Growing up, mangoes have always been my summer staple. As I bite into juicy Alphonso, with it’s sweet nectar dripping down the sides of my mouth and it’s smell engulfing my senses, I reach my own personal nirvana. Mangoes for me have and will always remind me of those few minutes of sheer happiness and comfort that is unlike any other. For most Indians, mangoes have always given us a break from the summer heat and a reason to smile. Whether it was our grandmothers peeling them with the utmost delicacy, our fathers bringing home an abandoned kairi found on the street or our friends knocking them out of trees, mangoes have always brought forth a warm memory. However, thanks to our inbred diet-culture, social media and over-exposure to fake news, mangoes are being branded as fattening, too sugary, calorie rich, unhealthy and the worst of all–avoidable. Their sweetness is literally being tarnished and I am sick of it. I hate seeing mangoes being advocated as a weight-gainer, especially when it is far from true. So, as a strong advocate for all things mango, I have decided to bust some mango-myths with the help of Dr. Kanchan Raokar, Nutritionist & Diabetes Specialist.
Contrary to popular belief, mangoes don’t have any fat, they are fat-free. They are also devoid of cholesterol and salt, both of which lead to fattening and bloating.
says Dr. Raokar. See! Mangoes, our sweet mangoes, don’t contain any fat! So please enjoy them without the guilt. A moment on the lips will not lead to a lifetime on your hips, we promise!
Dr. Raokar says that a whole mango roughly contains anywhere between 150 t0 200 calories. While this is not insanely high, eating too many mangoes could lead to weight gain. Essentially, don’t have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Having one mango a day will not lead to any weight gain. She adds, just like all food (including healthy food), it needs to be eaten in moderation.
Dr. Raokar says,
Mangoes are packed with essential nutrients and vitamins. They are a great source of vitamin A, vitamin c, antioxidants, tons of goof fibre and iron. While they are relatively high in fruit sugar, it will not harm you if eaten in moderation. In fact, the antioxidants and fibre in mangoes reduces the negative impact of its sugar on your blood-levels. This allows diabetic patients to enjoy the fruit in limited quantities as well.
So, in essence, mangoes are not unhealthy at all, when eaten in moderation. Dr. Raokar further adds that mangoes boost immunity, help lower cholesterol, which keeps your heart healthy, and are a great way to fight Indian heat! And anything that helps fight Indian summer heat should be our friend, not foe.
Many people avoid eating mangoes and “indulge” only a few times a month, when they really don’t need to (as we have discussed above). However, Dr. Raokar does suggest eating mangoes at certain times. According to her the best time to eat a mango is in the morning without any milk-based beverage or grains like toast, oats, poha etc. It should be eaten alone. It can also be consumed 20-30 minutes before your workout. She recommends not eating mangoes with lunch or dinner. She says,
You can eat one mango everyday in the morning and you will not put on any weight.
Now that you know how healthy and weight-friendly mangoes are, please stop labelling them as “cheats” and “fatty foods”! Enjoy your mangoes and cherish every bite of them.
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