Watermelon is a summertime favorite packed with nutritional value. It is rich in lycopene, a plant chemical known to reduce the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease. Like many other fruits, it contains natural sugars. Considering that this fruit is a source of carbohydrates, can a person with diabetes eat watermelon? Also, check out here to see what apple cider vinegar can help with diabetes.
While juice can be bad for diabetes, whole fruit such as watermelon can be good for your A1C. If you have diabetes, you will want to watch your diet and monitor your blood sugar levels. While it is safe for a diabetic to eat watermelon, how much you should consume largely depends on the overall diet. Watermelon is a carbohydrate with a high glycemic index (GI). Despite this fact, the American Diabetes Association recommends the inclusion of any fruit provided the amount of carbs consumed is factored in. Your health provider or dietician can help in reviewing your current diet.
Watermelon belongs to the gourd family of fruits, known for their pulpy, sweet, red, and hard green rinds. The good news, watermelon has little amounts of sugar and therefore safe for diabetes patients. While it is nutritious, large quantities can increase the levels of blood sugar. Adding the fruit to your weekly meal plan means focusing on the whole diet. Watermelon’s GL is low, while its GI is high. It is an excellent source of minerals and vitamins including:
- Potassium and is low in sodium
- Vitamin A (11 percent)
- Vitamin C (13 percent)
- Vitamins B1 and B6
- Water (90 percent)
Watermelons also have 2mg phytosterols in every serving of 100g. They are plant sterols appearing in the form of plants and resemble cholesterol. Phytosterols hinder cholesterol absorption in the blood.
Because it is low in calories and has high water quantities, it aids in weight loss. People with diabetes complain about a feeling of hunger soon after a meal. Taking watermelon allows you to stay full for longer because of the high amounts of water it contains. Watermelon helps in controlling cravings and maintaining a healthy weight, two factors essential for the reversal of diabetes type 2.
Diabetics also suffer from unexplained fatigue. Once blood glucose rises, blood circulation is interrupted depriving your cells of enough oxygen. This fruit has vitamins B2 and 6 responsible for spiking energy levels. Regular intake of watermelon enables diabetes patients to have an energy boost and stabilized blood glucose levels.
Can People with Diabetes Eat Watermelon?
In every 100g serving of watermelon is about 6 grams of sugar and 30 calories. Because of the difference between its glycemic load and index, many people think watermelon is a bad choice for diabetes type 2. The glycemic index determines the amount of time it takes for sugar to enter into the blood with every food item having a value of between 1 and 100. Watermelon has a glycemic index of 72 in every 100g serving. Carbs that break down quickly such as watermelon release glucose suddenly into the bloodstream, and normally have a GI of 70 or above. Those that breakdown slowly during digestion have a GI of 55 or below. The faster the sugars get into the bloodstream, the higher the chances of a spike of the blood glucose.
Understand that GI is tied to the amount of carbohydrates consumed. The GI of watermelon is not illustrated in terms of a normal portion but based on 50g of carbs. For you to achieve a 50g amount of carbs in watermelon, it means eating about 5 cups of the fruit. If you focus on the quantity of the actual carbs consumed, the GL of one cup would amount to 9, meaning watermelon is good for type 2 diabetes when quantity is observed. Balance your fruit with low GI food. At least eat the fruit with proteins or fats like seeds or nuts to keep you full for longer and prevent the occurrence of high blood sugar levels.
Good Fruits for Type 2 Diabetes
When consumed in moderation, watermelon is not the only good fruit for reversing diabetes. There are other fruits that do not have loads of sugars and are recommended for diabetes patients. According to the American Diabetes Association, any fruit can be eaten by a diabetic as long as they are not allergic to it. Whichever fruit you indulge in, eat it as fresh fruit and not as canned fruit or in the juice form often packed with large sugar quantities.
The body absorbs these processed fruits rapidly, and this could lead to high blood sugar glucose. Processing also reduces the nutrients of the fruit including fiber and essential vitamins. It is important to eat in moderation and be clear of the amount of carbs present in each fruit to avoid a spike in blood glucose. Choose fruits with low sugar and carbohydrates levels. Some of the fruits with a low GI include:
- Plums: Low in calories and carbs and contain minerals, vitamins, antioxidants and fiber
- Pears: Excellent source of fiber and vitamin K
- Grapefruit: Contains vitamins A and C, low in calories, and boosts weight loss
- Juicy peaches: Contain Vitamins A and C, fiber and potassium.
Remember, as for any food for diabetics; you have to be smart on your carb counting and tracking what you consume. Consuming the right fruits accompanied by a low-carb high-fat diet can lower the risk of diabetes complications such as diabetic retinopathy.
Is watermelon good for diabetes? The answer is yes. Simply sprinkle watermelon with cinnamon and mix them into a smoothie for extra blood glucose benefits. Cinnamon is known to enhance the ability of insulin to move sugar out of the blood to the muscles. In the muscles, the sugar can be used for energy. After adding watermelon to your diet, track your overall body response if you are a diabetes type 2 patient and report any spike in blood glucose immediately.