Mangoes are the favourite fruit of most people around the globe. However, it is disheartening for diabetic people who don’t consume it due to its high sugar content. It is true that mango has high sugar content. Many businesses have cropped in selling diabetic mangoes that are claimed to be good for health. That is quite good, as mangoes are really a superfood, good for health and very tasty at the same time. But does that mean diabetic patients have to rely only on sugar-free mangoes? Let’s discuss this in this article.
Every Indian household buys mangoes during summer. Mango in India is a seasonal fruit, which is available only in the summer season. Hence, most cultures of India represent the summer season with mangoes. However, today’s health-conscious world has associated mangoes with sugary fruits and carbs, which will increase your blood sugar level. It has been speculated so much into people’s minds that many people have stopped eating mangoes and went for expensive imported fruits, thinking that they are a miracle compared to mangoes.
It is time to bust these myths. Mangoes are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants, which strengthens the immune system. Mangoes have a significant quantity of B vitamins, vitamin A, potassium and magnesium that promotes heart health, and are actually good for maintaining sugar level in blood. Mangoes are considered a superfood in many countries around the world where mangoes are exported to developed countries like the US and the UK.
Sugar-free mangoes are a new trend nowadays. Despite several advantages, mangoes are looked upon as sugary fruits, that contains a large number of carbs, and carbs are today treated as more harmful than artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners. As a remedy comes sugar-free mangoes that are presented as a miracle food for diabetic patients and weight watchers.
Any food having a glycemic index of 55 or less are considered low-sugar food. Mangoes have a glycemic index of 51. Thus mangoes are considered good for sugar patients. Glycemic index or GI is considered a better choice of food as it shows how blood sugar is affected on eating any food item. The lower the GI, the lower is the chance of a blood sugar spike. Mangoes, despite being sweet are low in GI, that is they don’t abruptly raise the blood sugar level. Comparatively, sugar has a glycemic index of 65, rice has 68-73, bread has 75-78, and honey has 61.
All carbs are not the same. Refined carbs are treated as empty calories that only provide energy and are not healthy. Mango contains complex carbohydrates that give nutrition to the body and are absorbed slowly, not spiking the blood sugar. Mangoes contain a significant amount of dietary fibre too, which is absent in refined carbs that we eat almost every time, like most bread, cakes, and biscuits.
It is true that some varieties of mango contain more sugar than others. Go to a local market, see the varieties of mangoes available in your area. If you happen to live in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, where mango is native, you will most likely find more than one variety. Ask the shopkeeper for less sweetened ones. He/she is more likely to suggest to you the best option available, better than even so-called sugar-free varieties. Most sugar-free varieties have insignificantly low glycemic index than those available in your local market, and they are never sugar-free as claimed. Some expensive varieties do have a lot of sugar, so you may skip those if you are diabetic. The less-sugar mangoes are also the cheapest. So you don’t need to search everywhere for expensive sugar-free mangoes, it is most likely available in your neighbourhood market.
Written by – Himadri Paul