Just like fresh sweet corn and fresh tomatoes right off the vine, watermelon is a sign of summer and loved by many people. But should you avoid watermelon if you have diabetes? It’s a natural fruit, and has so many benefits with a high nutritional value, but it also has a high glycemic index number and also high in carbs. Do you have to give up watermelon entirely? The answer is all about amount and what else you’re eating.
It’s all about serving size and the other food you’re eating.
While a lot of the watermelon is water and fiber, it still has a GI—glycemic index—of 72 to 76 per 100 gram serving. Most foods with a GI of 70 or higher should be reconsidered or eaten with caution. While small portions may not cause a problem, a large quantity of watermelon could cause a high rise in your blood sugar levels. It’s estimated that a serving size of 150 grams should be safe, or about one cup of cubed watermelon.
Every person is different and so is their diet management for diabetes.
Before you go out and buy a watermelon and plan on snacking on it daily, it’s important to understand that the numbers are generalized. Every person has a different sensitivity to certain foods, watermelons vary in the amount of sugar and what is eaten with the watermelon makes a difference. Always check your sugar levels and make sure you don’t eat it with a lot of other high carbohydrate, high glycemic index foods.
There are some good reasons to use watermelon as your dessert of choice.
Watermelon has loads of benefits, like most fruits and vegetables. It’s high in vitamin A that can help keep your vision, heart, kidneys and lungs healthy. It’s also high in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system, improves heart health and helps fight cancer. It’s high in fiber, too. It also has potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and vitamin B-6. Watermelon is over 90% water, which keeps you hydrated and fills you up longer. It’s the perfect sweet treat to keep you on a healthy diet.
- While eating a small amount of watermelon may not hurt you, it’s suggested that you do eat it every day if you want to keep your blood sugar levels stable.
- When you eat watermelon, it’s best to eat it with other foods that are higher in healthy fat, fiber and protein. That could be as simple as consuming some nuts. Not only will it fill you up and keep you feeling satisfied, it also reduces the potential for a spike in blood sugar.
- Watermelon contains citrulline, a nonessential amino acid, which may help with metabolic health and improved blood pressure.
- While eating watermelon in moderation can be safe for diabetics, drinking watermelon juice alone should be avoided.
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