Watermelon is a fruit commonly grown and found in tropical and subtropical regions like South Asia, South Africa, South America, and certain areas of Australia. It’s a large fruit weighing about an average of 39 pounds and characterized by its vines and smooth green skin and in some versions, a combination of lighter green stripes. Its flesh is bright red with watery consistency when consumed. But, is it healthy? How many carbs and sugar in watermelon?
It’s popularly referred to as a summer fruits because of its ability to quench thirst under hot summer days. This is because watermelons are mostly consisting of water which is about 92%. It’s perfect in cocktails, salads, juice drinks, or even eating it as it is. You can consume them in any way you want, it’s all good.
It’s very healthy and suitable for weight-conscious individuals because it contains low amounts of calories—it’s essentially water. Watermelons are found to contain at least 46 calories per serving and rich in nutrients such as dietary fibers, vitamin c, and vitamin a.
Is watermelon a fruit or a vegetable?
Watermelons are popularly considered as fruit but did you know that they belong to the cucumber family which includes gourds. This may be the case—most botanists still consider them as fruits mainly because of how it was developed. Watermelons are seed-bearing and developed from the ovary of the plant after it flowered. On the other hand, vegetables are those from certain parts of a plant. For example, carrots and spinach which are roots and leaves, respectively.
However, you may find that the people of Oklahoma see this differently. They even officially categorized watermelon as a vegetable in 2007. Oklahoma State University explained that there’s no clear distinction in classifying whether it’s fruit or vegetables. Thus, they categorized it depending on its group classification which is Cucurbitaceae.
The bottom line is it doesn’t matter how you’d classified watermelon because you’ll be getting the same nutrients and calories whether it’s a fruit or vegetable.
How many carbs and sugar in watermelon?
A serving of watermelon which is about 154 grams provides only 46 calories. The total carbohydrates per serving from watermelon are 12 grams that’s mostly from sugars. It includes 9.6 grams of sugars and 0.6 grams of dietary fibers which equals 11.4 of net carbohydrates.
Although watermelons are healthy and packed with nutrients, if you’re under a diet program, you may still need to consciously count your calories. Calories are still calories and eating over the daily recommended allowance (RDA) may lead to potential health issues.
One-piece or wedge of watermelon provides a total of 86 calories and about 22 grams of total carbohydrates. It includes 18 grams of sugar and 1.1 grams of fiber which equals a net carbohydrate of 21 grams.
Watermelon is abundant in natural sugars. Hence, an individual must refer to its nutritional values first especially if he’s suffering from diabetes.
GI or Glycemic Index measures how carbohydrates impact the increase and decrease of your blood sugar level. Foods are each given assigned values from 1 to 10. Measurement is classified into 3 groups—high, medium, and low.
- 0 to 54 GI is considered low.
- 55 to 69 GI is considered medium.
- 70 GI and beyond are high.
GL or Glycemic Load combines both the number of carbohydrates in foods and GI. Its purpose is to compare the impact of certain foods on blood sugar levels.
- 0 to 9 GL is low.
- 10 to 19 GL is considered medium.
- 20 GL and above is high.
In a 100 gram per serving, watermelon is determined to have a GL of 72 and GI of 2. No matter how healthy watermelon is, how you consume it may still affect your insulin and blood sugar levels. If you’re a diabetic and watermelons are part of your regular, then make sure to balance your meals and visit your doctor regularly to monitor your blood sugar levels.
The main types of sugars found in watermelons include:
- Fructose – this sugar is commonly found on fruits. It’s beneficial and important in certain functions of the body. However, studies are suggesting that excessive consumption of fructose may cause metabolic problems. Thus, be sure to eat healthily.
- Glucose – it’s the main energy fuel of the body. This type of sugar is usually converted from carbohydrates.
- Sucrose – it’s a common form of sugar found in almost every food we eat. Other terms used to describe sucrose are sugar, refined sugar, table sugar, or cane sugar.
Top 4 health benefits of watermelon
Rehydration and ability to satisfy your cravings
Watermelon is made up of 92% water which can help you rehydrate as soon as you become thirsty. Aside from its thirst-quenching ability, it also loaded with dietary fibers which can help you satisfy your cravings and make you feel full for longer periods.
Because of this ability, some health advocates that watermelon may be a good addition to your diet.
It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals
Aside from being low in calories, watermelon is also rich in nutrients such as vitamin c, vitamin a, vitamin b6, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and dietary fibers.
It also includes a type of antioxidants called carotenoids—lycopene and beta-carotene.
It may help prevent heart disease from occurring
It’s observed that watermelon can help improve the overall condition of the heart. Studies suggest that this is because of its lycopene content, which can help regulate blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It’s also shown that it may help in the prevention of oxidative damage caused by cholesterols.
A study conducted in Finland suggests that among their male and female participants, lycopene was shown that it may prevent the likelihood of clogging and stiffness in the arteries.
It also contains a type of amino acid called citrulline. It helps improves the production of nitric oxide which in turn prevents clogging in the artery walls.
It may aid digestion
As mentioned earlier, watermelon is mostly made up of water and rich in dietary fibers which means that it’s also good for digestion.
Dietary fibers, in particular, promote a cleaner and healthier digestive system, while water supports the detoxification process by maintaining efficient movements within the gastrointestinal tracts.