Can Watermelon Actually Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels?

On a hot and sunny day, the attractiveness of something fresh, sweet, and perk up draws you to a vendor selling ice-cold watermelon slices. Watermelon’s unique sweetness and juiciness have placed it on the table in every part of the world during the summer months.

Tayyaba Hassan
May 18, 2024

Whether it is a backyard party or a day by the beach, its natural cooling effects and quenching powers make it an ideal drink for people craving relief from the summer heat. Thinking about it gives a mental cooling, but the question is raised: Is watermelon healthy? Can watermelon, with its natural sweetness, raise blood sugar levels? 

Are you thinking the same? In this article, we will look into the nutritional composition of watermelon, its glycemic index, its glycemic load, and its impact on individuals, particularly if you are dealing with diabetes.

Nutritional Composition of Watermelon

Besides its satisfying hydrating and thirst-quenching properties, watermelon is a nutritional phenomenon, providing a portfolio of essential elements contributing to overall health and well-being. Hydrating watermelon has 90% water and makes an ideal natural solution for staying cool during the raging heat of summer. However, the watermelon richness is wider than just hydration.

For its juicy interior, watermelon is rich in a broad spectrum of vital nutrients that benefit it. Vitamins A and C, known for their antioxidant qualities, are in high amounts. Vitamin A is essential for vision health, skin integrity, and immune function. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that strengthens the body’s defense against oxidative stress and catalyzes collagen formation.

Another vital member of the watermelon’s nutritional cast is potassium, which contributes to effective fluid balance, the regulation of electrolytes, and support for heart health. This electrolyte is especially important in the blistering heat when sweating increases, causing a disbalance of various constituents that may be balanced by sufficient potassium consumption.

Additionally, the fact that watermelon contains antioxidants, especially lycopene, is a mighty shield against free radicals. The red color in the fruit attributed to lycopene has also been associated with various health benefits such as anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular protecting effects.

Also Read: Is Watermelon Safe for Diabetics? Let's Find Out!

Understanding Glycemic Index and Glycemic Load

The Glycemic Index is a measurement of the response to a particular food in terms of blood glucose levels. It categorizes food on a scale of 0 to 100, with a higher value signifying a faster rise in blood sugar. Conversely, the Glycemic Load (GL) factors in the GI and the number of carbohydrates typically consumed in a serving of food better depict its effects on blood sugar.

What is the approximate glycemic index for watermelon?

The glycemic index of watermelon is 72 and is substantial. The GI may first appear to suggest a possible adverse effect of the GI value on blood sugar. Nevertheless, it is of special importance to consider the real intake of carbs in watermelon – where the Glycemic Load aspect comes into play.

Glycemic Load of Watermelon

Even though watermelon is a high GI product, it has a low GL of 2 for every 100-gram serving. The low GL is due to the high water content of this product, which reduces the sugar impact of its carbohydrates in the blood. Therefore, ingesting a usual amount of watermelon would be less likely to result in a spike in the blood sugar level, particularly compared to foods with large GL values.