Mango, the word emits smells and scents nostalgia in every bite! We have all grown up with fond memories of this delicious fruit. It would not be an overstatement to say that mango and pleasure are two terms we could use interchangeably.
There are many views on the best method of consuming this fruit. However, the one that goes in line with biochemistry and physiology (in simple terms, the way the body works), is the one that must be followed. That would be the science of nutrition which is backed by research.
So while we bask in the sun this summer, let’s also find the ways and means to savour the king of fruits to our heart’s content.
- Hailing to its high fiber, beta-Carotene, Vitamin C, iron content, mango is certainly high on the nutrition quotient.
- Like other fruits, it contains glucose and fructose, the amount of glucose being slightly higher than the fructose. Any fruit is best eaten as the 1st or 2nd meal of the day as the sugar in fruit (fructose) is likely to be stored as fat during the later parts of the day. Even though it is a natural sugar, the body will convert all carbohydrates ultimately to glucose or fructose as end products of digestion.
- For an exercising individual, bingeing occasionally won’t hurt. If one is aiming to lose fat, then staying within a slice will be reasonable, as more than that is likely to put you off the fat loss wagon. For an intensely training adult on a carbohydrate dominant diet, it would make sense to consume it as a post workout meal (preferably in the morning keeping Point 2 in mind).
- Diabetics with controlled sugar levels may also include up to a slice at breakfast.
- Children within their ideal weight range can include 1 medium mango as a mid-meal snack during the day. Excess sugar even in the form of fruits is unhealthy for kids.
- Ripe mangoes are best eaten whole as a fruit than consuming it in liquid or dried form. Green mangoes are healthier owing to their lower sugar content. Chop it and use in a salad. Aam Panna is a refreshing summer drink. Sweeten with stevia instead of sugar.
- Mangoes being plant foods do not contain cholesterol and are very low in fat. However, due to their high carbohydrate content, they stimulate the release of insulin and that promotes fat storage in those with a sluggish metabolism (being overweight with a high fat percent is a sign of a sluggish metabolism). Fat is the raw material for cholesterol production in the body. So carbohydrates in excess will cause elevated triglycerides and thus high cholesterol levels. Fructose from fruit (mango or any other) can increase uric acid levels in susceptible individuals.
Eating it any other way may not be harmful temporarily, however doing so throughout the season may hamper your health goals. About the hype on consuming seasonal foods, do understand that hormones do not understand the season or time of the year. A diabetic in summer will be a diabetic throughout the year. Eating sensibly is therefore more important than eating as per the season.