Watermelons are a delicious and watery summertime fruit. However, it contains natural sugars, which may spike your blood sugar levels This raises an important question – “Is watermelon good for diabetics?” The answer is yes. You can consume watermelons even if you have diabetes, as a diet packed with fruits and vegetables can help lower blood sugar levels.
Nutritional value of watermelon for diabetics
“Is watermelon good for diabetics?” Find out from its nutritional value:
- Calories: 30
- Water: 91%
- Carbs: 7.6 grams
- Sugar: 6.2 grams
- Dietary Fiber: 0.4 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
- Protein: 0 grams
- Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
- Vitamin C: 13%
- Vitamin B6: 0%
- Iron: 1%
- Magnesium: 2%
What is the glycemic index of watermelon?
The GI (glycemic index) of foods plays a vital role in affecting your blood sugar level. GI is the measurement of how long it takes for the sugar in the food to enter your bloodstream. Watermelon has a GI of 72, which is considered to be high. However, as it is full of water, a typical watermelon serving of 120 grams comprises a GI of 5, making it a healthy option. Watermelon juice has a high GI, so you can avoid it if you have diabetes.
Understanding the sugar content of watermelon
The sugar content in a 286-gram watermelon is 17.7 grams, whereas a cup contains only 9.5 grams of sugar. The amount of sugar you consume depends on the watermelon quantity.
Benefits of watermelon for sugar patients
Watermelons are rich in several nutrients, which, in turn, provide several health benefits, which answers the question – “Is watermelon good for diabetics?”:
- Vitamin A: This nutrient is responsible for maintaining normal vision and enhances the function of vital organs, including the heart, kidneys and lungs.
- Vitamin C: Consuming more vitamin C-rich foods can improve your cardiovascular system, enhance your immunity, and reduce the frequency of common colds.
- Fiber: The high fiber content of watermelon helps improve your digestive health and regulates your bowel movements.
- Potassium and amino acids: Just one slice of watermelon provides 320 milligrams of potassium and citrulline, which helps maintain your Blood Pressure levels. The citruline also enhances the body’s process of converting foods into energy.
Incorporating watermelon into a diabetic-friendly diet
If you want to add watermelon to your diabetic-friendly diet, balance it with foods with lots of protein and healthy fats that will help slow down sugar absorption, helping people with diabetes avoid high blood glucose levels. With a lifestyle condition like diabetes, it is advisable to pair watermelon with nuts such as walnuts and almonds and seeds like flaxseeds, chia seeds, or sunflower seeds – foods rich in healthy fats and fibers. This combination can keep you satiated for a long time, slowing the rate of sugar absorption into your bloodstream. Like most fruits, it is wise to eat watermelons without adding table sugar. While consuming watermelons, avoid eating other high-GI foods like mangoes and bananas, as they can lead to a sudden spike in your blood glucose levels.
Delicious and healthy watermelon recipes for diabetics
Watermelon can be used to make several healthy and delicious dishes for people with diabetes. Some of them include:
- Watermelon Sorbet
- Watermelon popsicles
- Watermelon ice cream
- Grilled watermelons
- Pickled watermelons
With the ongoing debate surrounding healthy fruit options for those with diabetes, you might ask, “Is watermelon good for diabetics?” Contrary to misconceptions, when you consume 100 to 150 grams daily in moderation and as part of a balanced diet, watermelons can indeed be beneficial to diabetics.