Do you want to lose weight and get in shape? If so, you may have heard that mangoes are a great way to do it. But is there any truth in this claim? Can mangoes really help with weight loss? The good news is that yes, mangoes can indeed be beneficial for those looking to slim down. Not only are they relatively low in calories and full of essential vitamins and minerals, but this fruit has also been linked to various health benefits (8). In this article, we’ll take a look at how eating mangos can help with your weight-loss goals – as well as some potential drawbacks and other tips for successfully losing weight.
Mangos Are Nutritionally Dense
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) one cup of sliced mango (165 grams) contains (4):
- Calories: 99
- Protein: 1.4 grams
- Carbs: 24.7 grams
- Fat: 0.6 grams
- Fiber: 2.6 grams
- Sugar: 22.5 grams
- Vitamin C: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 20% of the DV
- Folate: 18% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin E: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 6% of the DV
- Niacin: 7% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Riboflavin: 5% of the DV
- Magnesium: 4% of the DV
- Thiamine: 4% of the DV
The impressive nutritional profile of this tropical fruit makes it an excellent addition to any diet. What stands out more as far as weight loss is the calorie count. Mangoes are relatively low-calorie and can be enjoyed without fear of overdoing it. This gives them a place in a calorie-controlled diet, where they can help you lose weight without feeling deprived (7).
Think of the nutrient-calorie tradeoff when you are considering what to eat. Nutrient-dense food such as mangoes, with their high content of vitamins, minerals and fiber, can help you stay satisfied while keeping your calorie count low.
Read More: Surprising Benefits Of Eating Mangoes At Night
Mangos May Help You Feel Full For Longer
A key factor that influences weight loss is satiety – the feeling of fullness that helps prevent you from overeating. Mangos are a great source of dietary fiber, with one cup containing 2.6 grams – more than 10% of the recommended daily fiber intake.
Fiber slows down digestion (2). This means that it takes more time for mangos to be digested and absorbed, allowing you to continue to feel satisfied long after eating. If you have a habit of snacking between meals, adding mangoes to your diet can help you reduce the need to snack.
The fiber content in mangos isn’t just beneficial for satiety – it also helps support a healthy gut. Mangos contain prebiotic fibers, which are special types of dietary fiber that feed the friendly bacteria in your gut. This helps keep your gut healthy and functioning properly, which is essential for overall health.
Research shows a healthy gut flora balance helps manage cravings, increases energy levels and increases overall metabolism (5). It’s also been found to improve intestinal permeability, helping you absorb vital nutrients more efficiently.
Mangos May Help With Cravings
Not only can mangoes help curb hunger and reduce cravings between meals, but they may also help reduce the urge to overindulge in unhealthy snacks. Eating this fruit can help you satisfy your sweet tooth without consuming too many calories or added sugars.
Mangos Contain Beneficial Plant Compounds
Apart from fiber and essential vitamins and minerals, mangos are loaded with beneficial plant compounds that promote health in different ways (10). The most prominent plant compound found in mangoes is the antioxidant beta-carotene, which gives the fruit its deep yellow-orange color.
Beta-carotene and other antioxidants play a key role in reducing inflammation and oxidative damage, both of which can contribute to weight gain. In addition, research suggests that beta-carotene may help protect against certain types of cancer (11).
Eating Mangos Can Encourage Healthy Eating Habits
Researchers have found that people who are eating more fruits and vegetables are not only healthier, but they’re also more likely to stick to a healthy diet in general. While the exact reason is still unknown, it’s likely that by eating healthy foods like mangos, you’re more likely to make healthier food choices overall.
You’re also likely to create healthier habits such as meal planning, portion control and sticking to a balanced diet.
Mangos Are A Good Pre-Workout Snack
Nutrient timing for workouts is important to help you get the most out of your training. Eating a pre-workout snack 30 minutes before exercising can give you an energy boost and help fuel your muscles.
Mangos are an excellent pre-workout snack as they’re loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals – plus, they’re delicious (13). More importantly, these fruits are a great option for pre-workout snacking as they provide both slow- and fast-digesting carbs.
While fiber helps to slowly release energy, simple carbohydrates in mangos are quickly absorbed by your body to give you an immediate energy boost. This can help you power through your workouts and maximize the results of your exercise routine.
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The Sugar In Mangos May Pose A Problem
Though the majority of the sugar in mangos comes from fructose, which is natural and not processed, One potential downside of eating mangoes for weight loss is that the fruit contains a good amount of sugar. With 22.5 grams per cup, mangos are considered to be medium-high (56) on the glycemic index (GI) scale that measures the effect of foods on blood sugar.
As for its glycemic load GL – a more accurate measure of how food affects blood sugar – the mango is estimated to be around 8.4. This is a low ranking, but a bit higher than other fruits, such as apples (GL – 5) and oranges (GL – 4).
High GI foods are digested quickly, causing spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. This can cause cravings and leave you feeling tired and hungry soon after eating. Medium-high GI foods such as mangoes, on the other hand, can still affect your blood sugar levels but may not cause a sudden spike (12).
To reduce the glycemic impact of a mango snack or meal:
- Eat it whole – The fiber in the skin and flesh helps to slow down digestion. Note that juice or dried mango, which lacks the fiber content of fresh mango, are high GI foods.
- Combine it with low-GI foods – Pairing your mango with healthy fats or proteins can help slow digestion and minimize blood sugar spikes. Think of mango salad with nuts, seeds and avocado; or mango smoothie with Greek yogurt.
- Limit your consumption – Eating too much mango can lead to consumption of more sugar than you need in a day. Aim for no more than one cup of fresh mango per day if you’re trying to lose weight.
- Choose ripe fruit – A ripe mango is usually darker in color and slightly soft to the touch. Unripe mangos are harder, crisper and have a pale yellow color. Ripe mangoes contain more vitamins and minerals, as well as fewer starches that can raise blood sugar levels.
Mango For Weight Loss FAQ
Q: How Good Is Mango For Weight Loss?
A: Eating mango can be beneficial for weight loss when done in moderation. The fruit is a good source of fiber, which helps to promote satiety and keep you feeling satisfied longer. It is a good replacement for unhealthy snacks, and its pre-workout benefits can help maximize the results of your exercise routine (7).
Q: Is Dried Mango Good For Weight Loss?
A: Dried mango, unfortunately, is not as beneficial for weight loss as fresh fruit. Without the skin and other parts of the fruit, dried mangoes lack the fiber content of fresh mango and are higher on the GI scale. They have a higher concentration of simple sugars, which can cause spikes in blood sugar levels (3).
Q: Is Mango Smoothie Good For Weight Loss?
A: Mango smoothie can be beneficial for weight loss if prepared in the right way. Use fresh mango, low-fat milk or yogurt and a few other natural ingredients, such as vegetables, nuts or seeds. Avoid adding sugar and opt for honey instead. Adding protein powder can also be beneficial for an extra boost of energy.
Q: How Much Mango Should I Eat Per Day For Weight Loss?
A: To maximize the benefits of mango and minimize its potential side effects, stick to no more than one cup of fresh mango per day. Choose ripe fruits and combine them with healthy fats or proteins to slow digestion and minimize blood sugar spikes. Consider it a treat, not a meal replacement.
Q: What Is The Best Time To Eat Mango For Weight Loss?
A: There’s no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to the best time of day to eat mango for weight loss. However, many experts recommend eating mango before or after a workout for an extra boost of energy. This can help maximize the results of your exercise routine and curb cravings.
That said, eating mango as a snack or part of a meal can still be beneficial for weight loss. Just remember to stick to moderation and combine it with other healthy foods for a balanced diet.
Read More: Juice It Up! A Guide to Reaping the Health Benefits of Mango Juice
Other Health Benefits Of Mango
In addition to weight loss benefits, mangoes also provide other health benefits.
Protection Against The Number One Killer
Mango contains polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that may help protect against cardiovascular disease. The list of polyphenols in mango includes gallic acid, catechins and anthocyanins.
These compounds can help reduce inflammation in the body, lower bad cholesterol and reduce oxidative stress (9). This tropical fruit also contains magnesium and potassium; two minerals that help keep your heart healthy (10).
Potential Cancer Prevention
Mango may also have anti-cancer properties due to its super antioxidant mangiferin. This compound has been shown to inhibit the growth of several types of cancer cells, including colon and breast cancer (6). Studies suggest that a diet rich in antioxidants (i.e. brightly colored fruits and vegetables) can potentially reduce your risk of cancer.
Sharpen And Protect Your Vision
Inside your retina, lutein and zeaxanthin are two pigments that help protect your vision from light damage. Mango is an excellent source of these carotenoid antioxidants, so it can help sharpen your vision and protect against age-related macular degeneration (11). Mango is also a great source of vitamin A, which helps keep your eyes healthy.
Immune System Boost
Mango is a good source of vitamins C and E, two antioxidants that help protect the body from infection and illness (1). The high levels of vitamin C in mango can also help boost your immune system and make it stronger.
This tropical fruit is also rich in folate, a B-vitamin that helps your body produce new cells and make DNA. This essential nutrient can help your body stay healthy and protect against disease.
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The Bottom Line
Is mango good for weight loss? In moderation, yes. Mango is a nutritious fruit that can help you reach your weight loss goals by providing essential vitamins and minerals, and keeping you fuller for longer.
However, too much mango can lead to an overload on simple sugars and an increase in blood sugar levels. Aim for no more than one cup of fresh mango per day and combine it with healthy fats or proteins to slow digestion and reduce blood sugar spikes.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Chemical Composition of Mango (Mangifera indica L.) Fruit: Nutritional and Phytochemical Compounds (2019, nih.gov)
- Effects of Dietary Fiber and Its Components on Metabolic Health (2010, nih.gov)
- Effects of Fresh Mango and Dried Mango Consumption on Satiety and Postprandial Glucose (2022, nih.gov)
- Mango, raw (2020, usda.gov)
- Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Human Health and Diseases (2015, nih.gov)
- Mangiferin and Cancer: Mechanisms of Action (2016, nih.gov)
- Mango Consumption Is Associated with Improved Nutrient Intakes, Diet Quality, and Weight-Related Health Outcomes (2022, nih.gov)
- Mangifera Indica (Mango) (2010, nih.gov)
- Major Mango Polyphenols and Their Potential Significance to Human Health (2008, nih.gov)
- Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Three Different Parts of Mango Fruit (2021, nih.gov)
- Potential Role of Carotenoids as Antioxidants in Human Health and Disease (2014, nih.gov)
- The effects of meal glycemic load on blood glucose levels of adults with different body mass indexes (2017, nih.gov)
- THE MIGHTY MANGO: ITS ROLE IN EXERCISE PERFORMANCE (2019, nasm.org)
- Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects (2018, nih.gov)