Now you may wonder why I chose to write about watermelon, I mean who doesn't love watermelon! Well believe it or not,
I have had a lot of people tell me that they are not eating watermelon because they heard it is high in sugar.
Today I want to clear up this misconception.
When I was a kid, I LOVED watermelon, and that hasn't changed a bit! In the summer it is a staple around my house! Even my dogs love it!
The confusion about watermelon is related to the Glycemic Index. According to Merriam Webster:
"Definition of glycemic index : a measure of the rate at which ingested food causes the level of glucose in the blood to rise; also abbreviation GI."
The Glycemic Index Foundationexplains it as: "Your blood glucose levels rise and fall when you eat a meal containing carbohydrates. How high it rises and how long it stays high depends on the quality of the carbohydrates (the GI) as well as the quantity. Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates."
One issue with using GI alone it does not factor in a typical portion size and so there can be distortions.
The concept of Glycemic Load was introduced byHarvard researchersin 1997 in the attempt to balance the Glycemic Index by accounting for serving size.
Glycemic Load (or GL) combines both the quantity and quality of carbohydrates.
Glycemic load is the combination of Glycemic index and the actual quality of the carbohydrate content in a typical serving of food. It is argued that the GL gives a more accurate value of how a specific food can affect blood sugar levels.
Watermelon has a GI of 72 (moderate) but a GL of 4 (low).
This combination is unusual and may be contributing to the misconception that watermelon is not good for you.
Let's take a look at what this means:
Watermelon has a GI of 72, however a typical serving size has only 6 grams of carbohydrate.
Glycemic Load = GI x Carbohydrate (g) content per portion ÷ 100.
When we calculate to get the GL 72/100*5=3.6.
With such a low GL watermelon can be a healthy snack that will barely affect you blood sugar.
To provide a comparison, Blue Berries have a GL of 5, Apple 6, and pear 4.
When we eat fruit in it's natural form, as it came off the vine, then due to the fiber, the sugar is released more gradually, we feel full longer, end up eating less and burn more fat instead of storing.
It is important to consider the quality of the carbohydrate and where we get our calories.
Back to, eat food that is as close to it's original self as possible!
Now with all that science, let's look at why we should enjoy some delicious watermelon tonight!
Helps you hydrate! On warm summer days a nice juicy serving of watermelon can help rehydrate you. Watermelon is 92% water! This helps you feel full faster so you consume fewer calories.
Great for your skin due to Vitamins A and C and its ability to help you hydrate. One cup of watermelon has 17% of Vitamin A and 21% of Vitamin C.
Lycopene which is generously found in watermelon, may reduce risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and decrease risk of prostate cancer.
Choline aids our bodies in sleep, muscle movement, memory and learning.
Due to the electrolytes, and other plant compounds, watermelon juice can improve recovery time following exercise and can reduce muscle soreness.
Important note: If you are diabetic it is important for you to have moderate amounts of watermelon at one time. One and half Cups of watermelon can be exchanged for 15 Carbs. However, including small amounts of watermelon in your diet can also be beneficial to provide support for prevention of some of the complications of diabetes such as heart disease and high blood pressure.
A great way to include watermelon in your diet is by adding to salads!
Have trouble picking out a ripe watermelon?
Choose melons with a creamy yellow bottom and feel very heavy for its size.
Share you favorite way to eat watermelon in the comments below!
This fruit is a powerhouse of great nutrients and will refresh you on a hot summer day, so, enjoy your watermelon!
Health and Happiness,
1. “What about Glycemic Load?” Glycemic Index Foundation, 2017, www.gisymbol.com/what-about-glycemic-load/.
2. Ludwig, and David S. “Glycemic Load Comes of Age | The Journal of Nutrition | Oxford Academic.” OUP Academic, Oxford University Press, 1 Sept. 2003, academic.oup.com/jn/article/133/9/2695/4688125.
3. “Top 9 Health Benefits of Eating Watermelon.” Healthline, Healthline Media, www.healthline.com/nutrition/watermelon-health-
4. LD, Megan Ware RDN. “Watermelon: Health Benefits, Nutrition, and Risks.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 20 June 2017, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/266886.php.