Mangoes are among the most consumed fruits worldwide, and it’s not hard to see why. They are not only delicious but come with a plethora of benefits. Even so, some fitness enthusiasts frown upon eating mangoes, especially when you’re on a weight loss journey. The reasoning is that the high sugar content in the fruit can lead to weight gain.
Is there any truth to this? Will mango make you fat? The only way to find out is to look at the scientific evidence. So what are the health benefits of eating mango? Is it beneficial for weight loss, or should you avoid it if you want to achieve a leaner, more fit body? Let’s find out.
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Table of Contents
- 1 Mangoes Aid in Weight Loss
- 2 The Right Way to Eat Mango for Weight Loss
- 3 5 Health Benefits of Eating Mango
- 4 Will Mango Make You Fat?
Mangoes Aid in Weight Loss
Is mango bad for weight loss? No, replacing unhealthy foods with fruits like mango can do wonders for your waistline. A study that followed over 100,000 men and women for a period of 24 years found that eating fruits helped the individuals lose weight over time.
Another study focusing on obese and overweight individuals found that increased consumption of fruits significantly led to a reduction in body mass index (BMI). So, if you’ve been thinking of adding mangoes to your diet to aid in weight loss, it may not be a bad idea. Just make sure you do it right (more on this later). Here’s how mangoes promote weight loss.
They Have a Low Energy Density
One of the reasons why mangoes are excellent for weight loss is that they have a low energy density. What does this mean? It means that there are fewer calories in a mango per gram compared to other foods. This is great news when you’re trying to lose weight because it means you can fill up on fewer calories compared to foods that have a high energy density.
Mango has an energy density of 0.6 calories per gram. If you combined it with other low energy density fruits or non-starchy vegetables, you could end up filling up on very few calories. And that’s not all. Due to the low energy density, you won’t even feel hungry at the end of your meal because you can eat it to your fill without exceeding your recommended caloric intake.
They Have a High Fiber Content
They say weight loss begins in the kitchen. This fact cannot be overstated. Weight loss is, without a doubt, 80% of what you eat and 20% exercise. And this is where a lot of people struggle. Most people find it hard to maintain a healthy diet because of the work it entails. You see, even with a healthy diet, you still need to keep your caloric intake in check to ensure you eat within your recommended limits.
For most people, doing so is challenging, and they end up starving themselves to make things easier. You don’t have to do so with high fiber foods like mangoes. Because mangoes have high fiber content, they keep you full for a time, thereby reducing hunger pangs and regular snacking. As a result, you’ll find you need to eat less compared to when you’re on a low fiber diet.
The Right Way to Eat Mango for Weight Loss
As we’ve mentioned, mango is an excellent fruit for weight loss. It has fewer calories compared to high carbohydrate foods, and it’s rich in fiber, which helps you stay full for a longer time. However, you won’t reap these benefits if you add mangoes to your regular high carbohydrate diet.
Doing so will only increase the number of calories you eat in a day, thereby making you gain weight if you eat outside your recommended daily caloric intake. If you want to enjoy the weight loss benefits of mangoes, you need to do it the right way. The following tips will go a long way.
- Understand your calorie requirements per day so that you can stay within a limit that promotes weight loss
- Combine mango with other low-calorie fruits and non-starchy vegetables.
- Create a calorie deficit in your diet by eating less and exercising more.
- Be consistent in your exercises and diet, and you’ll definitely see results.
5 Health Benefits of Eating Mango
Among the health benefits of eating mango, they improve digestive health, boost skin and hair health, support healthy eyes, are great for heart health, and lower certain cancers’ risk.
Let’s explore these mango benefits for weight loss in detail.
1- Improves Digestive Health
Mangoes also do wonders for the digestive tract. For starters, mangoes are packed with a group of digestive enzymes known as amylases. These enzymes aid in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. What’s more, mangoes are rich in water and dietary fiber, which helps in digestion, thereby preventing constipation and diarrhea.
Furthermore, a study focusing on the phytochemicals found in mangoes found that they have protective effects in the digestive tract. They not only offer antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects but are also effective for reducing inflammation in the digestive system of individuals who have ulcerative colitis.
2- Boosts Skin and Hair Health
Another good reason to start eating mangoes is the benefits this fruit has on your skin and hair. Mangoes are packed with Vitamin C, which promotes healthy skin and hair. Vitamin C is vital for the creation of collagen – a protein that’s responsible for giving your skin and hair structure.
Mangoes are also rich in Vitamin A, which promotes hair growth and the production of sebum. Sebum not only moisturizes your scalp but also keeps your mane healthy. Furthermore, Vitamin A and other retinoids found in this fruit are crucial for protecting your skin against the sun.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Mangoes are also packed with polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties that are crucial for protecting your hair against damage caused by oxidative stress.
3- Supports Healthy Eyes
Mangoes are also packed with nutrients that are vital for supporting healthy eyes. Top among these nutrients are zeaxanthin and lutein. These nutrients accumulate in the retina of the eye where they act as a natural sunblock and absorb excess light. What’s more, they keep the eyes protected from blue light.
Vitamin A in mangoes is also essential for eye health. Vitamin A deficiency has been linked to eye dryness and nighttime blindness. Severe deficiencies can lead to even more serious conditions such as corneal scarring.
4- Great for Heart Health
Mangoes are also great for your heart. For starters, they are beneficial when it comes to regulating cholesterol levels. The high fiber pectin levels in mangoes help in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL is the bad cholesterol that leads to the buildup of plaques in the blood vessels, thereby preventing blood flow.
What’s more, mangoes have a high content of potassium and magnesium that do an excellent job of maintaining a healthy pulse. Besides, they keep the blood vessels relaxed, thereby keeping one’s blood pressure at healthy levels.
And that’s not all. The mangiferin found in mangoes protects the heart cells from oxidative stress, inflammation, and death.
5- Lowers the Risk of Certain Cancers
The high level of antioxidants in mangoes is also beneficial for protecting you against free radicals. Nutrients like Vitamin C and E attach themselves to the free radicals and neutralize them before they can cause any harm to your cells that can lead to cancer.
Mangiferin, which is often referred to as a “super antioxidant” also has cancer-preventing properties. It’s especially beneficial in preventing ovarian and lung cancer.
Will Mango Make You Fat?
A 2016 study gives hope that compounds in mangoes can help curb obesity.
A group of researchers analyzed the effects of mango on fat cells in the laboratory. Mangoes comprise a range of chemicals named polyphenols, and the researchers advised that some of these chemicals diminished the ability of fat cells to propagate.
More studies are needed to confirm whether mango will make you fat or not. But, the researchers recommend that a mango-rich diet “might be helpful in the prevention of obesity and obesity-related diseases.”
How Many Mangoes Can I Eat a Day?
Mango is among the sweetest fruits, and it is low in fiber than other fruits.
A general recommendation is not to exceed two servings of mango per day.
The US Department of Agriculture suggests that adults eat at least 1½ to 2 cups per day of fruit.
And a recently published WHO/FAO report suggests a minimum of 400g of fruit to stay healthy.
Consider higher fiber, lower sugar options such as citrus, apples, or berries that give various nutrients and benefits for the rest of your daily fruit consumption.
Things to Make in Mind: The important thing is that you need to be within your calorie limit.
- If you consume more calories than your daily calorie needs, you may gain weight.
- If you don’t exceed your daily calorie limit, then you may not gain weight.
- If you are substituting some of the unhealthy foods you eat with mangoes, it may help you lose weight.
As you can see, there are many reasons to start eating mangoes regularly and start reaping these health benefits of eating mango. These fruits are not only packed with nutrients but are also very delicious. Not to mention, they’re effortless to add to your diet. You can blend them into juices, add them to your salads or eat them on their own. Whichever way you choose to enjoy mangoes, one thing is for sure; they won’t leave your body the same.