Watermelon is a fruit that is popular with people of different age groups. It is one of the most popular choices of fruits during the summer due to its sweet flavor and high water content. Watermelons happen to be loaded with all natural sugars and this is where the problem of its consumption by patients suffering from diabetes arises. It is well-know that people affected with diabetes need to watch everything that they eat and must be wary of food items that are rich in sugar content. This is the basic concern that a person with diabetes must bear in mind at the time of incorporating watermelon in their diet.
Effects of Watermelon on Blood Sugar
The glycemic index (GI) indicates the rate at which sugar obtained from foods enters the bloodstream. Depending on the sugar content in the food items, they receive a position between 1 and 100 on the index. Generally, sugar or white bread is taken as the point of reference. Glycemic load is the combination that arises out of the glycemic index and the actual carbohydrate content that is there in the food that is being served.(1) The glycemic load is a better indication of the sugar content in a certain type of food. This is an approach that is suitable for people who are very aware of their carbohydrate content so that their blood sugar levels can be managed. Food that has a lower GI count is supposed to release a lower amount of blood sugar into the bloodstream. A reading of 55 or lesser GI is considered to be a low count. A count that is between 55 and 69 is considered to be a medium rate and anything that is happening to be above 70 is high.(2)
As for Glycemic load, 10 is considered to be low, between 11 and 19 is medium and above 19 is high. When watermelon is considered against both these charts, we see that it has a GI level of 72 and a GL is 2 for every 100 gm. Out of this reading, we can conclude that though the glycemic load count of watermelon is low, its glycemic index happens to be high. Hence diabetic people must balance the glycemic index of their diet with foods that have lower glycemic index if they incorporate watermelon in their diet.(3)
It is imperative to mention here that evidence has been found indicating at the fact that consumption of watermelon can actually help manage certain complications that can stem out of the condition of diabetes. Watermelon contains lycopene, a pigment out of which the fruit receives its pigment. Lycopene is an element that can help to reduce cardiovascular problems for patient suffering from diabetes.(4) Research has concluded that nearly 68% of people who suffers from diabetes and is over and above the age of 65 often dies due to some ailment of the heart. Nearly 16% of these people die out of stroke. Lycopene can be an elemental natural item that can control the cardiovascular risks that stems out diabetes.(5)
Watermelon is a wonderful source of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fibers. However, people with diabetes must have moderate amounts of it at a time. One should not eat watermelon more than just once or twice a week at the max. If in case you do consume more than once, do make sure to balance your diet with other lower glycemic index food items so that your blood sugar level does not spike.