Is Watermelon Good for Diabetics? A Revelation
May 12, 2023
May 12, 2023
Watermelon is a hydrating fruit that remains integral to every household during the summer. A chilled, juicy watermelon feels like a breath of fresh cool air in the scorching summer months.
Everyone enjoys eating watermelon, but the question of whether or not people with diabetes can consume this fruit gets raised frequently.
This debate stems from the sweet taste of this delectable food. However, contrary to the common assumption that it mainly contains water and sugar, watermelon is rich in nutrients.
According to the USDA, watermelon has the following nutrients per 100g.
The advantageous bioactive components of watermelon can treat a variety of ailments. Watermelons are great for your gut and heart health and kidney functions. As per research, watermelons can facilitate weight loss as well. According to a study, watermelons can reduce inflammation, potentially lowering the risk of malignancies such as breast, stomach, colon, and lung.
Furthermore, research proves that watermelons boost the body’s immune response and help manage hypertension by improving blood circulation.
Circling back to our main concern, people with diabetes can enjoy this fruit by making strategic decisions about how much to eat and how to consume it. Continue reading to learn more about the association between watermelon and blood sugar.
Simply put, diabetes is a condition characterised by elevated blood sugar levels. As we already know, one of the major causes of diabetes is the hampered insulin release by the beta cells in the pancreas.
These cells are in charge of secreting the hormone insulin, which helps regulate blood glucose levels. Many severe complications, such as eye damage, cardiac issues, nephropathy and neuropathy etc, can develop in the long run if you do not manage your blood sugar levels.
Watermelons have a marvellous nutrient profile, containing high moisture content and potent health-promoting chemicals. However, watermelon’s glycemic index (GI) is 80, and thus portion control is a prerequisite for diabetics when consuming it. Furthermore, even though watermelon has a relatively low carbohydrate content we cannot rule out the fact that it too can cause blood sugar levels to increase.
Carbohydrate transforms into blood glucose or blood sugar after being digested. Therefore, the amount of carbohydrates you consume is proportional to the amount of glucose/ sugar entering the blood.
However, watermelon’s high fibre content balances out the carbohydrate effect to some extent and does not let it significantly raise blood glucose levels if consumed in moderation.
While more research is needed in this field, research findings on watermelon and diabetes show that if consumed in appropriate amounts, watermelon could lessen diabetes complications.
Regulating the quantity of consumption can prevent watermelon from negatively affecting your blood sugar levels. Having said that, it should always be kept in mind that excess and frequent consumption of watermelon may lead to blood glucose spikes and nullify its positive effects.
According to investigations, hyperglycemia patients are more likely to experience cardiac problems. Elevated oxidative stress and LDL oxidation are the main contributing factors to this condition.
High glycemic foods significantly increase glucose, and their auto-oxidation produces free radicals and cell damage. However, lycopene, an antioxidant, occurs naturally in watermelon and has hypoglycemic action.
Lycopene aids in the battle against free radicals and lowers the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions. It is relevant because cardiovascular diseases account for 68% of deaths in adults with diabetes over the age of 65. Studies also show that lycopene extract greatly enhances lipid and glucose metabolism.
When consumed in moderation (i.e., 100-150 grams, 2-3 days a week) watermelon can be beneficial for people with diabetes. One may have watermelons with fibrous fruits to further negate its effects of having a high GI of 80. Furthermore, it’s advisable to monitor your blood sugar levels after consuming watermelon to keep a tab on its effect on you. Test your blood glucose 1-2 hours after consuming watermelon using a CGM or glucometer. If your blood sugar is 50 points higher than the normal range, you must cut back on the portion. Since everyone’s body’s requirements vary it’s better to consult an expert nutritionist to identify your portion size and the correct ways of consumption. However, the general strategy is to track your carbs, understand a food’s glycemic index, and monitor your blood sugar levels.
Watermelons are a great hydrating fruit with nearly 92% water. They are also loaded with nutrients that offer a plethora of health benefits ranging from better immunity, heart health, and kidney function to improved nail and hair quality. However, they have a high sugar content with a GI of 80 and thus diabetics should practice caution while having it. Practice portion control and pair your watermelon with fibrous foods and you’re good to go!
A good way to know the appropriate amount of watermelon you can consume at once is by monitoring your blood sugar levels pre and post it consumption. You can do it using the Healthifypro CGM which comes with its set of other perks. Check it out here.
A. Lychees have high sugar content. In many desserts, it also is used as a sweetener. Bananas and mangoes are also rich in sugar content. Compared to fresh fruits, dried fruits have high quantities of sugar.
A. Watermelon, a sweet summertime delicacy, is 92 per cent water and has the lowest carb content of any fruit, with only 7.5 g of carbohydrates per 100 g, according to the USDA.
A. Eating dried fruits in moderation will not raise your blood sugar. Dried fruits having a low or moderate GI is best if you are concerned about the impact on blood sugar levels. However, dried fruits with high GI scores will significantly affect blood sugar more than low and moderate GI ones. Therefore, it all depends on the type and amount of dried fruits you consume.
A. Any fruit with a low glycaemic index is deemed proper for consumption by diabetic patients. Such fruits include apples, oranges, berries, guava, kiwi, dragon fruit, peaches, pomegranate and avocados.
A. Apples are arguably the healthiest fruit. These sweet juicy treats are the ideal weight loss fruits thanks to their high-fibre, low-calorie values. Eating apples during breakfast or lunch will keep you feeling active throughout the day. These fruits are a great non-caffeinated way to stay awake. When eaten whole, apples can help control your appetite and reduce hunger.
A. Figs are high-fibre fruits. They have approximately 2.9 grams of fibre per 100 grams. Other fibre-rich fruits include apples, oranges, apricots, blackberries and blueberries. You can also sprinkle pomegranate seeds to boost the fibre of any salad.