Diabetes And Watermelon: Is It Safe To Eat?
Watermelon is typically a summer favorite. While you may want to serve some of the sweet treat at every meal or make it your summer snack, it’s important to check the nutritional information first.
If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to watch your diet and your blood sugar. Watermelon is loaded with natural sugars. Depending on your overall diet, this can impact your blood sugar levels. Read on to find out how adding watermelon to your diet can impact you.
The health benefits of watermelon
Native to West Africa, watermelon is a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals:
• vitamin A
• vitamin C
• vitamin B-6
A serving of 280 grams provides 31 percent of the recommended daily intake for vitamin A . This promotes healthy vision and helps maintain the heart, kidneys, and lungs.
The vitamin C is also beneficial for a healthy diet and found in large quantities per serving of 280 grams. A single serving of watermelon provides 37% of the recommended daily allowance. Vitamin C is known to improve heart health, help prevent certain cancers, and help fight cold symptoms.
Because it’s high in fiber, watermelon can help your body flush out toxins and promote digestive health.
Not only can eating moderate amounts of watermelon curb your craving for sweetness, it can also help you feel fuller for longer. This is because watermelon contains over 90% water. Along with keeping you hydrated, it can help you stick to your diet and manage your weight.
What the research says
There is no research directly linking the consumption of watermelon and the management of diabetes. That said, there is some evidence to suggest that eating watermelon may help reduce the risk of certain complications from diabetes.
Watermelon contains moderate amounts of lycopene. It is the pigment that gives the fruit its color. It is also a powerful antioxidant. Although more research is needed, lycopene may help lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. According to the Mayo Clinic , early research suggests lycopene found in tomatoes may be linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
About 68 percent of people with diabetes aged 65 or older die from heart disease. Sixteen percent of people in this demographic die of stroke. With this in mind, the American Heart Association has classified diabetes among the seven controllable risk factors for heart disease.
Where does watermelon drop on blood sugar?
The glycemic index (GI) examines how quickly food sugar enters the bloodstream. Each food has a value between 1 and 100. These values are determined based on how each food compares to a benchmark. Sugar or white bread is generally used as a benchmark.
The glycemic load (GL) is the combination of the GI and the actual carbohydrate content in a typical serving of a food. It is argued that PG gives a more real value of how a particular food can affect blood sugar levels.
This approach is often used by people who manage their diabetes by counting carbohydrates. Foods with a low or medium GI are considered to be less likely to raise your blood sugar.
A GI of 55 or less is considered low. A GI between 55 and 69 is generally considered average. Any number over 70 is considered high.
A PG under 10 is low, 10 to 19 is average, and 19 and over is considered high.
The GI of watermelon is typically 72, but it’s 2 per 100 gram serving. Although the LD of watermelon is low, be sure to balance any meals that contain watermelon with low GI foods to minimize potential spikes in blood sugar.
Can other fruits are suitable for diabetes?
While eating watermelon has its benefits, you should consider balancing your diet with fruits with lower GIs. Make sure to pick up fresh fruit whenever possible, as it doesn’t contain added sugars.
If you want to buy canned or frozen fruit, remember to opt for canned fruit soaked in fruit juice rather than syrup. Read the label carefully and look for hidden sugars.
Dried fruits and fruit juices should be consumed less often than fresh fruits. This is due to the caloric density, sugar concentration and the recommended smaller portions.
Diabetes-friendly fruits with a low GI include:
• plums: 2 whole plums have a GI of 24 and a GL of 4
• grapefruit: 1 medium size has a GI of 25 and a GL of 7
• peaches: 1 large peach has a GI of 28 and a GL of 5
• apricots: 5 whole apricots have a GI of 34 and a GL of 6
• pears: 1 small pear has a GI of 37 and a GL of 2
What does this mean for me, for my diet and for my health?
If you want to add watermelon to your weekly diet, it is best to consider your diet as a whole. Watermelon has a high GI but a low GI. A moderate consumption of watermelon is recommended.
Visit your doctor and discuss how you want to add healthy sugar to your diet. Your doctor will review your current diet and examine your general health profile. They can refer you to a dietitian to help you determine the best diet plan. A dietitian can answer all of your questions, recommend serving sizes, and advise on possible substitutes.
After your visit to the doctor and dietitian, be sure to monitor your physical reaction to adding watermelon to your diet. Be sure to report any unusual spikes in blood sugar or other unusual problems to your doctor immediately.
We hope the article on Diabetes And Watermelon has been of help.