Are you diabetic and wondering if you could indulge in your favourite summer fruit-watermelon? Well, I have some good news for you! Watermelon is actually a good fruit choice for diabetics.
As watermelon is a sweet fruit, it is wrongly assumed to be ‘no good’ for people with diabetes.
Watermelons are safe to eat and can definitely be included in a diabetic meal plan. But the key is to enjoy them as a part of a healthy, balanced diabetic diet. Watermelon is low in carbohydrates with natural sugars. It is also low in calories and packed with nutrients. The fruit is also recommended by the American Diabetics Association.
Health Benefits Of Watermelon For Diabetics:
Watermelon is not only safe but is also a good fruit for diabetes management and should be a part of regular diabetic diet. Watermelon provides a large number of essential nutrients, which are beneficial for the body. Some health benefits of watermelon for diabetics are:
- Watermelon is rich in Vitamin A, which is responsible for maintaining good cellular and eye health.
- Vitamin C, found in ample amounts in watermelon, is a potent antioxidant and helps the body fight against infections.
- Watermelon is also rich in Vitamins B1 and B6, which supports high energy levels.
- Levels of Potassium and Magnesium are also found to be high in watermelon. This helps in regulation of nerve impulses, blood circulation and is also beneficial for blood pressure.
- Watermelon is free of fat and cholesterol, which is important for a diabetic diet.
- Lycopene is found in abundance in watermelon. It has antioxidant properties and provides protection against heart diseases and some other circulatory disorders, which usually affect diabetic patients.
- Watermelon is rich in dietary fibre, which helps in digestion and cholesterol control.
- Studies reveal that watermelon is helpful in reducing and preventing high blood pressure. It may be a functional food that can prevent a condition resulting into hypertension.
Carbohydrate Content In Watermelon:
For controlling blood sugar levels, diabetics need to limit the intake of carbohydrates to 45 to 65 grams per meal. In a 1 ¼ cup serving of watermelon, the carbohydrate content is 15 grams and dietary fibre content is only 1 gram. As such, the intake of watermelon should be limited and the consumption of other carbohydrates in the meals needs to be planned accordingly.
As per the recommendation of the American Diabetics Association, a person suffering from diabetes should consume fruits only as a part of the meal. Consuming foods high in carbohydrates or high Glycemic Index, which consist of fats or proteins and a low Glycemic Index aid to minimize the effect of food on the blood sugar level.
Diabetics need to consume foods containing carbohydrates in a consistent manner. The carbohydrate consumption should be equally balanced through all the meals during a day. This helps to minimize the fluctuations in blood glucose levels. The meals should include at least two servings of fruits each day.
Glycemic Index Of Watermelon:
Glycemic Index (GI) is a scale from 1 to 100 that measures the impact of different carbohydrate containing foods on our blood sugar levels. Higher the Glycemic Index, greater the effect of that food on our blood sugar level. Watermelon has a higher Glycemic Index with a GI rating of 72.
Although watermelons have a higher Glycemic Index, their Glycemic load is low, making them absolutely good fruits for diabetics. However, watermelon should be consumed in moderation, as eating watermelon can increase blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels for a longer duration can increase the risk of heart and kidney diseases and stroke. It also affects the vision. Watermelon can be a healthy choice for diabetic patients. However, the carbohydrate content in watermelon should be taken into consideration while planning a diabetic meal plan.
If you are a diabetic and want to consume watermelon, go ahead. But remember the keyword – moderation!
Do you like watermelon? Did you swear off them because of your diabetes diagnosis? What other fruits do you eat? Share with us in the comments section.