019, 6468409.
- American Diabetes Association. (2021). Carbohydrate counting. Retrieved from https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/understanding-carbs/carbohydrate-counting
- Effect of Mango Consumption on Individuals With Pre-diabetes. Information provided by Bahram Arjmandi, Florida State University https://beta.clinicaltrials.gov/study/NCT05571800
- Masibo M, He Q. Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health. Compr Rev Food Sci Food Saf. 2008 Oct;7(4):309-319. doi: 10.1111/j.1541-4337.2008.00047.x. PMID: 33467788. Link: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33467788
- Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health. Martin Masibo, Qian He. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1541-4337.2008.00047.x
- Evans SF, Meister M, Mahmood M, et al.: Mango supplementation improves blood glucose in obese individuals. Nutr Metab Insights 2014;7:77–84.
- Mango supplementation improves blood glucose in obese individuals. Shirley F Evans 1, Maureen Meister 1, Maryam Mahmood 1, Heba Eldoumi 1, Sandra Peterson 1, Penelope Perkins-Veazie 2, Stephen L Clarke 1, Mark Payton 3, Brenda J Smith 1, Edralin A Lucas 1. PMID: 25210462 PMCID: PMC4155986 DOI: 10.4137/NMI.S17028