Diabetes is a chronic medical condition. Millions of people are getting affected globally. There has been a sharp rise in the cases of diabetes in India. However, by 2025, India is expected to have the largest number of diabetes cases worldwide. To deal with this global concern, numerous healthcare providers have developed an extensive Diabetes Management Program in India. These programs educate people with diabetes about managing their condition via lifestyle changes and medicines.
When the topic of healthy diet comes, one should not forget fruits. Fruits are thought to be a vital source of nutrients. However, people with diabetes must consider its sugar content. Watermelon is a popular summer fruit, healthy and refreshing at the same time. But, can you eat watermelon if you have diabetes? Let’s find out.
When it comes to managing diabetes, proper dietary choices play a crucial role. Watermelon, a refreshing summer fruit, is often a subject of concern for individuals with diabetes due to its natural sweetness. In this article, we will find out the potential benefits and considerations of including watermelon if you are trying to control your diabetes or are considering joining a diabetes management program. Let’s uncover the juicy truth about watermelon and diabetes!
Nutritional Value of Watermelon
Watermelon is a refreshing summer fruit with a plethora of vitamins and minerals. Watermelon is rich in vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, fiber. Also, watermelon contains a plethora of lycopene, carotenoids, flavonoids, citrulline, fat.100 grams of watermelon offers 30 kcal of energy. It comprises around 92 % water and 7.55 % of carbohydrates. Out of these, 6.2 % are sugars and 0.4 % dietary fiber. It is also found to be cholesterol free. As a result, it is considered a low-calorie fruit.
Glycemic index of watermelon
The glycemic index (GI) of watermelon is quite high 80. It also has a low glycemic load (GL) value of 5. GI refers to a numeric score assigned to any food product depending on how quickly it may increase the blood glucose levels. GL offers a more precise representation of the food’s impact on the levels of blood glucose.
The low GL value of watermelon can be credited to the high-water content of the fruit. Hence, to neutralize the effects of high GI of watermelon, people with diabetes should consider pairing the fruit with certain food items. These foods must comprise healthy fats and proteins, cheese, paneer, seeds, nuts,fiber, etc. These nutrients delay the absorption of glucose into the blood and makes a person feel full for longer.
Water and blood sugar levels
So, is it good for a person with diabetes to eat watermelon? Watermelon consists of natural sugars. While it is safe for individuals with diabetes to eat, you should always discuss with the concerned nutritionist before doing so. Simultaneously, how watermelon has an effect on your blood glucose levels is based on your dietary habits, eating pattern, portion size, and your regularity of fruit intake.
How can individuals with diabetes eat watermelon?
It is important to balance this summer fruit with other nutrients like fats and protein for a person with diabetes who wishes to have it as a snack. Both of these nutrient groups delay the absorption of glucose into the blood. If a person is allowed to have watermelon by the concerned nutritionist, always eat it in the minimally processed form. It is a good idea to add watermelon as part of a larger meal not comprising cereals.
One should not combine watermelon with other high-carb or high-GI food items such as rice, roti, millet, etc. The quantity of watermelon individuals with diabetes are permitted to eat is highly personalized. The maximum recommended quantity of the fruit is 75 grams. Hence, before anybody thinks watermelon for diabetes is safe, he or she must discuss with the nutritionist about the amount of watermelon he or she can eat in a day.
Hence, watermelon is a safe summer fruit for people with high blood sugar levels when taken in limits. Yet, it is always a good idea to eat watermelon with foods containing healthy fats and proteins. This helps in delaying sugar absorption into the blood. When watermelon is consumed in moderation, it may be added with other low-GI fruits.
As watermelon contains vitamins, minerals, and plant-based compounds, it is beneficial for one’s overall health and well-being. If you are careful about portion amounts, you can safely eat watermelon as part of your diet. To avoid blood sugar increases, eat watermelon alongside a protein or fat source.
Yet, it’s vital to understand that diabetes management is a comprehensive approach. It is a sum total of having a balanced diet, medications, and doing regular physical activity. If you have diabetes, it’s suggested to work with your doctor and get enrolled in a Diabetes Management Program to understand more about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing your condition.