Does watermelon have a lot of sugar?

Watermelon for diabetes


Sugar content of watermelon

Watermelons are fruits that have a low carbohydrate content. In fact, these fruits are so rich in water that, by dissolution, they have few calories, few vitamins and few minerals. What stands out most nutritionally from watermelons is its extremely high antioxidant content (lycopene and carotene). It is therefore an essentially hydrating and healthy food.

Despite its goodness, there are many myths about watermelon consumption:

  • Is it true that it has a lot of sugar?

  • Is it wrong to abuse it in case of diabetes?

  • How much watermelon can you eat in case of diabetes?

watermelon sugar

Does watermelon have a lot of sugar?

How much sugar does watermelon have?

Watermelon contains approximately 7 g of sugar per 100 g, an amount that may vary depending on the variety and the ripening time of the fruit.

To make a comparison, blueberries (which are one of the fruits with fewer carbohydrates) have 4g of sugar per 100g., And a large piece of apples or oranges (about 150-200g) have between 15 and 18gr of sugar.

Therefore, watermelons have a sugar content more similar to fruit with a low content of hydrates.

Can people with diabetes eat watermelon?

There are many myths about fruits and diabetes. Certainly, people with diabetes should control the amount of carbohydrate they eat, but that does not mean they can not eat watermelon.

Watermelon is a moisturizing and antioxidant food, very beneficial for people with diabetes. Its components help improve circulation, lower cholesterol, and prevent constipation.

Of course, watermelon is only healthy for diabetes if consumed in proper rations, without sweetening, without shaking or grinding (not juices or smoothies) and, obviously, when accompanied by a healthy diet for diabetes.

How much is a serving of watermelon?

An adequate portion of watermelon would be one or two pieces. A generous piece of watermelon has 10gr of sugar, as well as half a large apple. Instead, two pieces of watermelon would have as much sugar as a large orange, or a large apple.

How to avoid eating too much watermelon too much sugar?

It is okay for a person with diabetes to eat one or two cuts of this fruit. But sometimes, the summer heat is very tempting and makes you want to eat a little more.

If you eat more of this fruit, it is recommended to combine it with foods that lower your blood sugar, such as some natural yogurt (not sweetened), pure cocoa (more than 85% cocoa) or walnuts.

Fats increase gastric emptying time and will decrease watermelon’s glycemic index (the time your sugar is absorbed in the intestine). This advice also serves for all other fruits, when you have to consume in more quantity than normal. And always checking not to exceed in calories in case of people with obesity.

Does watermelon have a lot of sugar?

Weight of watermelon and its sugar content. For diabetes you should not exceed two pieces of watermelon.

How much watermelon can you eat?

The amount of watermelon that can be eaten normally corresponds to 1 or 2 pieces. Approximately, as seen in the picture, they measure about 17 cm by 7 cm in height and 2 cm in thickness on the part of the skin.

However, people with diabetes should consider the rest of the diet when it comes to counting the carbohydrates in food. For example, if you have eaten bread, flour or other food with carbohydrates that are easy to absorb, wait a little longer before eating watermelon.

It is not recommended to combine watermelon with foods that contain rapidly absorbed carbohydrates, such as cookies, flour, bread, smoothies, yogurts, jams, honey, or any product with sugars or flours.

Benefits of watermelon for diabetes

Many people believe that people with diabetes should not eat watermelon. However, that is not exactly true. Although it is true that in the diet for diabetes we must moderate the consumption of sugars, watermelon is a fruit with little sugar and diabetics tolerate it well, provided it is consumed whole, without added sugar, and in moderate amounts.

Summarizing the benefits of watermelon for diabetes, we have to:

  • It moisturizes a lot

  • It is a fruit with little sugar, in a normal ration

  • It quenches appetite and prevents other harmful foods, such as snacks and products with fructose, flour or bad fats

  • It is low calories

  • It is rich in fiber and antioxidants

Contraindications of watermelon

Does watermelon have a high glycemic index?

Some people believe that watermelon is not a suitable food for diabetes because, since it contains sugars naturally, this food has a high glycemic index, but this argument is false.

The subject of the glycemic index is a concept that leads to much confusion. Certainly, watermelon is one of the fruits with the highest glycemic index (70), but, nevertheless, one of the fruits with the lowest glycemic load (3), which means that blood sugar levels do not rise much.



This is because the glycemic index (GI) is a test that only gives information about the rate at which 50 g of carbohydrates from a food are absorbed. That is, it tells us if the carbohydrates of a food assimilate fast or slow.

But the GI does not take into account the amount of carbohydrates that a food has per serving (the test is always done with 50 g of carbohydrates).

Therefore, what reliably measures the quality of a food for diabetics is the glycemic load, which includes the concept of glycemic index

This information may confuse our reader. The truth is that the load and the glycemic index are two very theoretical concepts that, for practical purposes, have little utility and serve rather to create confusion. Anyway, this information can be consulted in the official tables of the American Diabetes Association.

Finally our recommendation is to relativize these theoretical concepts and use common sense: eating watermelon, full of antioxidants and refreshing, it is moisturizing, nutritious and healthy.

And we add: it is a better choice than many ultraprocessed “products for diabetics”, loaded with flours, added sugars, sweeteners, additives and processed meats.

  • Watermelon, having a low glycemic load, is suitable for diabetes.

Other diabetes tips

People with diabetes should not worry too much about the consumption of whole fruits, such as watermelon. In fact, this fruit is very versatile and can serve us to replace other snacks that would be harmful to diabetes, such as this watermelon pizza.

Most worrying for diabetes, as well as for children and healthy people, is the worrisome increase in the consumption of junk food, which includes all types of ultraprocessed products: biscuits, pastries, snacks, jams, chocolate, etc. Many of them, products with high glycemic index and high glycemic load.

sandias propiedades

Properties of watermelons

* Related information: how do you know a watermelon is ripe?

punto rojo More information on watermelon

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

22 April, 2019

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