Should I Eat Watermelon If I Have Diabetes?
Watermelon is a favorite and most refreshing fruit for the summer. You may love to eat it every single day, but make sure you check the nutrition first before deciding on buying it.
If we have diabetes, we need to monitor and manage what we eat constantly. This is the most important thing because we need to regulate our blood sugar levels. So, what is wrong with watermelon?
Watermelon contains a lot of sugars. Even though they are natural, they are still sugars that can affect blood sugar. Therefore, we need to learn more about this fruit and how we should consume it.
Benefits of Watermelon
This fruit is by far the most popular one out there, and with no doubt. It contains:
We will need only 280g of watermelon to get 31% of the necessary daily amount of vitamin A. As a result, it is highly beneficial for the kidneys, lungs, and heart. Moreover, in the same amount of grams we can get the necessary 37% of vitamin C.
This vitamin is important for improving the heart, avoiding the common cold or helping with the prevention of some cancers. Therefore, we should consume watermelon because of the huge amount of fibers that it contains.
Besides, they are important for removing toxins and improving digestion. So, if we eat watermelon in moderate amounts, we can satisfy our cravings and feel full for a longer period.
Also, it can keep us hydrated because it has 90% water, so it can be ideal for losing weight and managing our diet.
What About Studies?
There aren’t any studies that can connect watermelon with diabetes. But, because of the multiple vitamins that it contains, it is possible that it can reduce the chance of developing any complications caused by diabetes.
Also, watermelon contains a little lycopene, which is a pigment that gives color to this fruit. But what we may not know is the fact that this pigment is also a great antioxidant.
Plus, there is a chance that lycopene may reduce the chance of developing risks from cardiovascular disease.
However, more research is necessary for proving this. Around 68% of people who have diabetes may lose their life from a heart attack. These people are mostly 65 years old or older, 16% of whom die from a stroke.
As a result, the ADA classified diabetes as a condition that serves as a major risk for causing heart disease.
Watermelon on the Glycemic Index (GI)
The GI looks at how fast our sugar enters our bloodstream. Every food that we consume can be measured between 1 and 100. They are compared to a reference item, like sugar or white bread.
The glycemic load (GL) on the other hand, is a combination of the GI and how much carbohydrates a certain meal contains. So, it is great for measuring the real value of certain food and what kind of impact it can have on the blood sugar levels.
If we have 55 GI or less, then we have a low level. Therefore we’ll need from 55-69 to have a normal GI level. But, careful not to have more than 70. So when it comes to GL, 10 is low, while 19 is medium and anything above that number is considered high.
What does this have to do with watermelon? Well, watermelon has 72GI and 2 per 100g serving GL. Even though the GL level may seem low, we may need to balance how much we eat so that our blood sugar won’t rise.
Fruits We Should Eat
We can eat watermelon but in moderation. However, if we want to eat more, we should focus on foods that have a low GI, like the ones that have no sugars. So, if you want to purchase canned fruit, try to get the ones that are in a fruit juice rather than in syrup.
In other words, read the labels carefully. Also, eat more fresh fruits rather than the dried ones to avoid any unnecessary calories and sugars. Therefore, here is a list of the fruits we should consume:
- peaches: 1 large peach contains 28GI and 5GL
- pears: 1 small pear contains 37GI and 2GL
- plums: 2 whole plums contain 24GI of and 4GL
- apricots: 5 whole apricots contain 34GI and 6GL
- grapefruit: 1 average size contains 25GI and 7GL
How Should This Affect Us?
If we want to consume watermelon more often, we need to plan our whole diet accordingly. Because it contains a lot of GI and little GL, it is important to consume it in moderation.
So, if we plan on adding some sugar to our diet, we should consult with our doctor first.
He or she will review our diet and condition and decide what is best for us. Or, we can always contact a dietician who can create the best meal plan for us. The portion size is always important for a person with diabetes.
Therefore, we need to choose our foods wisely.
Maybe, it will be best for us to see how watermelon can affect our condition or have any physical response to our body. If we feel any changes in our blood sugar, we should contact our doctor immediately.