Can diabetics eat watermelon?

Watermelon is the “artifact to relieve the heat” in summer. Everyone loves to eat it, but for diabetics, whether or not to eat watermelon has become their concern. Next, let’s take a look at whether diabetic patients can eat watermelon.

Watermelon has a GI value of 72, which is a high GI food. We know that high GI food has always been a taboo for diabetics. Does that mean that diabetics must not eat watermelon? But in fact, it’s not. The GI value only reflects the “quality” of carbohydrates in food, but does not reflect the “amount” of actual carbohydrate intake. While referring to the GI value of the food, we also need to consider the GL value, because the GL ratio is higher than GI is a more comprehensive assessment of the ability of food to raise blood sugar [1]. The GL value of watermelon is 4.17, which is a low GL food, that is, if the intake of watermelon can be controlled, the effect of watermelon on blood sugar is not very large.

We know that 100 grams of watermelon has 5.8 grams of carbohydrates and a GI value of 72. If we want to eat a piece of 150 grams of watermelon, the carbohydrates of 150 grams of watermelon are 5.8*150/100 = 8.7, then the GL value of watermelon is 8.7*72/100=6.262, which is still a low GL, so it is not impossible for diabetics to eat watermelon.

But if you want to eat 1 catty of watermelon, then the carbohydrate of 1 catty of watermelon is 5.8*500/100=29, then the GL value of 1 catty of watermelon is 29*72/100=20.88 , at this time it belongs to high GL, so diabetic patients must control the amount of watermelon they eat.

It is not that diabetics cannot eat watermelon, but the amount of watermelon needs to be controlled, try to be controlled between 50~150 grams, so as to avoid excessive changes in blood sugar.

The author of this issue: Li Qinglan

Editor: Jiang Tingting


[1] Jin Mei. The significance of glycemic index and glycemic load to diabetic patients [A]. China Association of Integrative Medicine. Compilation of papers of the 5th National Conference on Integrative Medicine and Nutrition [C].China Association of Integrative Medicine:, 2014:4.

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