Mangoes not safe for diabetics, city doctors slam nutritionist’s claim

After a video where a nutritionist claimed diabetics can safely consume mangoes went viral, endocrinologists say such ‘fraudulent’ messages mislead people

Mangoes can never be recommended to diabetics, said city endocrinologists. While this is common knowledge for a lot of us, the need to emphasise this point arose after a video claiming diabetics can safely consume the fruit went viral on social networking sites. As an aftermath of this, several city doctors say they have received a spate of questions asking about the credibility of the claim.

“In the past few weeks, several of my patients have enquired about a video that shows it is safe for diabetics to consume mangoes. They say the video featuring a renowned nutritionist has been circulating on WhatsApp and Facebook,” said Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist and owner of Dr Gadge’s Diabetes Care Centre.

Mangoes not safe for diabetics, city doctors slam nutritionist’s claim
Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist

 

“The video that has gone viral on social networking sites claims that mango is a local fruit and low in calories. The points mentioned in the video are misleading and has resulted in diabetics consuming more amount of mangoes than they should. Many have landed up at my clinic with uncontrolled sugar levels,” he said.

Following a barrage of questions, Dr Gadge has now made a three-minute video to counter the nutritionist’s claim. “I was fed up with queries from my patients, friends and relatives. I have clarified in my video about who can and cannot have mangoes. It aims at raising awareness and I am trying to circulate it on social networking sites,” he said.

When asked if diabetics can actually consume mangoes, Dr Gadge clarified, “It depends on what stage of diabetes the person has and his / her blood sugar levels. If a person is in the early stage, it is safe to have mangoes up to a certain quantity. But, if a person has a long-standing history of diabetes, consuming mangoes is not advisable.”

Dr Gadge added diabetics should never follow random online recommendations. “One should always consult his / her diabetologist or registered dietician before following any home remedies or such random tips / advice,” he said.

Dr Shashank Joshi, president of Indian Academy of Diabetes (IAD), agreed with Dr Gadge and emphatically called the claims of mangoes being safe for diabetes unscientific and fraudulent. “Mangoes can never be recommended to diabetics. It is a fruit with high glycaemic load that can spike the person’s blood sugar level after eating it. This can lead to both immediate and long-term complications and can be also life-threatening,” he said.

Dr Joshi said IAD strongly condemns spread of such irresponsible health messages. “I am getting several queries to confirm if diabetics can safely consume mangoes. It is rubbish as there is no scientific evidence to the claim. A diabetic should avoid all fruit juices. In summers, a diabetic should drink plenty of water and test blood sugar levels frequently,” he said.

Naaznin Husein, president, Indian Dietetic Associations (IDA), Mumbai, said “A qualified dietician has to complete a three-year graduation course and a two-year post graduation programme. However, there are six-month diploma courses that churn out 25-30 people, who start practising as dieticians even if they do not have adequate knowledge. This has become a huge challenge for us as such quacks lead to spreading irresponsible health mantras among public.”

Diabetics and mangoes: Straight from doctors

Mangoes have high glycaemic load that can spike the person’s blood leading to immediate, long-term and life-threatening complications

If a person is at an early stage of diabetes, they can consume mangoes up to a certain quantity

If a person has a long-standing history of diabetes, consuming mangoes is not advisable

Diabetics should not have aam ras or mango milkshake as the sugar absorption is faster

Those in early stages of diabetes can have one slice of mango between 11am to 5pm

Sources: Dr Pradeep Gadge, diabetologist and founder of Dr Gadge’s Diabetes Care Centre, and Dr Shashank Joshi, president, Indian Academy of Diabetes