(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!
- 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.
- 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)