Watermelons contain around 92% water and various healthy essential nutrients. But how healthy is this fruit for people living with diabetes? Does it cause blood sugar spikes?

While watermelons are generally safe for people with diabetes, they contain natural sugars like many other fruits. As such, they must be eaten in a healthy proportion as part of a balanced diet.

Key Facts

  • People with diabetes can enjoy whole watermelon as part of a healthy, balanced diet. While it has a high glycemic index score of 72, the enormous water content of watermelon reduces the glycemic load to just 5 in a 120 g portion size.
  • Biochemical analysis has shown that watermelon effectively protects pancreatic cells from death, meaning that watermelon could be beneficial for diabetes management.
  • The hypoglycemic potential shown by watermelon might be due to some bioactive compounds in the plant juice.
  • While fresh watermelon remains a healthy food option for people with diabetes, experts recommend avoiding watermelon juice due to their higher glycemic load.

How Much Sugar Is in 100g of Watermelon?

Watermelon has 6g of sugar in 100g. It is roughly 92% water and 6% sugar, with various healthy nutrients that can positively impact your health, such as preventing cardiovascular disease. 

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 the quality and quantity of the carbohydrates consumed.

The Glycemic Load (G.L.) of one cup of watermelons, the recommended portion size by the American Diabetes Association, is about 9, which is low.

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.

What Nutrients Does A Watermelon Contain?

According to the American Diabetes Association, watermelon contains many dietary supplements that complement a healthy diet and keep your blood sugars steady.

1. Fiber

A 100g serving contains about three grams, or 12 percent DV (Daily Value). Dietary fiber can help control appetite by making people feel full longer after eating it. This can lead to weight loss and 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

3. Lycopene

Eating 100g provides about 28% DV for lycopene, a powerful antioxidant in watermelon's red pigment. It has been linked to a decreased risk of heart disease when eaten regularly over time and can fight off free radicals that can damage cells and cause disease.

4. Potassium

Eating 100g provides about 11% DV of potassium, which can help protect against high blood pressure (especially for diabetic patients) by balancing sodium levels.

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, and aid in cell regeneration processes to maintain healthy skin and tissues.

Watermelons contain many other nutrients, such as thiamine (B-complex), riboflavin (B-complex), pantothenic acid and niacin (B-complex), vitamin B-12, phosphorus, magnesium, and copper.

What Are The Benefits of Eating Watermelon?

Eating watermelons is not only delicious but also provides many benefits, such as a reduced risk of cancer, prevention of cardiovascular diseases, and aid in weight loss.

Benefits Of Watermelons

1. Prevent Blood Sugar Spikes

Due to the many nutrients in watermelons, such as omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, minerals and vitamins, potassium, and zinc, people with diabetes can consume the seeds, lower their blood glucose levels, and improve insulin resistance.

2. Lowers Cholesterol

Evidence shows that drinking 100g of watermelon juice daily for eight weeks can reduce bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing good cholesterol! Watermelons are high in amino acids glycine & alanine; both have anti-hypertensive effects, which 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 helps retain 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. It can promote nerve health with its antioxidant properties and is necessary for healthy skin cell production. Vitamin B-12 helps break down red blood cells while aiding in some normal nervous system functions, including nerve damage repair.

5. Improves Metabolism

Pantothenic acid can improve metabolism, allowing the body to use protein, carbs, and fats properly. Watermelon also contains lesser-known B vitamins, such as Niacin (an essential supplement for diabetics).

6. Regulates Blood Pressure

Magnesium can aid in blood pressure regulation and 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, making 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, which is known to decrease muscle soreness after workout training sessions.

9. Fights Against Cancer

When eaten regularly, the lycopene found in watermelon can lower the risk of prostate cancer by 42 %. Its 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, 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 gives 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.

Conclusion

Watermelon can be an easy, delicious snack that can benefit people with diabetes. It is important to remember 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.

Sources

At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. Diabetes.org Additional information about watermelon and healthy nutrients

2 Comments

  1. LWolf on October 30, 2021

    Instead of stupid “organic” watermelons, how about real watermelons real people eats?

    Reply
    • Ely Fornoville on October 31, 2021

      Hi! You can eat whatever you prefer. Organic or the real watermelons you are referring to. I prefer organic 🙂

      Reply

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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