Watermelon is a familiar fruit, has a cool sweet taste, helps quench your thirst in the summer. However, many people with diabetes dare not eat Watermelon for fear of hyperglycemia. According to health experts, this is completely wrong viewpoint, because it is rich in vitamin A and beta carotene, magnesium…Which helps diabetic eyes and skeletal system be stronger. At the same time, if you eat them properly, the patient will no longer worry about hyperglycemia.
Watermelons are very popular in the summer because they can help quench your thirst while providing many beneficial nutrients for the body. However, for people with diabetes, diet always plays an important role, because they are required to consume foods with an acceptable amount of sugar.
For people with diabetes, you must always be very careful in eating and choosing foods with the permitted amount of sugar. Eating fruit is always healthy for each of us, but in Diabetics, fruits with natural sugar content need to be selected and included in the daily reasonable diet.
Watermelon contains natural sugar, so if you want to add Watermelon to a diabetic’s diet, you must know if this fruit is allowed to use or not.
Why Watermelon has a high GI but is still good for Diabetics?
There is a reason that many people wonder whether patients with diabetes have to eat Watermelon or not. This is because this fruit is classified as fruits with a high GI- Glycemic Index, between 72-80 / 100. This represents the very rapid spike in blood sugar of the Watermelon.
However, this index does not reflect the actual amount of sugar that the body will absorb. Therefore, when choosing foods, we need not only care about how quickly the food causes the sugar to enter the bloodstream, but also the total amount of sugar it will provide. Despite having a high GI, the total sugar in 100g Watermelon is low (2.3 grams).
Therefore, Diabetics can completely eat from 200 to 300 grams of Watermelon in a day without worrying about high blood sugar.
However, if only using GI to say Watermelon is not good for diabetics is not correct.
The GI itself is a complex system consisting of many variables. And the GI is completely independent of the carbohydrate content of the melon. It shows how fast or slow the sugar is absorbed, does not reflect the amount of sugar absorbed, it depends on whether you eat a little or a lot.
To have a better scale for assessing food for diabetics, people often use the glycemic load index (GL-glycemic load). The GL index shows the amount of sugar absorbed into the body after eating a single serving of food.
GL is calculated by multiplying the GI with 1% grams of powdered sugar in the diet. Take a comparison between banana and watermelon. Bananas have a lower GI (52) but each 100g has up to 23g of sugar. The GL of the banana = 52 x 23/100 = 12, in the medium group.
Meanwhile, the GL of Watermelon = 80 x 6.3 / 100 = 5, in the low group. So, by a small serving, watermelon is still much better than higher GI foods like bananas. Diabetics can still eat watermelon to get other benefits of this fruit.
It will provide essential nutrients for the health of people with diabetes, but that’s when It is used properly. According to the American Diabetes Association, eat 60g of carbs for meals and 20g for snacks at most. Meanwhile, 1 piece of Watermelon contains about 12g carbohydrates, so Diabetics need to choose a small piece combined with the amount of starch, protein, fiber in the main meal not exceeding 60g carbs to ensure blood sugar in the body.
Benefits of Watermelon for Diabetics
On the other hand, the minerals potassium, magnesium in watermelon help insulin in the body function properly, thereby reducing blood sugar. The arginine has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in type 2 Diabetics.
Vitamin A helps keep the heart, kidneys and lungs working properly. It also helps with vision health. One 280g Watermelon provides 31% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A for a person
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant and promotes a healthy immune system. A good immune system can reduce colds and infections, and may help prevent certain types of cancer. One 280g Watermelon provides 37% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C.
Watermelon contains moderate amounts of lycopene, the pigment that gives fruit color and is also a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene is a substance that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Therefore, eating this fruit can help people with diabetes prevent some types of cardiovascular diseases. Besides lycopene, watermelon also contains many other antioxidants such as beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin and cryptoxanthin … These antioxidants are effective in preventing colon, prostate, breast and death cancer. bowel, lung and pancreatic cancer.
Moreover, with other valuable nutrients such as vitamins A, C, potassium, magnesium, fiber, calcium … found in this fruit also contributes significantly to improving the health of people with diabetes.
Watermelon contains more than 90% water, making it an excellent choice for hydration. In addition, magnesium and potassium can improve blood circulation and support kidney function. A 280g serving of Watermelon contains about 170 mg of potassium. With high content of potassium, it is one of the fruits good for the kidneys. With the role of helping to remove toxins in the kidney out to keep uric acid in the blood low. Helps people with diabetes avoid kidney damage.
In Watermelon contains many amino acids called L-citrulline. L-citrulline is an acid that plays an important role in preventing high blood pressure. Furthermore, L-citrulline helps to build L-arginine, an amino acid that helps maintain artery function. So if we use watermelon regularly, it will keep our blood pressure stable.
100g of Watermelon contains very little energy: 16 calories, and is contributed mainly by carbohydrates: simple glucose, fructose and double sucrose. All of these sugars add to the sweetness of Watermelon. Thus, when eating them with an appropriate amount of diabetes, people will not suffer from sudden hyperglycemia or complications of the disease.
Watermelon is a very healthy fruit and beneficial for people with diabetes. However, because it has a high natural sugar content, you should not “overdo” this fruit, but use it correctly. There should be a way to combine with other foods to be able to maximize the benefits of Watermelon.
How to eat Watermelon when you have diabetes?
To eating Watermelon do not exceed the limit that, people with diabetes should follow some of the following note:
Eat whole pieces:
According to health experts, people with diabetes should only eat Watermelon whole pieces, and absolutely should not use Watermelon juice. The main reason is that the sugar content of the fruit increases if we use fruit juice. Because the fiber in fruit is a key ingredient that can interfere, slow down, reduce the absorption of sugar into the intestine.
Eat a whole piece of Watermelon instead of just forcing the water to drink and removing the body because the body has not much fiber to help prevent complications of the disease.
Only eat Watermelon at snacks, should eat a small amount each time and should keep a distance of 2 hours after a meal so that blood sugar does not spike.
Total amount for the day:
200 to 300 grams of Watermelon should be consumed per day (equivalent to 3 pieces of Watermelon). In case you want to eat more, be careful not to exceed 500 grams. People with diabetes should only eat little or no watermelon in their daily diet, eat only a small piece at a time.
Time to eat:
Do not eat right after finishing a meal because this will cause blood sugar to rise. The amount of food in the body will be consumed after 3 hours and can lead to hypoglycemia if diabetics do not provide more food. Therefore, the ideal time to eat watermelon in particular and fruit in general for diabetics is 2 hours after meals. It could be mid-morning around 9-11am or mid afternoon, around 3-5pm.
Increase your intake of fruit that has a sour taste. You should choose fruits with low glycemic index such as blueberries, apples, oranges, grapefruit, tomatoes, … which are rich in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants while also preventing many health problems.
Besides, diet and exercise should be taken seriously. Specifically, you should adhere to a diet that is low in starch, low in fat, and low in sugar, and at the same time choose sports that are healthy and suitable for your health.
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Dear Friend !
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