Every time mangoes are in season, there are two distinct groups of people. The first kind who do not eat mangos in the fear of gaining weight and (or) blood sugar level, and the second one who thoroughly cherish the season and have so many mangoes that they repulse it for the rest of the year. Let’s talk some facts here about mangoes, are they good for you or not? Will you gain weight eating too many of them or not? How much is too much really? What about people with diabetes?
Firstly, weight gain is in most simple way explained as calorie in vs calories out. If you are eating more calories than you burn per day, you will gain weight. Simple. For the sake of simplicity, lets not consider people with hormonal imbalances such as thyroid, PCOS etc. Though for people with hormonal imbalances the basic science of calories in- calories out remains the same, there are other factors which must be considered based on individual lifestyles.
Now how many calories do you need per day? Its simple, go by your gut feeling. Your activity level, workload, stress level’s etc changes per day. Thus, your daily caloric requirements also changes. Going by your gut feeling would mean listening to your body signals and your cravings. But with the kind of fast paced lifestyle we live and easy access to nutritionally deficient junk food we eat, you gut feeling will most likely only want to eat pizza’s with soda all day.
Working with clients, all I do is help them make lifestyle changes and eat nutritionally dense food. This way, they do not crave junk and are in tune with their body’s nutritional requirements. Maybe that is why a lot of us binge eat mangoes? We almost never voluntarily pick up healthy food and once mangoes are in season, the body is craving for the dense packed nutrition mangoes have to offer and we cannot stop ourselves. Had we been eating healthy throughout, you would probably not crave more mangoes than required per day for your system. Anyways, since a lot of us have thrown the option of gut feeling out the window, another way to calculate your caloric requirements is using this easy calculator:
NOTE: This calculator only calculates your BRM or your base metabolic rate, in simple terms, calories burnt per day at rest. It does not take into consideration the physical activities you do per day (and I do not mean workout). But simple things like walking upto your car, brushing your teeth etc. So add 200- 300 calories to whatever number your results show. Maybe even more if you exercise daily. Fpr example, My BMR is 1450 but the calories I eat to even maintain my current body weight is 2100. This is considering I exercise an hour a day and am fairly active all day long. No matter what your goal, please do not eat under 1400 calories per day, this WILL lead to hormonal imbalances in the body which is sometimes irreversible. Sign up for my online program if you would like me to calculate your BRM and design a nutrition plan based on your health goals.
Ok so now that we have our BMR, lets see how many calories mangoes have:
60 calories per 100 grams with 0.4 grams fat! What is all the fuss about mangoes making you fat, they have less than 1 gram of fat per 100 gram serving. We will get to the sugar part in a bit but lets dig a little deeper into just the calories part. So considering you are on the 1400 calories diet (very very low calories to lose weight very fast, NOT AT ALL RECOMMENDED), and you decide to eat only mangoes all day. You can still eat 15 plus mangoes and not gain weight. Of course eating only one food item/ group has some serious drawbacks like not getting a range of nutrients leading to deficiencies in the body so please don’t try it.
But assuming you will eat other foods too, you can still eat 1-2 cup’s of mangos per day based on your health goals and still not gain weight.
In fact, 100 grams of mangoes actually compares better than 100 grams (or 2 medium sized) of eggs! Eggs have more than twice the calories as mangoes, 11 times the fat content and 124% of your daily cholesterol suggested intake! Now lets compare mangoes to another common fruit, the banana:
Mangoes have lesser calories than banana’s do! Wonder why they got such a bad name compared to banana’s.
And last, lets come to the sugar part. 100 grams of mangoes have 14 grams of fruit sugar or fructose. Sugar is addictive and evil but only the processed kind you find in pastries, cookies and sweets. Fruit sugar is combined with the fiber in the fruits, slowing down its digestion and absorption by the body. My clients on an average consume 80-90 grams of natural sugar even on a fat loss program. Even people who are diabetic consume a serving of fruits per day. Fruits have lots of goodness to offer in the form of vitamins and minerals. But its funny that we get so conscious when eating fruits vs junk food, which we are definitely sure, is bad for our health.
There are a few things I would suggest you keep in mind while eating mangoes or any fruits in general though. Avoid combining fruits with grains. Fruits digest faster than grains and if eaten with grains, will cause digestive discomfort. So say no to cut mango slices with your roti- sabzi. Even no to aam- rass with your lunch/ dinner. Likewise, do not mix your mangoes with dairy milk to make a shake. It will upset your digestive track. Also stick away from mango juices (smoothies are ok). Juicing takes away the fiber of the fruit, making them higher in GI and causing a spike in your glucose level. Mangoes are best eaten whole and in moderation like any other fruits.
Some mango recipes that I enjoy though are mango- chia pudding, green- mango smoothie and mango- oats breakfast bowl. Let me know in the comments below if you want me to write separate blog posts with recipes of the same.
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