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Mango and Blood Sugar

September 25, 2014 Written by JP       [Font too small?]

An ideal diet allows for a combination of health benefits and sensory pleasure. The problem with many dietary plans is that they tend to be rather restrictive. It doesn’t matter if it’s gluten free, low carbohydrate, Mediterranean or Paleo. So, while they likely fulfill the “health benefits” part of the bargain, they frequently fall short of the “sensory pleasure” component. To some extent, this is a fact of life that needs to be accepted as a necessary compromise. Having said that, on occasion research reveals that select foods typically forbidden in specific meal plans do not have to be avoided altogether. In fact, some commonly shunned foods often add both enjoyment and a healthful boost to restrictive diets.

Most people on a low carb diet avoid eating tropical fruits such as mangos. Unsurprisingly, the primary reason is because of the sugar content – about 24 grams per one cup serving. The fact that mangos are a good source of antioxidant carotenoids, polyphenols, potassium, pro-vitamin A and vitamin C usually isn’t enough to override concerns about carbohydrate content. But, what if you could eat mangos in moderation without negatively affecting your blood sugar level, adding to the pleasure of your daily life without causing harm or straying from your program?

A new 12 week study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolic Insights investigated the effects of eating 10 grams of freeze-dried mango daily in a group of 20 obese adults. This is equivalent to approximately 1/2 of a fresh mango. Researchers at North Carolina State University and Oklahoma State University found that the addition of mango to the subjects’ diets resulted in an unexpected drop in blood sugar. The male participants recorded a decline of about 4.5 mg/dl, while the female volunteers reduced their blood sugar by approximately 3.6 mg/dl. Also of note was an almost 14% overall reduction in triglycerides – a documented risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Previous studies have suggested that moderate intake of fruits, including mangos, could be safely enjoyed even by those with type 2 diabetes. But, this is the first study I’ve come across that explicitly provides evidence that mango consumption may actually improve blood sugar control.

Note: Please check out the “Comments & Updates” section of this blog – at the bottom of the page. You can find the latest research about this topic there!

To learn more about the studies referenced in today’s column, please click on the following links:

Study 1 - Mango Supplementation Improves Blood Glucose in Obese Individuals (link)

Study 2 – Carotenoids and Vitamin C During Handling and Distribution of Guava (link)

Study 3 - Anticarcinogenic Effects of Polyphenolics from Mango (Mangifera Indica)(link)

Study 4 - Nutrition Facts: Nutritional Content of One Cup Raw, Sliced Mango (link)

Study 5 - Influences of Harvest Date and Location on the Levels of Beta-Carotene (link)

Study 6 – Systemic Levels of Carotenoids from Mangoes and Papaya Consumed in (link)

Study 7 - Impact of Promotion of Mango and Liver as Sources of Vitamin A for ... (link)

Study 8 - A Randomized, 4-Month Mango and Fat Supplementation Trial Improved (link)

Study 9 - Glycaemic Response to Some Commonly Eaten Fruits in Type 2 Diabetes (link)

Study 10 - Blood Glucose Responses of Diabetes Mellitus Type II Patients to Some … (link)

Freeze-Dried Mango Lowers Blood Sugar

Source: Nutr Metab Insights. 2014 Aug 28;7:77-84. (link)

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9 Comments & Updates to “Mango and Blood Sugar”

  1. Giri Says:

    wow, nice article JP

  2. Gianfranco F. Says:

    Hi JP,

    Very interesting research! I wonder if the same research limiting the consumption to 50 grams were to be made for other tropical fruits considered tolerable for some Type Ii diabetes patients. A similar paradoxical result may be found and open the choices besides mangoes, to bananas, pineapple, paw paw, sapote,
    orange, perhaps even more!

    The advantage would be to find fruits in season, that could be consumed peril free. Of course the dehydrated mango should be available year around and could be purchased at best price and preserved. The 10 grams used in the research may not tax the budget too badly.

    Keep up great research!

    Paul

  3. JP Says:

    Thanks, Giri! :-)

    Be well!

    JP

  4. JP Says:

    Many thanks, Paul!

    I’ll keep an eye out for research on other fruits that may possess similar blood sugar lowering properties. Here’s hoping!

    Be well!

    JP

    PS – One related item I wrote about some time ago focuses on another tropical fruit … (fermented) papaya:

    http://www.healthyfellow.com/1093/fermented-papaya-preparation/

  5. G Paul F. Says:

    Thank you, JP.

    The potential search is in the best hands!

    Paul

  6. JP Says:

    That’s very kind, Paul. I appreciate it!

    Be well!

    JP

  7. JP Says:

    Update 05/16/15:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26075869

    Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Jun 12;16(6):13507-13527.

    Comparative Assessment of Phenolic Content and in Vitro Antioxidant Capacity in the Pulp and Peel of Mango Cultivars.

    Mango (Mangifera indica L.), also called “the king of fruits”, is one of the most popular fruits in tropical regions. Pulp and peel samples of mango cultivars were analyzed to estimate total phenolic, total flavonoid and total anthocyanin contents. Phenolic acids, hydrophilic peroxyl radical scavenging capacity (hydro-PSC) and oxygen radical scavenging capacity (ORAC) in vitro were also determined. Total phenolics and flavonoid contents were found maximum in the peel of Xiao Tainang and Da Tainang cultivars, respectively, whereas Xiao Tainang also exhibited significant antioxidant capacity. Noteworthy, concentrations of gallic acid, protocatechuic acid, ferulic acid, chlorogenic acid and caffeic acids at 79.15, 64.33, 33.75, 27.19 and 13.62 mg/100 g fresh weight (FW) were quantified for Da Tainang, Xiao Tainang and of Jidan cultivars, respectively. Comparatively, a higher level of phenolics and significant antioxidant capacity in mango peel indicated that it might be useful as a functional food and value-added ingredient to promote human health.

    Be well!

    JP

  8. JP Says:

    Update 06/16/15:

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814615004094

    Food Chem. 2015 Sep 15;183:173-80.

    Mango (Mangifera indica L.) by-products and their valuable components: a review.

    The large amount of waste produced by the food industries causes serious environmental problems and also results in economic losses if not utilized effectively. Different research reports have revealed that food industry by-products can be good sources of potentially valuable bioactive compounds. As such, the mango juice industry uses only the edible portions of the mangoes, and a considerable amount of peels and seeds are discarded as industrial waste. These mango by-products come from the tropical or subtropical fruit processing industries. Mango by-products, especially seeds and peels, are considered to be cheap sources of valuable food and nutraceutical ingredients. The main uses of natural food ingredients derived from mango by-products are presented and discussed, and the mainstream sectors of application for these by-products, such as in the food, pharmaceutical, nutraceutical and cosmetic industries, are highlighted.

    Be well!

    JP

  9. JP Says:

    Update 06/16/15:

    Luckily, mangos contain low concentrations of pesticide residues. So, you can wash them well (I suggest using a natural, fruit and veggie wash) and eat the skin as well as the flesh. The previous two updates (above) explain the reason why eating the skin is advisable.

    http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

    Be well!

    JP

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