Watermelon is one of the most preferred fruits in summertime. Being rich in natural sugars, is it a wise selection for a diabetic? While it is safe for diabetics to include it in the diet, many factors needs to be considered to determine its frequency of consumption, and portion size.
Before including this fruit, you need to check the number of calories you get from it. It should be such that it does not cause any fluctuations in your blood sugar levels. Read on to know more about nutritional content of watermelon and how it can impact your health.
Is it safe to include watermelon in your diabetes meal plan?
A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can assist in management of blood sugar. As fruit also have a lot of carbohydrates, and natural sugars, to work out an appropriate serving size is very important. Watermelon has plenty of nutrition that is required to keep the body healthy. Only consideration that you need to make before you include it is calorie intake and metabolization rate.
Watermelon and GI
The GI is a number that ranges between 1 and 100. It is a measure of how fast sugar from the food you eat enters into the blood. A high glycemic index indicates quick release of sugar into bloodstream causing sudden increase in its levels. So, people with diabetics should only choose foods that have low glycemic index. Now let us understand the case with watermelon. Is it a low glycemic food or a high glycemic food?
Watermelon has got a high Glycemic Index of 76. It states that it gets digested quickly after going into the stomach and can quickly alters the blood sugar and glucose levels. So, this does not mean that people who are diabetic should not eat this fruit at all. They can still eat it, but in moderate amounts. Large servings can cause a spike in their blood sugar levels and give rise to other complications associated with it.
How is a watermelon good for a diabetic?
Watermelon is a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. Following are the nutrients that are contained in watermelon.
- vitamin A
- vitamin C
- vitamin B-6
Here are a few benefits of including watermelon in a diabetic meal plan
Maintains your vision
280 grams of serving provides thirty one percent of total daily requirement of vitamin A. This vitamin aids in preserving functioning in the kidneys, lungs, and heart. As poor vision is one of the issues faced by diabetics, watermelon aids in maintaining eye health of a person.
Boost cardiac health
Watermelon has moderate levels of lycopene in it. This is a type of pigment that provide color to the fruit. It is also considered to be a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene reduces the chances of for heart ailments.
Good source of vitamin C
One serving of watermelon gives 37 % of its daily recommended intake. Vitamin C helps in enhancing heart health, prevent cancers, and assist in fighting common cold.
Aids in digestion
Watermelon is rich in fiber. It aids in digestion of a person. It has an ability to keep a person fuller for longer periods of time. The right levels of watermelon assists in managing glucose levels in the blood.
Due to a lot of fiber in watermelon, eating it helps the body to eliminate toxins and also boost digestive health.
Keeps you hydrated
Having 90% of water, watermelon help in reducing your desire for sweet food. It makes a person to feel fuller for a longer time. Watermelon aid in management of weight in a person.
Improved blood circulation
Presence of potassium and magnesium in watermelon helps in improving circulation of blood and boost kidney function. One serving (wedge) of watermelon gives 320 mg of potassium. It has a nonessential amino acid “ citrulline”, that enhances metabolic health, and blood pressure in a person.
What is the right way to include watermelon in your diet?
The right way for a diabetic to eat watermelon is to eat with foods that have plenty of healthy fats, protein, like seeds and nuts, and fiber. This will assist a diabetic to feel fuller for a longer time and also lower its impact on blood glucose levels.
You need to talk to your doctor on how to add healthy sugar (in the form of watermelon) to the existing meal plan. He will evaluate your present diet and look at the health profile. Taking into consideration of present glucose consumption, and required amount to be consumed per day, he would suggest you the best dietary plan. This diet will helps in the best management of blood sugar levels in your body.