One of the best things about summer is the abundance of mangoes. And for fruit lovers, it means a delicious alternative to the usual run of healthy (but not-so-tasty) fruits.
What if we tell you that you can eat mangoes in plenty and lose weight in the bargain? That’s the premise of the mango diet, where your meal plan includes generous portions of the fruit and recipes made using mangoes. While you ensure that the calorie count does not increase, the source of the calories remain mangoes.
You can also experiment with ways to include mango in the diet, be it as a parfait/milkshake (though Ayurveda advises against combining it with dairy or citrus fruits), mango salsa that can be eaten with healthy chips, mango salad, guacamole or chutney. Sounds perfect? We speak to nutritionists to find out.
Mumbai-based nutritionist Khushboo Sahijwani says there are many benefits to the fruit. “A single fruit is capable of providing almost a day’s supply of Vitamin C to the body. It also helps in making bones stronger since it contains minerals, calcium and magnesium as well as B vitamins. It is also rich in a carotenoid called lycopene, which is an effective antioxidant. Daily consumption of mangoes also makes the skin softer,” says Sahijwani.
Mangoes are rich in several vitamins and are also good for lowering cholesterol. And studies have shown that mangoes can also lower blood sugar, and even help you fight cancer. “Mango is a rich source of beta carotene and fibre (pectin), which helps to lower cholesterol. It also contains Vitamin K which aids in calcium absorption and promotes optimal bone health. It is a good source of Vitamin A, which along with Vitamin C works towards building immunity,” says Delnaaz T Chanduwadia, Chief Dietician at Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre.
Since it provides instant energy, it is a good idea to eat it before walking, swimming or going for a cardio session. It is also a good source of sucrose, which is a fast-releasing sugar, and can be consumed post-workout.
In moderation, it can also be used as a healthy substitute to fried snacks and fast foods consumed at snack times. “It would be wise to consume mango as a mid-meal option. Indians choose to consume fruits after the meal, which causes weight gain as it is a consumption of excess calories at the wrong time,” says Chanduwadia.
And if you want to lose weight, including mangoes in your diet is a good idea. “In order to lose weight, mangoes can form an important part of the diet. However, it has to be coupled with other fruits and a complete meal, and only after consultation with a nutritionist,” says Sahijwani.
However, nutritionists caution that a diet that only contains mangoes may be a bad idea. “Anything in excess is not good. Stick to the desired intake of 2-3 servings of fruits and not more, which is the standard measure for mangoes and other fruits. It should ideally never be combined with dairy/citrus fruits either,” says Sahijwani.
The mango diet also lags behind in terms of fat and cholesterol (mangoes have negligible amounts of it). “It can lead to several deficiencies of fat soluble vitamins, and all the metabolic functions performed by fat would be downplayed. Fruits are also poor sources of protein, which has an important function of growth and development, muscle building and maintenance. It is also responsible for maintaining integrity of body tissues,” says Chanduwadia.
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