The summers are arriving soon! After a long tiring day, a glass of watermelon juice with shreds of ice cubes is your hydrating drink. Cool, sweet, hydrating – but perhaps too sweet with a glycemic index of 72 units. If you are someone with (touchwood) good vitals, then this is one of the most rewarding natural hydrants. But, what if you have blood sugar issues? Or diabetes – either gestational or general? Is watermelon good for diabetes?
For the unversed, every fruit/ vegetable when you consume it in limited amounts is beneficial for your body. The same goes for watermelon. However – there are certain crucial factors you must keep in mind when you consume this fruit, especially with blood sugar issues. As you scroll down this article you will get a closer look at some of the key facets –
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Is watermelon good for diabetes patients?
The response to this query is positive. How so – we will see in this segment. As a diabetic patient, you must already know that the Glycemic Index (GI) is the measure of the rate at which sugar enters from the source to the bloodstream.
Since its index is valued within 1-100, when the glycemic index is below 55, it is considered low, while between a range of 55-69, it is considered moderate. But if it reaches a range above 70, that particular food product is considered high in glycemic index, and diabetics better avoid the same.
Watermelon has a glycemic index of 72, which one can consider high. So, what do you mean when you ask if is watermelon good for diabetes and the response is positive? The answer is – the content of Glycemic Load, which is only 2 for watermelon.
Glycemic Load is a blending of the glycemic index and carbohydrate content of the food. So, even if the glycemic index is high and may cause a sugar boost – the carbohydrate content manages it. Therefore – overall, watermelon is good for diabetes patients (even those with gestational diabetes).
What is the glycemic index level of watermelon?
As mentioned before – the glycemic index of watermelon is 72, considered high for any fruit.
Do you know what’s the best part of having watermelon, especially for a diabetic? Since it has 90% water content and natural sugar – hence when you consume this, your sugar cravings, which you try to curb with candies or chocolates will reduce immensely.
The body is getting the required amount of sugar, hence, there will be no additional need for the artificial one. In that way, you will be able to cut down the sugar content, better your heart health, and shed some weight (if you are a diabetic patient then you must take care of your heart health and manage your weight). That’s how is watermelon good for diabetes.
#There are multiple pieces of research undertaken, a couple of which show – if you consume watermelon seeds regularly, it will control the glucose and manage insulin levels in the body.
What is the correct amount of watermelon for a diabetes patient?
You have already received the answer is watermelon good for diabetes in the positive. But exactly how much is good enough? How will you know the ideal level? Since watermelon contains sugar, it can elevate the sugar content of your blood – therefore, you need to start slow.
Start with 100 gms single serving per day (2-3 times per week). When you are starting out, one hour after you have had your watermelon serving, check your sugar levels. If it is still within the normal range – then you can increase the serving to a maximum of 150 grams. That is the maximum level allowed for a diabetic patient as per multiple researchers.
How must a diabetes patient eat watermelon?
This is another crucial piece of information you might want to know after asking if is watermelon good for diabetes. If you are a diabetic patient, it is best to avoid a direct serving of the fruit. Rather, you can always pick up options such as – watermelon slush, watermelon smoothie (a combination of milk, mint leaves, and lime juice), watermelon salsa (with cilantro, mint leaves, jalapenos, lime juice), watermelon sorbet, and as watermelon salad.
If you prefer sliced watermelon, do add a cup of Greek yogurt to it. Also, you must combine it with oilseeds and nuts to maintain the sugar balance level in your body.
When is the right time to eat a watermelon?
If you are a diabetic patient, the ideal time to have your share of watermelon is – between breakfast and lunch. Else, you may have it post lunch, almost like an ‘in-between’ meal before evening (6 PM). Most nutritionists ask you to not have it for breakfast since it immediately shoots up your blood sugar levels (not advised). Also, you must not have it with your proper meals (breakfast/lunch) and after sundown. That could cause stomach issues.
So, is watermelon good for diabetes, and when is the right time then? Yes, mostly as an ‘in-between’ snack, or a mid-morning fruit.
What are the benefits of watermelon for a diabetic?
With detailed information on the glycemic index of watermelon, you might again rethink – is watermelon good for diabetes and in what way? Let’s assure you again, this fruit without a doubt, in moderate quantities is good for your health. As you will scroll down this section you will get clarity on the benefits of watermelon for a diabetic and others in extension –
For starters, you must know that – watermelon is one of the best detoxifiers. Along with that, it also minimizes body fat, is a diuretic, and supports nerves, kidneys, and muscle strength. It also improves eye health in the long run. Watermelon is rich in vitamins A, C, B-6, iron, fiber, calcium, amino acids, antioxidants, lycopene, magnesium, and potassium.
Let’s get to the details of the range of benefits watermelon provides –
1. Vitamin A – It is a fat-soluble compound that assists in better vision, promotes cell growth, and boosts the immunity system.
2. Lycopene – It is an antioxidant that gives the watermelon its color. Along with that – it also benefits bone and heart health and also acts as a barrier to prostate cancer.
3. Citrulline – This decreases the fat levels in the body by ceasing the functioning of – tissue nonspecific antacid phosphatase. Being an amino acid, this changes into arginine which is beneficial for the kidneys.
4. Vitamin C – This water-soluble vitamin lowers the risk of heart-related diseases, and manages blood pressure levels.
5. Potassium – Watermelon has this content in it that regulates blood pressure levels, improves digestion, and prevents cramps.
6. Magnesium – If you regularly consume watermelon, then be assured that it will prevent migraines and save you from inflammation.
7. Vitamin B6 – Found in watermelons, this promotes brain health and reduces anemia and heart-related issues.
8. Calcium and Iron – From aiding oxygen transportation in blood to strengthening bones – these minerals enhance the benefits of watermelon.
Does it have any side effects?
When you are asking if is watermelon good for diabetes, you might also wish to know if it has any side effects. It does. Whether you have diabetes or otherwise, if you consume too much of it, you may face digestive issues (bloating, acidity, and loose stool). If you have too sensitive skin, your skin may stain orange from its side effects.
Is there any alternative to watermelon for diabetics?
Surely, there are plenty. If you are a little scared about watermelons, you could opt for – grapefruits, berries, peaches, pears, oranges, apples, and kiwis. However, be careful to not have too much of any fruit, as that could be repulsive for your digestive system.
A precautionary note
How was the read? Do you have a better idea about how is the watermelon good for diabetes? We would therefore wish you to follow the specifics of having watermelon if you are a diabetic or one with blood sugar issues. If you have any queries pertaining to ways to consume watermelon, you can post your queries here. For more health-related updates – keep checking this space.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.