Dried mango can be a tasty treat but there are some side effects to keep in mind. Some people don’t want to eat this food. Others may just want to limit it.
These side effects involve both things that are relatively unique to dried mango and more general points that also apply to similar foods but are worth mentioning anyway.
1. Some people may react badly
The first and most important thing to remember is that some people want to avoid eating dried mango completely.
If you are sensitive to a compound called profilin, you want to avoid dried mango since it can lead to bad reactions (1).
Additionally, some dried mango brands add sulfites to preserve the food. Again, some people react badly to these compounds (2).
Lastly, some people are considering drying the mangoes themselves. Something to keep in mind in a situation like this is that mango skin contains a compound called urushiol. Most people will react badly to this compound (3).
For this last point about urushiol, you want to keep in mind that store-bought dried mangoes generally don’t contain the skin. Dried mangoes should be fine in that regard.
2. Hydrates you less
As the name implies, dried mangoes simply contain a lot less water than the regular versions. In turn, this influences a variety of things.
Before going into the specific side effects, 100 grams of one brand of unsweetened dried mangoes contain around 10 grams of water (4).
On the other side, 100 grams of raw mangoes contain about 83.5 grams of water (5).
The first and main reason you want to keep this difference in mind is that consuming enough water is simply important for your overall health (6).
How much is enough will depend on things like your size and lifestyle habits. However, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommend the following amounts (7):
- About 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) a day for adult women
- About 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) a day for adult men
The water in the foods you eat, including dried mangoes, adds to these goals.
This side effect of eating dried mangoes is more something you miss out on by choosing this preparation method.
However, you could argue that by replacing regular mangoes with dried versions, you could see some downsides if that means not consuming enough water.
3. Higher blood sugar spike
Another consequence of removing water from mangoes is that the number of nutrients per 100 grams changes a lot. For this next side effect, the amount of sugar is the main one to pay attention to.
It is true that most foods raise your blood sugar to at least some extent. However, some foods definitely do this to a larger extent than others.
Additionally, for many people, temporarily raising blood sugar is not necessarily a bad thing.
You can measure how much (dried) mangoes raise your blood sugar in a few ways.
First of all, there is the glycemic index which is a measurement of how much eating a certain number of carbohydrates of a food (typically 50 grams of carbs) raises blood sugar.
While there are currently no estimations about dried mangoes specifically, if you use the ratio of dried vs regular cherries, you would get something like a glycemic index of 55 which is low-medium.
The difference looks and is small but remember that it requires different portions to get 50 grams of carbohydrates. There is something called the glycemic load which takes this into account.
You can calculate that a portion of regular mangoes (3/4 cup = 124 grams) has a glycemic load of about 11.3 whereas a portion of dried mangoes (40 grams) has a glycemic load of about 16.
A glycemic load of less than 10 is considered low and 20 is considered high. You can definitely say that elevated blood sugar is a side effect of eating dried mangoes.
If you are a healthy individual, this is likely not the end of the world. However, having elevated blood sugar a lot seems to be bad for your health.
Additionally, individuals who have trouble with controlling blood sugar levels may need to avoid dried mangoes or at least limit portions or eat them together with certain foods.
4. Could upset your stomach
One of the potential side effects of changing the composition of your diet fast and a lot is gastric distress.
If the nutrients in dried mangoes are completely different from your regular diet and you eat a lot of them, you could also experience this.
For most people, the main thing to keep in mind is that 7.5 grams of fiber per 100 grams in dried mangoes (4). However, the high amount of carbohydrates could also lead to gastric distress if you are not used to it.
If you are not used to these nutrients and plan to eat bigger amounts of dried mangoes or similar foods, you can gradually increase how much you eat.
5. May leave you hungry
Drinking water can help you feel fuller. In turn, one of the side effects of drying mangoes is that they become less filling than their regular counterparts.
Another way dried mangoes could leave you hungry has to do with the blood sugar spike. In some cases, big spikes can lead to dips in blood sugar due to overcompensation of the insulin response.
A blood sugar crash like this would leave you hungrier even though you recently ate a lot of nutrients (11).
You do get some hunger reduction due to the fiber in dried mangoes. However, most people will agree that dried mangoes are not as effective against hunger as the regular ones and other whole foods.
6. Could sneakily increase sugar intake
“Regular” unsweetened dried mangoes already contain relatively high amounts of carbohydrates per 100 grams. Even so, many brands add even more sugar and sweeteners.
100 grams of the brand of unsweetened dried mangoes used so far contains 80 grams of carbohydrates which includes 7.5 grams of fiber (4).
100 grams of an example brand of sweetened dried mangoes contain 78.6 grams of carbohydrates which includes 2.4 grams of fiber (12).
Since fiber is generally considered a helpful nutrient (within certain limits of course), most people want to choose the unsweetened brands.
That means you likely want to check the list of ingredients of the brand of dried mangoes you are considering online or in the store.
7. Can lead to weight gain
Regular mangoes can be decent for weight loss but by removing the water you get the side effects above which makes the dried ones easier to overeat. In turn, this could lead to weight gain.
Additionally, many people are trying to lose some excess body fat because of the negative consequences it has on their health. Controlling portion sizes is often a big challenge when trying to lose weight.
Again, drying mangoes will not be helpful if this is your goal. At least not compared to the regular ones and many other whole fruits.