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Watermelon for diabetes, here’s why diabetics should stay away from this fruit

If you have diabetes, dietitians stay you should consume fruits with caution. When it comes to watermelons for diabetes, experts say, patients should keep an eye on the glycemic index of the fruit.
Hindustan Times, Delhi | By Kabir Bhandari
UPDATED ON JUN 25, 2018 04:48 PM IST
Watermelons for diabetes: Composed of 92% water and rich in a variety of nutrients such as vitamins A, B6 and C, dietitians say diabetes patients should keep an eye on the glycemic index of the fruit.(Shutterstock)

Watermelon is known to be the favourite fruit of many people, but if you are a diabetic, you are bound to ask whether it is safe for you. We don’t want our favourite fruit to end up increasing our blood sugar levels right?

The watermelon belongs to the gourd family, and has good nutritional value and is a great source of lycopene, which reduces your risk of cancer and heart disease.

So considering that it has a high glycemic index and is a source of carbohydrates, should it be avoided by diabetics?

“Watermelon is a fruit with high water and fibre content. However, people living with diabetes should consider in what proportion the fruit must be eaten. This is because watermelon has a glycemic index (GI) of 72 per 100 g serving. Those with diabetes should usually think twice before consuming any foods with a GI of 70 or more. Large quantities may cause blood sugar levels to rise considerably,” says Anshika Gupta, who is a diabetes educator on the app BeatO, and is based out of Delhi.

Watermelons have decent quantities of potassium and are very low in sodium. (Shutterstock)

So how much watermelon is good for those with diabetes?

“As watermelon is 70-80% water, it’s glycemic load is low (2 per 100gm). People with diabetes can consume 150-200 gm watermelon at one time. It will give you around 15 gm of carbohydrate,” explains Gupta.

For the rest, it is important that they understand the various benefits that watermelon has to offer.

“Watermelons are composed of 92% water and are rich in a variety of nutrients such as vitamins A, B6 and C, lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. It also has decent quantities of potassium and is very low in sodium. Antioxidants help prevent any damage to the body and amino acids are required as the basic building blocks for protein synthesis. Lycopene is beneficial for heart and bone health and helps prevents prostate cancer,” says Anuj Vats, a Delhi-based nutritionist at Shvas the Body Architecture.

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