Is Cantaloupe Good for Diabetics? – Overview
It is almost impossible to resist enjoying fresh cantaloupe on a hot summer day. Cantaloupe, also referred to as sweet melon, is a ribbed sweet flavored summer fruit.
A cantaloupe slice will put you in a good mood, hydrate you, nourish the body with the necessary vitamins and elements.
This tropical summer fruit mostly consists of water, along with numerous vitamins and crucial elements such as zinc, folate, magnesium, calcium, iron, etc.
Although the sugar content of this fruit is a subject of concern for those with diabetes. Is it ok to eat a cantaloupe with diabetes, let’s try to figure it out.
Ripe Melons in general have an extremely sweet juicy taste. Although surprisingly cantaloupe does not have much sugar in it, only 8 grams of sugar per 100 grams of fruit is considered low, especially if we compare it to similar fruits such as watermelon, which has 18 grams of watermelon and a glycemic index of 75.
So in case you are trying to choose a guilt-free snack, Between watermelon and cantaloupe, it’s always better to go with cantaloupe, as its sugar content is less worrisome.
Cantaloupe definitely has a GI on a higher side, just like watermelon. Cantaloupe has Glycemic index of 65, which is considered to cause blood sugar spikes after consuming it , on the other hand glycemic load of cantaloupe is quite low – 4. Glycemic load measures increase in blood glucose levels based on the amount of carbohydrate content of food in an average serving. Meaning that low carbohydrate content of cantaloupe makes it a safe product for diabetics and is less likely to cause quick spikes.
Cantaloupes are widely consumed in the summer days, just like watermelon. The reason behind it is hydration which is so important on hot days. It’s full of water, more precisely 90% of cantaloupes is water, which makes it a diet-friendly food and great way to stay hydrated in the summer heat.
Cantaloupe is loaded with different types of vitamins that can benefit people with diabetes. Most abundant vitamin in cantaloupe is provitamin A, also known as beta carotene. Which is known for its numerous health-benefits, one of them is for eye-health. And cantaloup is definitely a winner with 68% of vitamin A content.
Beta carotenes are lipid-soluble pigment antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables giving them a colorful look, after consumption they are converted into vitamin A, which is known to improve vision, slow-down eye aging. One of the most common long-term complications for diabetes mellitus is ophthalmological problems and progressive vision deterioration, because of retinopathy and macular degeneration. It’s a subject of concern for diabetics, besides receiving regular ophthalmology check-ups, consuming eye-protecting supplementation in the form of vitamins does a great job in improving and preventing eye related problems.
Fresh cantaloupe is a good source of Vitamin C – a powerful antioxidant, responsible for neutralization of toxic free radicals, strengthening immune defenses, collagen synthesis and so on. Strong immune system is especially important for diabetics, since they are more prone to infections and inflammation than those with no metabolic abnormalities.
By including cantaloupe in your meals, you receive a bunch of vitamin C, since it contains 36,7 of this antioxidant.
Maintaining stable weight is extremely important for diabetics, it’s even one of the main ways of management of prediabetes and diabetes type 2. First thing an endocrinologists mostly prescribe diabetics is : weight loss Cantaloupe is a very diet-friendly fruit, it contains just 35 calories per 100 grams. It is definitely impossible to gain weight by enjoying 200-300 grams a day.
According to nutritionix.com you will only need only 9 minutes of walking or 3 minutes of running to burn 100 grams of cantaloupe.
Another amazing thing about cantaloupe is that it contains no fat and is free of “bad” cholesterol. Since long-term uncontrolled diabetes mellitus raises risks of cardiovascular diseases and dyslipidemia, consuming fat-free products is crucial for diabetics.
Things to consider
Although people with diabetes should never forget about the moderation rule, too much of anything can be harmful so be cautious about the portion control and checking blood glucose regularly, despite being delicious and healthy fruit it still has quite high GIycemic index hence has potential to cause blood sugar spikes. Make sure to avoid cantaloupe consumption if your blood sugar levels are high or fluctuating. It’s advised to consume fresh raw cantaloupe instead of juice or dried form, you can also consider putting it into fruit salads or smoothies.
As we already mentioned, Cantaloupe has quite a lot of benefits for diabetics since it hydrates and when you have a sweet tooth it is a much better alternative than other added-sugar processed foods, you can enjoy cantaloupe without guilt and fear if your blood sugar levels are stable and under control. Including cantaloupe in your summer daily diet is recommended, as it can give you all the crucial vitamins, minerals, hydration and good mood.