Mango- It’s great for you

(Disclaimer: If you think this is a fashion related post, my apologies. We are talking about the fruit not the fashion label)

For the last month or so, people around me just won’t stop cribbing about the summer.  ‘It’s mangowala season. The heat is worth it,’ I try to see the glass half full.

But recently, be it twitter, gym or even random dinner parties, everyone I meet seems to be appalled that I eat alphonso mangoes almost every day. I have been on a diet ever since I can remember. I am always about eating healthy and dissing junk food and I do count calories every step of the way. Apparently eating a mango every day is inconsistent with the above statements.

Bullshit. Mangoes are health food. I’d be a fool to deprive myself of the joys and goodness that a mango has to offer, based on half-baked information.  This is what the real deal is. Here is what mangoes are all about. Read!

  1. Mango = Lot of sugar: 1 mango has approximately 6 teaspoons of sugar, according to a few well-experienced nutritionists. However, this is sugar is fructose. It is a natural form of sugar devoid of any chemicals. Two nutritionists who are highly qualified and well-informed tell me that this sugar has a lower glycemic index than regular sugar. In simple words, this sugar is easy to digest and fairly acceptable when you’re controlling your calorie or sugar intake.
  2. King of nutrition: Mangoes come packed with Vitamin A, B, C, E and K and what’s more they are a rich source of minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and zinc. Also, mangoes have a decent amount of dietary fiber that not only improves the digestive system but also aids weight-loss by making one feel satisfied.

Even though they contain a lot of sugar, Mangoes give your body a wealth of vitamins, minerals, fibers and anti-oxidants. With its nutritional content, mangoes are a great snack/meal option.

Why do most trainers and dieticians assume mangoes are a threat to fitness?

Like most foods, Mango is not bad for you but the way you eat it makes it bad for you. Most households serve a mango as dessert right after a meal or serve mango pulp (aamras) with a full meal. Also, we are in the habit of eating 2-3 (sometimes 7, yours truly holds that record) at a go. If eaten in either of the above manner, mango ends up being a fattening food. Let me explain.

Mango is best eaten as a meal by itself. According to Dr. Davare, a renowned Ayurvedic nutritionist, a mango is best eaten as breakfast or a pre-breakfast (before you head out for a workout) meal, every alternate day. If you eat a mango along with a full meal, the excess sugar gets converted to fat. In fact when I weighed 73 kilos and had an impossible target of 20 kilos to shed, I was allowed to eat a mango twice a week.

One is a powerful number: Don’t eat more than one mango. More than one mango means a lot of sugar which, if not utilized for energy, will lead to fat storage. You might think that one mango isn’t enough for a meal. You’d be surprised. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach to convey satiety to your brain. One mango can satisfy your hunger, just be patient.

Eat it raw: Yes, aam ras tastes awesome, so does mango milkshake and there’s nothing is wrong with enjoying these once in a while. However, juicing a fruit up leads to lesser satiety and you end up consuming more calories. On an average, one big bowl of aam ras is made from the pulp of 1.5 mangoes and of course we can’t forget the calories added by the jaggery or sugar. One rarely stops at one bowl of aam ras and there’s always a second helping involved. You do the math.  Also, when you blend or pulp a fruit, the fruit begins to oxidize which brings down its nutritional value (vit C is instantly lost). Blending usually destroys the fiber contained in a fruit. Therefore, any fruit is best eaten fresh and in its original form.

Next time you see a mango, don’t deprive yourself. Go ahead, bite into the aromatic, juicy fruit. Let the experience of eating a mango leave pale yellow stains on your t-shirt. As you bite into the pulpy Alphonso, let the juice drip into your palm. Extract every bit of juice, pulp from the ‘guthlee’ or ‘koy’ using your teeth until the fibers on the guthlees start looking whiter and whiter.  Enjoy the experience of eating a mango the way you did as a kid. Leave the guilt at home! If anyone tries to induce guilt, tell them to get in touch with me.

(Source: Common sense, Science textbook standard IV, my own pursuit of healthiness and Rujuta Divekar’s Lose Your Weight, Don’t Lose Your Mind)

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23 comments for “Mango- It’s great for you

  1. April 29, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    what about the fat content of mangoes? i’ve noticed that mangoes blended with toned (not whole) milk, still have a kinda creamy consistency. blend it well, then cool it, and you can see a fresh layer of cream on top. does your dietitian have any measure of fat content in manges?

    of course, not all fat is bad, but i remember my granny’s saying: if you want to put on weight, have a banana or a mango in a grass of milk, everyday 🙂

    • priyanka
      April 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

      yes its true what your granny says but also that one should always opt for seasonal fruits… they have their due qualities for the season special they are.. n yes like the author say.. it has to be eaten as a whole meal..

      dont miss on the sweetest pleasure in the form of mango..!!

      • May 19, 2010 at 4:49 am

        yup. you said ti priyanka. the fat is burnable and in moderation, seasonal fruits can work wonders

  2. April 29, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    Tasty article! I love mangoes, bachpan-say, in school, I used to write autobiography of mango only… 😀

  3. April 29, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    Nice read! No wonder we are ‘mango people’!

  4. priyanka
    April 29, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    hello,
    a word mango in my timeline.. jst catched my eyes.. n intrested em enuf to reach ur blog..
    no one can keep themselves away from the sweetfruit of ‘summers’ as you say…
    the only possible best thing of this horrid season..
    even i’ve read some verse’s from a book as to eat it as a whole meal.. n the frutose concept apllies to almost everyfruit..

    so jst kill the myth n indulge in the sweetest taste on earth.. outshinning even a chocolate..

    lovely read.. nice blog..
    hope to drop by again.. 🙂

  5. Dipti
    April 30, 2010 at 5:36 am

    You are gonna make the mango vendors near my house truly lucky today! Already craving!

  6. April 30, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Finally! Someone to tell me mangoes are good!

  7. Joss
    April 30, 2010 at 9:59 am

    Well, since I’ve lost 2 kilo this week I think I can safely go out and buy a mango or two for today’s snack. Lovely idea, especially since I lost the weight not by dieting but by taking my dog for an extra walk in the mornings. Somehow the dog doesn’t seem to have lost any at all. Lucky really since she only weighs 5 kilo to start with! I love mangos but I usually only eat one or two per season as they are so much trouble to get into. Any tips how to do this better?

    Loved yesterday’s poem, by the way. I gave it to my son.

    • June 1, 2010 at 6:00 am

      i m not sure the mangoes you’re talking about are the same as the variety we get in india…
      and i hope your son enjoyed the poem 🙂

  8. May 7, 2010 at 6:57 am

    I like this article!

  9. May 16, 2010 at 4:53 am

    V good article there – Can you please tell me where you found this picture of the mangoes? Just curious

    • May 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

      thanks… i found it on my pictures folder. i must have clicked it sometime last year

  10. May 19, 2010 at 4:38 am

    I miss Aamras here in Bangalore 🙁

    • May 19, 2010 at 4:51 am

      awww! they dont make aamras in karnataka?

      • May 19, 2010 at 4:57 am

        Don’t think so. Have to find a Maharashtrian/Gujarati restaurant.

  11. June 17, 2010 at 11:23 pm

    Oh, my husband DANCES when he sees mangoes. He would travel miles on his hands and knees for a delicious mango…would that burn enough calories to justify eating just a few in one sitting?! 😉

  12. jayaram
    April 14, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Well written! I second this thing about “Mangoes”. To HELL with them who tell that Mangoes arent to be had when on diet!

  13. CA.J. L. Raha
    April 27, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    A beautiful topics. I am a mango fan. My tong have started watering with the approaching of the season. Every time I go out on tour I like to watch full loaded mango trees around. Perhaps all you know that it was a most favor ate fruit to our beloved Kabi R. N. Tagor.

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