Can Diabetics Eat Watermelon? 5 Benefits & Daily Limits

Many foods can be a restriction for many diabetic patients. Be it the vegetables or fruits; diabetics have to be extra careful.

There is a plethora of fruits out there that can be very beneficial for everyone, including diabetics. On the other hand, some other fruits can have some ill effects too, which is why diabetic individuals have to stay away from them.

We have such fruit in question today. Watermelons are common and popular fruits all around the world. But are you wondering…

  • Can diabetics eat Watermelon?
  • What is the Glycemic Index of Watermelon?
  • What are the benefits of eating Watermelon?
  • Daily limits

Let us find out about this fruit.

Can Diabetics Eat Watermelon?

Can Diabetics Eat Watermelon

Well, this fruit may be the favorite of many, but is this good for those with diabetes? Answering this question – well, neither too good nor too bad.

Wondering what that means? Well, we are here to clear this confusion.

Watermelons are filled with a lot of good nutrients and nourishing elements. But when it comes to diabetic patients, one should be careful before adding these fruits to your diet.

This fruit is not too great or even recommended for diabetics because it contains a lot of naturally available sugar. This sugar, when consumed, gets digested gets absorbed into the bloodstream. This, in turn, can lead to a rise in the overall blood sugar levels.

Diabetes is a chronic condition of metabolism. It depends on the glucose levels in the body and accordingly affects the body. Extremely high levels of sugar in one’s blood can be harmful to the body.

The carbohydrate levels in various foods are what contributes to one’s rising or control blood sugar levels. Thus, food choices are very important when it comes to managing one’s diabetic blood sugar levels.

The amount of sugar found in water contributes to one’s rising carbohydrate level in the body. This can be harmful if not moderated.

But there is a contradiction as well. The Watermelon has different dietary effects depending on its portion. That is what can make it both good as well as bad for diabetics.

To make this matter clearer, let us have a look at the Glycemic index of this fruit.

What is the Glycemic Index of Watermelon?

What is the Glycemic Index of Watermelon

The Glycemic Index is an ideal indicator to classify foods as safe or unsafe for diabetics. It is the most common measure that diabetic individuals use to determine if a particular food item is safe for their health or not.

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Glycemic Index is a scale that ranks foods from 0 to 100 depending on their amount of carbohydrates. The foods are classified as Low, Medium, or High Glycemic as per their carbs and their blood sugar effects.

Let us look at the Glycemic Index classification:

Sl. No. Glycemic Index categoriesGlycemic Index ranges
1.Low Glycemic Index (safe for diabetics) 0 to 55
2.Medium Glycemic Index (safe when taken in moderate quantities)55  to 69
3.High Glycemic Index (unsafe for diabetics)From 70 and above

From the above table, you can derive that foods with a high Glycemic Index are not advisable for diabetic patients. As per this rule, the Watermelon does not fit in the good and safe fruits lists for diabetics.

The Glycemic Index of Watermelon is around 76. This makes it highly unhealthy for the blood sugar levels of a diabetic person. It can cause a high and sudden spike in the blood sugars of the body.

Therefore according to the Glycemic Index, watermelons are not so good for diabetics. But what is it that contradicts this and makes watermelon fit for diabetic consumption?

It is the Glycemic Load. Let us know more.

What is the Glycemic Load of Watermelon?

What-is-the-Glycemic-Load-of-Watermelon

Just as food choice is essential and decides one’s diabetic levels, similarly, the portions chosen are also very important. The Glycemic load is another indicator of whether or not a food is good for diabetic individuals.

The Glycemic Load indicates the effect a certain food item can have on the person’s blood sugar levels depending on its quantity taken. Therefore the quantity is very crucial to pay heed to when it comes to food habits.

The Glycemic Load of foods is also categorized as per rankings based on a scale.

Sl. No.Glycemic Load categories Glycemic Load ranges
1.Low Glycemic Load (safe for diabetics)0 to 10
2.Medium Glycemic Load (safe when taken in moderate quantities)11 to 19
3.High Glycemic Load (unsafe for Diabetics)20 and above

Hence, the food and its quantity both matter for a diabetic individual’s diet and health maintenance.

The Glycemic Load of watermelons is very low. It is only 2 per 100 grams of Watermelon. As the name suggests, the Watermelon is mostly water and less fruit; this is what makes a higher quantity of it filled with water and lowered in carbs.

This is why although the Glycemic Index of this fruit is high, it is still safe for diabetics when taken in limited amounts because of its Glycemic Load.

Thus, the Watermelon is such a fruit that needs a check of both the Glycemic Index and the Glycemic Load. Portion control is overly important for this fruit when it comes to adding it to a diabetic meal.

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Let us discuss in detail what the right portion control for Watermelon is?

What are the Daily Limits for eating Watermelon for Diabetics?

As we discussed, the Glycemic Load of Watermelons is very low. The Glycemic Index and the Glycemic Load combined make it a moderately good fruit.

It is what makes it safe for diabetics when taken in moderate amounts. But what is this moderate amount?

Well, as the Glycemic Load of 100 grams of Watermelon is only 2, that means that one with diabetes can have more than just 100 grams and still not have to worry about causing any harm to the blood sugar levels.

As per doctors and diet experts, you can easily consume around 150 to around 200 grams of Watermelon without worrying about your blood sugars. The amount of carbohydrates gained from this much quantity of Watermelon is only 15 grams, which is a safe number.

Make sure when you include this fruit in your everyday diabetic diet, you follow the limits. Over-doing the mentioned amount can disturb your body’s health condition. If there are any restrictions on consuming this fruit by your doctors, you should abide by his/her rules for safety and the best results.

Nutritional Information of Watermelon

Nutritional Information of Watermelon

By now, we have had a detailed look into its safety and precautions of having Watermelon by diabetics. We have also derived that it is safe for a diabetic individual when eaten in regulated amounts.

Now, let us move on to know what the nutritional composition of this famous fruit is. It will help us to know all the nutrients that are found in this fruit, as well as the great benefits that it may have.

The following table shows the nutrients available and their quantities in 2/3rd cup of Watermelon, or 100 grams of the fruit.

Sl. No. Nutrients available in 100 grams of WatermelonAmount available
1.Calories30
2.Carbohydrates7.6 g
3.Proteins0.6 g
4.Sugar6.2 g
5.Fiber0.4 g
6.Water91%

These are the major macronutrients that are found in 100 grams of Watermelon. The amount of fat and protein available in Watermelon is fairly low and almost negligible.

Apart from these macronutrients, the Watermelon also has several micronutrients. Some of the vitamins and minerals that it includes are – Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, Vitamin C, Potassium, and copper.

Besides, it is also rich in many advantageous plant compounds. They include Amino acid Citrulline and Lycopene. This fruit is comparatively low in antioxidants compared to some other fruits, but they are still great because of these elements’ presence.

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Now that we know the nutrients of this fruit, let us find out its benefits on your overall health and body.

5 Health Benefits of eating Watermelon

5 Health Benefits of eating Watermelon

This is a fruit that is very good for the body in many ways. But always keep in mind all the limits you need to follow, especially as a diabetic, to reap all the benefits it can have on your health.

The advantages of eating Watermelon are as follows:

  1. Watermelon can be good for diabetics because of its insulin-resistance property. The various studies done about this have proved the effects of watermelon juice on health and improving insulin resistance, which can be overly beneficial for blood sugar issues.
  1. The availability of Citrulline in watermelon assists in producing nitric oxide. This, in turn, helps the blood vessels to relax and dilate, improving overall functioning. In turn, this is great in keeping the blood pressure under control and prevents many health risks.
  1. Watermelon juice is also a great after-exercise drink. It is said to have the qualities to reduce muscle soreness. This is also a boon of the Citrulline presence in Watermelon.
  1. Watermelon is a fruit that is 91% of all water. This is a great supplement that keeps the body cool as well as hydrated, especially in summers.
  1. The Fiber in this fruit is also beneficial to keep the diabetic levels under check. It is also great for the digestive system. Fiber-rich Watermelon, therefore, is also a good weight loss-aiding agent. 

NOTE: If you are allergic to the pollen in watermelons, you must avoid its consumption. Otherwise, it may lead to mouth, tongue, throat, and digestion-related problems.

References

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  11. https://www.nutritionvalue.org/Watermelon%2C_raw_nutritional_value.html
  12. https://m.hindustantimes.com/health/should-you-be-having-watermelons-if-you-are-a-diabetic/story-ejNJFpgIezIqLm9KVG18KK_amp.html
Dr Sharon Baisil MD

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