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When consuming your favourite fruit is forbidden by your doctor or dietician, it is time to find out why rather than trying to have more of it on the sly. Conventional diet advice for weight watchers and diabetics puts mangoes in the red list, and not without reason. Keeping scientific information about mangoes in mind, recommendations about the fruit warrant a re- look. This is because of its impact on body weight, blood sugar and health. It's true that ripe mangoes are high in carbohydrates, sugars and have a high glycaemic index. One of the seventh most popular fruits worldwide, it provides roughly 80 kilocalories per 100 g (a medium-sized ripe mango would carry about 130-150 calories), which mainly come from carbohydrates (20 per cent).
Due to high sugar content, mangoes are high in calories. But does this mean that diabetics and weight watchers should be banned from having it? The answer is no, if one adjusts for calories, i.e. substitutes it with an equivalent amount of calories and carbohydrates in the meal.
Better still, combine it with a low-glycaemic food. Low glycaemic foods include pulses, legumes, low-fat dairy (milk, curd), vegetables, nuts and seeds. So mangoes can make a safe entry into the diet, if one is able to keep the caloric intake and carbohydrates constant, i.e. take the right amounts. With over 2,500 varieties around the world, the popularity of mangoes clearly lies in its aromatic sweetness. This tropical fruit also can boast of a huge array of impressive health benefits.
The mango is known to be an excellent source of many vitamins such as vitamin C (ascorbic acid), B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin), and Vitamin A (-carotene). Ripe mangoes generally possess a higher number of phenolics, researchers say. This makes mangoes a good source of antioxidants with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. With reasonably good fibre content, it provides a good combination of soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is good for digestion and its insoluble variant is good for management of blood cholesterol and sugar levels.
But before you start planning a mango party, there is need for caution. Remember that mangoes, being high on sugars, predominantly fructose, should be consumed in appropriate portions. This is true particularly for weight watchers, diabetics and those with high cholesterol levels.
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Indian mathematician Nikhil Srivastava, working at the University of California in Berkeley, is among the winners of the Prestigious 2021 Michael and Sheila Held Prize, announced last week by the US National Academy of Sciences (NAS). Adam W Marcus, EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne) and Daniel Alan Spielman, Yale University, are the other two winners.
“Marcus, Spielman and Srivastava solved longstanding questions on the Kadison-Singer problem and on Ramanujan graphs, and in the process uncovered a deep new connection between linear algebra, geometry of polynomials, and graph theory that has inspired the next generation of theoretical computer scientists,” the NAS said in a statement.
An Indian national, Nikhil was born in New Delhi in November 1983 and has attended educational institutions across the world — Syria, UK, Saudi Arabia, and US — as his father was an Indian Foreign Services officer, who has served as the Indian ambassador to Uganda and Denmark. At present, Nikhil is an associate professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley. The Michael and Sheila Held Prize is presented annually to honour outstanding, innovative, creative and influential research in the area of combinatorial mathematics.