Hyderabad: The exotic African mango is the new slimming mantra. Thanks
to its successful marketing in the West as a “natural slimmer”, an
increasing number of health-conscious people here are switching over
to African mango from artificial weight loss foods.
Some American and European nutritionists describe African mango as a
wonderful fruit that not only cuts down the extra calories but also
keeps one in good health. An herbal doctor in the West has claimed
that this fruit is capable of reducing 4 kgs of weight and 2 inches of
waist in just 28 days.
Indian nutritionists, however, differ and argue that natural foods
with slimming properties work well only if one takes up regular
physical exercise. While raw or dried African mango will help in
killing extra calories, commercial supplements prepared from this
fruit may not deliver what the manufacturers claim on the label.
“It is important that people understand the difference between fad
diets and well-researched foods. Fad diets help temporarily, but
people gain weight soon afterwards,” says nutrition consultant
Suneetha Sapur, who heads the Akkshaya Foundation.
African mango is not a real mango, but looks like the Indian mango.
True mango is technically called Mangifera indica while the African
mango is known as Irvingia gabonesis. However, like the true mango,
the African mango or wild mango is loaded with rich nutrients.
According to Charita Adikane, clinical nutritionist at Apollo
Hospitals, the seed of the African mango actually aids in weight
reduction. “It increases the basic metabolic rate as well as oxidation
of fat”, she says, however cautioning that the African mango
supplement alone would not help.
What matters the most is a complete diet modification and lifestyle
management. These food supplements only increase physical
inactiveness, as people believe that eating them would reduce their
weight. Physical activity too is important.
“There is not a single well researched study to support the claim of
African mango’s effect on weight reduction. The lack of controlled
studies and a long track record of success for these fad diets is
usually not questioned by the consumers,” cautions Suneetha.