As doctors, we preach to our patients to “improve your diet, stay away from sweets, etc.” The most common question is “Well, what about watermelon and diabetes?” It’s true that watermelon contains its fair amount of sugar, but the beloved fruit is also a rich source of nutrients and fiber. The key is moderation if you choose to eat watermelon with diabetes.

Watermelon and Diabetes

Watermelon Nutrition

This tasty fruit surely has its fair share of nutrients. Specifically, the National Watermelon Board states that watermelon contains vitamins A, B6 and C, to help maintain vision, your immune systems, red blood cells and prevent early aging. Additionally, watermelon is a rich source of potassium, which is an essential electrolyte in preventing muscle cramps. Further, potassium aids in many cellular processes that are necessary to sustain life. Therefore, watermelon isn’t just a “candy…”

A Source of Citrulline

According to the US Department of Agriculture, watermelon is a rich source of citrulline, which is an amino acid that is converted into arginine in the body. Arginine is a primary amino acid that promotes healthy cell division, wound healing and can suprisingly help reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels. In a sense, moderate intake of watermelon may actually help to improve your diabetes.

How Much is OK?

How much is moderate? 1.25 cups per day according to MayoClinic.com. This amount equates to about 15 grams of carbohydrates, which is safe for diabetic consumption. Of course, avoid eating much more than that.

Always be sure to take your medications as recommended and discuss your diet with your doctor in order to optimally control diabetes. Remember, the complications associated with this disease can be devastating, including loss of sight, amputations, heart disease and kidney failure to name a few. Diabetes is a condition that can be controlled successfully in most cases. Keep your blood sugars in check!