Is Watermelon Good for Diabetes? Nutrients, Benefits and Recipes

Reviewed By Dietitian: Dt. SEEMA GOEL (Senior Dietitian, 25 Years of Experience) April 29, 2024

Let’s talk about watermelon, shall we? It’s the ultimate summer fruit-cool, refreshing, and crazy delicious. But if you’ve got diabetes, you might be wondering if it’s safe to chow down on all that juicy goodness. Well, we’ve got good news for you! Watermelon for diabetes patients can be absolutely part of their diabetes-friendly diets. However, with conditions.

In this blog, we’ll break down all the watermelon diabetes relationship, benefits of watermelon for diabetics, give you some diet tips, and share creative ways to add this summer star to your diet.

What is watermelon?

Let’s talk about watermelon, folks! This refreshing, juicy fruit belongs to the cucumber and pumpkin family—who knew, right? We’re looking at a fruit with some serious history, too. Watermelons have been around for over 5,000 years, originating in the Kalahari Desert of Africa.

These massive green fruits, with their pink-red flesh and black seeds, are beloved worldwide. They have a crazy high water content and a sweet, thirst-quenching flavor.

For us in India and all parts of the Northern Hemisphere, watermelon season is May through September—the prime summer months. They thrive in hot, sunny climates and are grown commercially all over the world.

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Nutritional Value of Watermelon

Watermelon has more than 90% water content, but 10% of its water content is essential nutrients that may benefit diabetes patients. As per the latest nutritional info provided by the United States Department of Agriculture(USDA), the following are the nutritional values of watermelon:

Nutrients per 100 grams Amount
Calories 30 kcal
Protein 0.6 g
Fat 0.1 g
Carbs 7.5 g
Fiber 0.4 g
Total Sugar 6.2 g
Calcium 7 mg
Magnesium 10 mg
Potassium 112 mg
Zinc 0.1 mg
Folate 3 ug
Vitamin C 8.1 mg

Watermelon Glycemic Index

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, the glycemic index of watermelon is around 80, which classifies it as a high-glycemic food. However, watermelon only has a glycemic load of 5, classifying it in the low GL category.

This means watermelon in moderate amounts will not at all cause any blood sugar spikes due to its low carb and high water content. Unless you consume watermelon in hefty amounts, like whole fruit or so, it’s completely safe for diabetes patients.

Read More: Can Diabetics Eat Oranges?

Watermelon and Diabetes

Now, it’s time to explore the watermelon and diabetes connection. So, let’s answer the question: Is watermelon good for diabetes patients? The answer is yes, definitely; watermelon is an excellent fruit to add to a diabetes diet. Firstly, watermelon has low calories, carbs and glycemic load, which means it won’t cause a sharp spike in your blood sugar levels upon consumption.

Secondly, as this fruit consists of 90% water, it hydrates your body, especially in summer when the chances of dehydration are high. Moreover, in an animal trial conducted by the National Institute of Health, watermelon effectively reduced the deaths of pancreatic cells, thus showcasing its anti-diabetic properties.

Another animal study conducted by the Springer Journal of Diabetes showed that watermelon juice extracts, when included in the diet, significantly lessened fasting blood sugar and serum lipid profiles. The diabetic rats also registered a drop in inflammation levels.

However, one thing to note is that watermelon has a high glycemic index of 80. Therefore, consuming watermelon in large quantities will bring an upsurge in your sugar levels. So, exercise absolute portion control while eating the fruit. On most days, having a cup full of watermelon for diabetes patients is good to go.

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Benefits of Watermelon for Diabetic Patients

Benefits of Watermelon for Diabetic Patients

Watermelon in diabetes patients brings a bunch of advantages. Here are the detailed benefits of watermelon for diabetes patients:

Low Glycemic Impact

Although Harvard Health School says watermelon has a high glycemic index of 80, it has a very low glycemic load of just 5. This means it won’t cause a rapid spike in blood sugar levels after consumption in small amounts.

Watermelon has low GL and carb content, making it digestible slowly. Slow digestion provides a steady glucose/energy supply without overwhelming your body’s ability to regulate insulin.

High Water and Fiber Content

According to the USDA, watermelon is over 90% water. This helps promote a feeling of fullness and adequately hydrating your body. It’s also a good source of fiber, with just one cup providing about 1 gram. Fiber slows the absorption of sugars, further helping to regulate blood sugar levels.

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Rich in Nutrients

Despite being low in calories, watermelon for diabetes patients is packed with vital vitamins and minerals. Watermelon is good for diabetes also because its an excellent vitamin C food source, providing over 20% of the daily recommended intake.

According to various Healthline published research, watermelon contains vitamins like A, B1, C, B5, and B6, as well as potassium, magnesium, and antioxidants like lycopene.

Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Watermelon in sugar patients can help them with insulin sensitivity. Some studies, like the one published by the NIH, suggest that nutrients in watermelon, such as vitamin C, may help improve the level of insulin sensitivity along with reduction in insulin resistance. All these are key factors in managing diabetes.

Hydrating Properties

The high water content in watermelon in diabetes patients can help them stay hydrated. This is important as increased urination is a common symptom.

Low Carb and Low Calorie

One cup of diced watermelon for sugar patients contains only around 2-3 grams of carbs and 12 calories as per USDA data. Thus making watermelon for diabetes patients, a diabetes-friendly fruit that can be enjoyed as part of their balanced diet.

To sum up, watermelon’s low GI, high water and fiber content, nutrient profile, potential insulin-sensitizing effects, and low carb/calorie count make it a great choice for diabetics when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy meal plan.

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Can a Diabetic eat Watermelon at Night?

No diabetic should avoid eating watermelon at night, according to the report of the Times of India. You can have around 1 cup or roughly 120 to 150 grams of the fruit on most days. However, try to consume the fruit during the day as its nutritional content may cause urination at night, disturbing your sleep.

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Some Watermelon Diabetes Friendly Recipes

Some Watermelon Diabetes Friendly Recipes

Here are some watermelon diabetes friendly recipes which you can try:

Watermelon Jaljeera

This refreshing drink is made by blending watermelon chunks with jaljeera powder (a tangy spice mix), mint leaves, cumin powder, and rock salt.

It’s hydrating and low in calories, and the spices help regulate blood sugar levels.

Watermelon Chaat

A tangy and savory snack, watermelon chaat involves tossing diced watermelon with roasted cumin powder, red chili powder, rock salt, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Some variations also include mint leaves and yogurt.

Watermelon Curry

Although it may sound unusual, watermelon curry is a delightful dish from South India.

Watermelon chunks are simmered in a gravy made with curry leaves, mustard seeds, coconut, and spices like coriander and cumin.

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Watermelon Raita

This raita of watermelon for diabetes patients is a great side dish to have in a meal. The yogurt-based accompaniment features grated watermelon mixed with whisked yogurt, roasted cumin powder, and mint leaves. It’s a perfect pairing for spicy Indian meals.

Watermelon Salad

A simple yet refreshing salad with watermelon cubes, diced onions, and tomatoes. You can add along a tangy dressing made with lime juice, and chaat masala.

Watermelon Jaljeera Popsicles

These homemade popsicles are made by freezing a mixture of watermelon juice, jaljeera powder, mint leaves, and rock salt. A low-calorie, diabetes-friendly way to beat the heat.

The key is to focus on portion control and pair watermelon with proteins, healthy fats, and fiber to balance the natural sugars and prevent blood sugar spikes.

Read More: Is Anjeer Good for Diabetes Patients?


In conclusion, watermelon for diabetes patients can be an excellent addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. Its low glycemic impact, high water and fiber content, and rich nutrients make it a smart choice for regulating blood sugar levels. From refreshing drinks to tantalizing salads, there are numerous ways to incorporate this juicy fruit while managing diabetes.

By understanding proper portion control and pairing watermelon with proteins and healthy fats, diabetics can safely enjoy the sweet, hydrating benefits of this summer favorite. Embrace watermelon as part of a balanced, nutritious meal plan.

Read More: Top Six Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water

FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is watermelon good for kidneys?

Yes, all melons, especially watermelon, are good for the kidneys as they have adequate water content. Thus having diuretic effects and regulating water flow in the body through urine.

Does watermelon have side effects for diabetes?

The only major side effect of watermelon is its high glycemic index of 80. Consuming watermelon in heavy amounts will spike your blood sugar therefore, exercise absolute portion control when consuming the fruit. You can have a maximum of up to 150 g of watermelon per day.

Which melon is best for diabetics?

Majorly all melons like muskmelon and watermelon are good for diabetes patients. These fruits hydrate your body and provide nutrients beneficial to diabetes patients, like vitamin C, antioxidants, magnesium, calcium, etc.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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