Watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit, but is watermelon good for diabetics? The answer is yes! Read on to find out why watermelon can actually benefit people with diabetes. You'll also learn about how much sugar is in watermelon and what other health benefits eating watermelon can have.
In this Diabetic & Me article you will learn about:
- Can diabetics eat watermelon?
- What are the benefits of eating watermelon?
- Does watermelon raise or lower blood sugar levels?
Watermelons are large plants grown for their sweet fruits that contain natural sugar. They contain around 92% water and various healthy essential nutrients. They are typically round or oblong in shape with dark green skin covered by black or white seeds on top. Watermelons can be found growing wild throughout Asia today but were brought to Europe during Greco-Roman times because these two continents started trading goods after being introduced first by Alexander the Great.
But enough history. How healthy is this fruit and does it cause blood sugar spikes?
Can Diabetics Eat Watermelon?
Yes, you can eat watermelon if you have diabetes. But how much watermelon can a diabetic eat? If consumed in moderation, watermelon can provide many health benefits that can help diabetic patients manage their disease. Talk to your doctor about how much of this fruit is safe for you since amounts can vary.
Diabetics can eat watermelon, but it is recommended to do so in moderation and balance the rest of their diet with other nutrient-rich foods like leafy greens, lean meats, nuts, legumes, etc. Remember that all fruits contain natural sugars (carbohydrates), which can affect your blood sugar levels if eaten in excess or not balanced correctly.
It is best for diabetics to stick to low glycemic index vegetables such as winter squash instead of fruit when possible since they have a lower carbohydrate content per serving size. But this doesn't mean you can never enjoy a sweet treat again! A cup of cubed watermelon contains about 31g carbohydrates whereas equal amounts of pineapple would be around 38g carbs.
How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Watermelon?
Watermelon has 6g of sugar in 100g. Watermelon also contains various healthy nutrients that can have a positive impact on your health such as preventing cardiovascular disease. Watermelon is roughly 92 percent water and 6% sugar. The high water content of this fruit makes it so delectable when the weather is hot.
What Is The Glycemic Index of Watermelon?
Watermelon has a high Glycemic Index (GI), 72. The Glycemic Index (GI) is calculated based on 50g of carbohydrates — no matter how big or little the meal is — not a normal portion.
To acquire 50g of watermelon carbs, you'd need to consume approximately 5 cups, which is a lot. Glycemic Load (GL) combines both the quality and the quantity of the actual carbohydrates consumed.
The Glycemic Load (GL) of one cup of watermelon (which is the recommended portion size by the American Diabetes Association is about 9, which is low.
What Nutrients Does A Watermelon Contain?
According to the American Diabetes Association watermelon contains a good amount of dietary supplements that complement a healthy diet and keep your blood sugars steady when having this autoimmune disease.
A 100g serving contains about three grams, or 12 percent DV (Daily Value). Dietary fiber can help control appetite by making people feel full for longer periods of time after they eat it. This can lead to weight loss as well as disease prevention because fiber has been shown to reduce blood pressure levels and cholesterol count over time. In fact, these benefits may be more significant with watermelon than other fruits due to its high water content!
2. Vitamin C
Eating 100 g provides nearly 23% DV for vitamin C. Vitamin C;
- can help fight off infections
- is necessary for tissue growth and repair
- can boost your iron absorption capabilities (aiding in healthy red blood cell production)
- can also protect against cancer development by preventing the formation of carcinogens during digestion
- can reduce age-related macular degeneration due to its antioxidant properties
- may aid in helping lose weight because it helps metabolize fat cells into energy
- can keep gums healthy by strengthening teeth enamel
- can improve cardiovascular health through proper collagen formation that keeps arteries flexible and elastic
Eating 100g provides about 28% DV for lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant found in watermelon's red pigment. It has been linked to decreased risk of heart disease when eaten regularly over time and can fight off free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease.
Eating 100g provides about 11% DV of potassium, which can help protect against high blood pressure (especially important for diabetic patients) by balancing sodium levels in the body.
5. Vitamin A
Watermelon is a good source of beta carotene or vitamin A. It can boost your immune system, improve vision health with its rich antioxidant properties, promote bone growth due to calcium absorption capabilities, aid in cell regeneration processes to maintain healthy skin and tissues.
The more you know! There are many other nutrients found in watermelons such as; thiamine (B-complex), riboflavin (B-complex), pantothenic acid & niacin (B-complex), vitamin B-12, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.
What Are The Benefits of Eating Watermelon?
Eating watermelons is not only delicious it also provides you with many benefits like reduced risk of cancer, can prevent cardiovascular diseases, and can aid in weight loss.
1. Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes
Due to the many nutrients that omega-3, omega-6 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, potassium, and zinc it has been researched that the seeds of watermelons can be consumed by people with diabetes and help in lowering blood glucose levels and improving insulin resistance.
2. Lowers Cholesterol
There is evidence that shows that drinking 100g of watermelon juice every day for eight weeks can reduce blood cholesterol levels including LDL (bad) cholesterol, triglyceride levels while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol! Watermelons are high in amino acids glycine & alanine, both have anti-hypertensive effects which means they can help regulate your blood pressure! This benefit may be even more important for diabetic patients because it helps balance sodium
3. Good for Indigestion
Thiamine can help prevent indigestion by helping you break down foods more easily. It is helpful in retaining water throughout your digestive tract as the fiber can reduce constipation.
4. Promotes Nerve Health
Riboflavin can raise your energy levels by promoting good metabolism of fats and sugars, can promote nerve health with its antioxidant properties yet is necessary for healthy skin cell production. Vitamin B-12 helps with the breakdown of red blood cells while aiding in some normal functions of the nervous system including nerve damage repair.
5. Improves Metabolism
Pantothenic acid can improve metabolism which allows the body to properly use protein, carbs, and fats. There are also lesser-known B vitamins that watermelon contains like Niacin (an important supplement for diabetics).
6. Regulates Blood Pressure
Magnesium can aid in blood pressure regulation and can reduce your risk of heart disease with its anti-inflammatory properties and ability to lower the activation of platelets (the cells that can cause blood clots). Furthermore, it's full of minerals like copper and potassium which can lower high blood pressure - helping make it easier to control blood sugar levels.
7. Strengthens Immunity
A small piece of watermelon contains just 22 calories and is loaded with 60% of the RDA for vitamin C helping strengthen immunity which can be helpful for people with diabetes (source). Lastly, research shows that eating 1-2 cups per
8. Decreases Muscle Soreness
Watermelon is not a good source of protein but contains an amino acid called citrulline is known to decrease muscle soreness after workout training sessions.
9. Fights Against Cancer
The lycopene found in watermelon can lower the risk of prostate cancer by 42 % when eaten regularly over time. The antioxidant properties also help fight against free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease development. Vitamin A and Lycopene are antioxidants that could also help prevent cancer and heart attack and stroke.
Can Watermelon Raise or Lower Blood Sugar Levels?
Watermelon can cause high blood sugar levels because it is a carbohydrate that you eat to give your body energy. However, water can also lower blood sugar levels when eaten before a meal since the fiber can slow down digestion time. This helps reduce how quickly food moves through your stomach so glucose can be released into your bloodstream at an even rate rather than all at once after eating fast foods that usually contain refined sugars.
As mentioned earlier in this article about nutrients found in watermelon for diabetics, it's actually good for people with diabetes to have small amounts of carbohydrates throughout the day so they are not deprived of important nutrients.
Watermelon can be an easy, delicious snack that can even provide some health benefits for people with diabetes. It is important to keep in mind how your body reacts to watermelon before you decide if it's the right fruit for you. Many diabetics also benefit from having small amounts of carbs throughout the day so they are not deprived of any nutrients.