Nutrition Meets Food Science

Eating Mangoes & Blood Sugar

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Mangoes are considered king of fruits in India and summers bring in the season for mangoes. Not only the vendors are seen selling around mangoes, but also there are various delicacies of mango that starts getting available at every corner.  Mango, being a seasonal fruit , Kids and adults all stay much awaited and enjoy the season of mangoes as much as they can, by having it in all its forms such as mango juice, mango cream, aamras, etc . The mango season comes and passes by, but one thing that remains constant is the question of whether those with difficulty with blood sugar should consume mangoes.

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Ripe mangoes are very sweet containing high levels of natural sugar. They also contain fibre and many vitamins including C, A, E and K with a range of B vitamins and minerals. Mangoes also provide polyphenols, triterpene and lupeol having antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Some research suggests that the fruit may combat high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes.  One of the non-listed components of mangoes is a substance known as mangiferin—which, in addition to anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activities, also can help lower blood sugar levels.


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Mangoes and cholesterol

Effect of mangoes on blood glucose and lipids was studied in mice. Researchers added freeze-dried mango to diet of one group and drugs, either fenofibrate, which lowers lipid levels, or rosiglitazone, which reduces sugar in the blood, to others. Group that consumed mango had lower percentage of body fat, lower blood cholesterol and sugar than they had before. Mango had similar effects produced by the drugs.


Blood sugar regulation

Another study, found that adding mangoes to the diet decreased fasting blood glucose levels in people with obesity. Twenty individuals with obesity each consumed 10 g of ground, freeze-dried mango pulp every day for 12 weeks. The researchers concluded that blood glucose levels fell in males and females who consumed the mango.

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In the male participants, hip circumference also decreased, but no significant changes in body’s weight or composition were observed. Regular consumption of freeze-dried mango might have a positive impact on fasting blood glucose levels. Confirming the conclusions will require further trials with more participants.


Mangoes and obesity

Obesity appears to increase the risk of various health conditions, including strokes, heart disease, and diabetes. No studies have shown that consuming mango leads to weight loss in humans. The results of the study above indicated a decrease in hip circumference in men, but no significant change in overall body fat or weight.

However, findings presented in 2016 provide hope that compounds in mangoes can help curb obesity. Researchers studied the effects of mango on fat cells in the laboratory. Scientists reported that some of the polyphenols present in mangoes reduced the ability of fat cells to multiply. Confirming these findings will require more studies in humans. However, the researchers suggest that a mango-rich diet “might be helpful in the prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases.”


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Mangoes and prediabetes

Diabetes is a major health concern worldwide. A person with prediabetes has levels of blood sugar that are high, but not high enough for a diagnosis of diabetes. People with prediabetes have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

A study from 2015 investigated the effects of mango on blood sugar in people with prediabetes. Participants who consumed 10 g of freeze-dried mango every day for 12 weeks had “decreased blood glucose and increased insulin levels.” The control group, who did not eat mango, did not experience these changes.(

Moderation is the KEY

Some people with diabetes think that they should stop eating fruit because it can contain high levels of sugar. However, a moderate amount of fruit can be beneficial, especially because fruit contains important nutrients, including fiber and a range of vitamins and minerals. In moderation, mangoes can be a healthful addition to a varied diet.

Mangoes score 51–56 on the glycemic index (GI) chart. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) consider this a low or medium score. The ADA suggest the following tips for eating fruit:

Amrakhand OR Mango Shrikhand with puri or Poori

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  • Consume fresh, frozen, or canned fruit without added sugar.
  • A serving of fruit should contain about 15 g of carbohydrates. Two-thirds of a cup of mango contains approximately this amount.
  • Remember that fresh fruit may be more satisfying than dried fruit, as the serving size for dried fruit is much smaller. Adding mangoes to a healthful diet could benefit levels of blood sugar and lipids, and it may help to combat obesity.
  • Mango should be best consumed as a sole snack in the evening or replace a carbohydrate in meals or as breakfast. Avoid eating large amount of grains with mango.
  • Combine Mango with Protein meals for better glycemic load like milk/ curd / pulses.
  • While you juice mango and eat with meal add ½ teaspoon of ghee with mango to reduce its glycemic load.


(Adapted from Medical News Today article by Janine Kelbach on 20 September 2018 with valuable inputs by Dr Geeta Dharmatti)


Leave a Reply to Jagadish Pai Cancel reply

    • Thanks. Some myths need to be removed and also caution people about eating too much. That is also bad.
      Much of information was available on public domain. Also inputs of Dr Geeta Dharmatti were valuable.

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