Watermelon and Diabetes

Diabetes is a disorder in which your body fails to utilize the sugar absorbed from food. This metabolic disorder increases the level of sugar in your body to rise considerably. It is therefore important for diabetics to pay special attention to their daily carbohydrate intake to keep their blood sugar levels in check.

If left unchecked, consistently high blood sugar levels may lead to several health issues. High blood sugar can damage the heart, kidneys and other parts of your body. In fact, cardiovascular diseases are the causes of most deaths among diabetics. Even though there is no cure for diabetes, you can take steps to keep your blood sugar within the normal range. Eating watermelon is one good way of controlling your blood sugar levels. Keep reading to learn more about the connection between watermelon and diabetes.

Is It Okay to Eat Watermelon If I Have Diabetes?

Many people think they should not eat watermelon because it is a sweet fruit. The truth is that you should include watermelon in your diabetes diet because it really helps with proper diabetes management. Even though it contains natural sugar and carbohydrates, it also has fewer calories and a variety of nutrients packed in juicy morsels. It helps make you feel full after a meal mainly because of its high water and fiber content. It contains little sugar, so it doesn't have a huge impact on your blood sugar levels.

Nutrition Facts of Watermelon

Serving size: 1 cup (154g) of diced watermelon

Calories

46

Fat

0.2g

Cholesterol

0mg

Sodium

2mg

Potassium

171.21mg

Carbohydrates

Dietary fiber

0.6g

11.6g

Sugars

9.5g

Protein

0.9g

The glycemic index measures how blood sugar responds to glucose in foods. In a range of 100, the higher the figure is, the more likely the food may increase the levels of blood sugar. As for watermelon, it has a relatively high glycemic index with 72 for 3/4 cup. But that does not mean watermelon would negatively influence your levels of blood sugar as it is also related to the carbohydrates in a food. According to the equation: Glycemic load = total carbohydrates*glycemic index/100, the glycemic load of watermelon is only 5, which means that watermelon would not affect the blood sugar levels much with its low content of carbohydrates. But still, it is best that you consume this fruit in modest for the best as overeating is never a good thing.

How Watermelon Helps with Diabetes

There is a healthy connection between watermelon and diabetes, and that's mainly because of so many nutrients present in this sweet fruit. Here's a bit more about why it makes sense to make watermelon a part of your diabetes diet.

1. It Contains Several Nutrients

Vitamin A is great for your eyes and helps maintain the health of your cells. It also has vitamin C that protects your body from infections. Since it has vitamin B1 and B6, it helps make you feel energetic throughout the day. This fat-free and cholesterol-free fruit also contains magnesium and potassium that help improve your blood circulation and protect you from cardiovascular diseases. A cup of diced watermelon contains 170mg of potassium, which reduces the effects of sodium on your blood pressure.

2. It Contains Lycopene

Watermelon and diabetes go well together mainly because watermelon is rich in lycopene, a potent antioxidant that protects you from circulatory disorders. It neutralizes free radicals that can damage cells in your body. Free radicals can also oxidize cholesterol, making it to cause blockage in your arteries. Lycopene eliminate these free radicals and protect you from coronary heart disease. It also plays a role in protecting diabetics from cancers, like colorectal cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, and breast cancer. The presence of lycopene makes watermelon a great way to prevent cognitive decline and dementia. Diabetes can cause nerve damage that may result in cognitive decline, but lycopene really helps reduce the effects.

3. It Contains Potassium

The high potassium content makes watermelon one of the best fruits for proper kidney functioning. It helps flush toxic compounds out of kidneys, which in turn keeps your blood uric acid levels on the lower side. This prevents kidney damage. If you're diabetic, you should have 5-10 serving of fruits and veggies in your diet. You can opt for three servings of watermelon a day mainly because of its high water content. It's beneficial even if you consume it in the form of a juice.

4. It Contains Amino Acids

Several studies have confirmed that since watermelon contains loads of amino acid called L-citrulline, it plays a big role in preventing high blood pressure. L-citrulline helps build L-arginine, another amino acid responsible for maintaining proper artery function. Regular use of watermelon or watermelon extract will also keep from your hypertension becoming worse with time.

What About Other Sweet Fruits, Can I Eat Them?

After knowing the connection between watermelon and diabetes, you may be wondering if you could eat other sweet fruits as well. The truth is no fruit is bad for you if you don't overeat. As long as you pay attention to your serving size, you can enjoy almost all fruits. Actually, you should be more careful about the amount of carbohydrates you ingest into your body.

If a fruit has lower carbohydrate content, you can consume a larger portion of that fruit without affecting your blood sugar level. It means that eating half-medium banana, ¾ cup of cubed pineapple, half cup of cubed mango, and 1/3 cup of cubed sapodilla will have the same effects on your blood sugar levels because they all contain about 15g of carbohydrates. So, just check the carbohydrate content and you will be able to enjoy a variety of sweet fruits without having to worry too much about your blood sugar levels.

 
 
Current time: 12/10/2017 09:11:29 pm (America/New_York) Memory usage: 1433.19KB