In diabetics, especially new diabetic patients, you cannot do plain sweet things directly. This is not a bad rule when it comes to cakes and cookies, but it certainly does not apply to healthy fresh fruits like mango. A reasonable portion of mango has little effect on your blood sugar and is good for you in many other ways, so feel free to enjoy them in moderation.
The glycemic index is a well-known tool used to manage the diet of diabetics. It measures how quickly your blood sugar rises from a given meal, compared to the effect of pure glucose. A diet with a low or low GI has less effect on your blood sugar than a diet with a high number. Mango has a low GI of 51, which is comparable to tropical fruits such as pineapple or papaya. In other words, a reasonable share of mango – a quarter of the fruit – is 1/2 cup cubed fruit, and it has little effect on your blood sugar.
The American Diabetes Association recognizes the value of calculating the GI of common foods, but recommends focusing on your total carbohydrate intake rather than focusing on GI numbers. By this standard, mangoes still seem to be a good choice. A 1/2 cup contains 12 grams of carbohydrates, and for less than 27 grams you get a medium banana or a cup of red or green grapes.
Nutrients in mango
Keeping your blood sugar under control is important, but it is not the only dietary solution. Maintaining a healthy whole diet means paying attention to how much nutrients a food gets, compared to the calories it provides – its “nutrient density” – as well as the fiber content of other factors.
The mango score is good when considered in that light. They are high in vitamins C and A, the most valuable soluble fiber you can find in beans and oatmeal, and they also contain potassium. The USDA’s 2015 Nutrition Guidelines call for a variety of nutrient-dense diets in the right diet and one-fourth of mangoes fit that recommendation beautifully.
Including mango in your diet
Mangoes are notorious for eating, so you can enjoy them in dried or juice form. They are still healthy, but they are a more concentrated source of sugar, so they are not a good alternative.
To enjoy fresh mangoes, cutting one is the easiest way. Instead of peeling it and trying to peel off the slippery fruit, cut a cheek out of the flat pit so it is still on the skin. Use the tip of your knife to score the soft fruit into pieces or cubes, and then fold inside the skin. The slices cut the skin very easily, ready to eat on its own or as an element in a salad or salsa. Mango is also a wonderful garnish for fish, poultry, grilled meats and other healthy fruits.