Which Is Healthier: Strawberry Or Watermelon
Find out which one should become your go-to summer snack
Theres nothing better than biting into a juicy piece of fruit while youre sitting on the beach on a hot summer day. We hate to play favorites, but the refreshing pickslike strawberries and watermelonalways find a spot in the cooler.
Thats because strawberries are so perfectly portable and sweet. As for watermelon? Youre might as well be glugging a glass of water, as a majority of the fruit is made of the stuff. But if you had to choose just one, which one should you snack on? Read on to find out.
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Lowers Cholesterol And Fights Inflammation
Although more studies are needed, signs point to watermelon as a good addition to a plant-based battle against inflammation and for heart health. Research has thus far established watermelon as one of many antioxidant-rich fruits that may help manage cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease.
Watermelon Benefits: How Might The Fruit Help Your Health
While the modern-day watermelon has evolved significantly from its original form, its hydrating properties havent changed. Watermelon contains about 92 percent water. The Egyptians are said to have placed watermelons in royal tombs to make sure the dead had a source of water, while Hippocrates the Greek father of medicine is said to have prescribed watermelon to treat heatstroke.
The diuretic effects of watermelon can help with excess sodium intake, as well as its potassium content. With 170 mg potassium per 1 cup serving, watermelon is just one of the key foods that can help you achieve a healthy potassium intake. The American Heart Association recommends a total of 4,700 mg potassium per day. Potassium is critical in helping to prevent high blood pressure by aiding the excretion of stored sodium in urine, and it also lessens blood vessel tension.
While noted for beta-carotene, watermelon also contains another carotenoid called lycopene. This naturally occurring chemical is red, and is only present in red-flesh watermelon varieties. Lycopene itself is known for its potential positive effects on high blood pressure, and it may also help ward off heart disease.
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Q: Can Watermelon Help You Lose Weight Is A Watermelon Diet Healthy
A: Eating watermelon may help you lose weight when you swap it for calorie-dense treats and processed foods. Still, watermelon itself doesnt make you shed unwanted pounds. Instead of trying out fad eating plans, such as watermelon diets, try incorporating more fruit like watermelon into a balanced diet that also includes other nutrient-dense foods such as fresh veggies and whole grains.
Choose Fruit With A Lower Glycemic Index
The American Diabetes Association recommends that you choose fruits that have a low glycemic index . The glycemic index is used as a reference to measure how much a carbohydrate-containing food raises your blood glucose. A high GI food will raise blood glucose more than a medium or low GI food.
Here is how certain fruits compare on the glycemic index:
- Low GI : Apples, pears, mango, blueberries, strawberries, kiwi, grapefruit, pears, nectarines, and oranges
- Moderate GI : Cherries, mango, papaya, and grapes
- High GI : Watermelon and pineapple
Most fruits have a low to moderate GI, except pineapple and watermelon. That doesn’t mean you can never eat pineapple or watermelon unless it causes a blood sugar spike.
It is also important to note that fructose levels tend to increase the more that fruit ripens, amplifying its impact on your blood sugar.
Even so, some nutritious foods have a higher GI than foods with little nutritional value. As such, don’t use a food’s GI as the sole determining factor as to which you should eat. A healthy diet should always be balanced to meet your daily nutritional needs.
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How To Store Watermelon Seeds
Watermelon seeds are a great snack for kids to take on the go. Plus, they are one of the easiest ways to preserve seeds. Youll need to wash the seeds and then dry them. Next, youll want to store them in a container that will allow for air circulation. You should also put a desiccant material in the container to remove moisture. Make sure the container you use can withstand heat. Youll also want to ensure that the container is labeled to indicate that its not a normal refrigerator or freezer container. After youve stored the seeds, youll want to plant them. To grow the seeds in the future, youll need to soak the seeds in a solution of warm water and fertilizer. After soaking, place the seeds on a paper towel and leave it in a sunny window.
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When it comes to weight loss, though, watermelon alone wont cut it. Its important to incorporate other fruits and vegetables into your diet over the long term to cut calories while also increasing your intake of important nutrients. Youll want to avoid fad diets that focus on watermelon as the sole food you eat these types of diets may make you lose weight temporarily, but youll only gain it back once you get back to your normal eating habits.
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Does Watermelon Raise Your Blood Sugar Levels
Watermelon is a refreshing, sweet, and hydrating fruit that makes for a great summertime treat.
This fruit has been part of the human diet for thousands of years. You may be surprised to know that the watermelon was even present in ancient hieroglyphics in Egypt and India!
Today, however, there are over 1,200 varieties of watermelon around the world, and the U.S. and Mexico grow around 200-300 of them.
The flesh of the watermelon can be pink or red, yellow, or even white and can be eaten fresh, in smoothies, or even made into fruit juice. True to its name, watermelons are 92 percent water, and are actually a type of berry.
So, what health benefits does this tasty fruit have, and how does it affect your glucose levels? Letâs find out.
How Diabetics Should Consume Cantaloupe Tips For Diabetics
Like I already said, cantaloupe is actually recommended for those with diabetes, and even foods that are recommended for diabetics usually have some tips or guidelines to following while consuming them.
Although that is still true, even for cantaloupe, its not a food that has very many tips when it comes to diabetics consuming it.
One tip that it does have though, is to get it into your diet by snacking on it, or maybe throwing it into a fruit salad, smoothie, or yogurt.
Remember, if you decide to add the fruit to something, make sure its not mixed with other fruits that raise blood sugar, as that can defeat the purpose that cantaloupes have for diabetics.
Fresh, local, and ripe cantaloupe is a lot better for those with diabetics, as its healthier in general and its more beneficial. Plus, cantaloupe thats not local may have travelled all the way from Central or South America, and it probably wont be as fresh since its travelled such a long way.
Those are the two big tips for diabetics consuming cantaloupe. Cantaloupe, due to all the benefits, is not likely to harm diabetics because of their diabetes. There are still, however, select situations in which diabetics should not consume cantaloupe.
There are not very many situations in which this is the case, but theres still some. So, thats what we will be going in-depth about, and discussing right now.
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Frozen Yogurt Is A Low
Complete myth. Frozen yogurt is always going to be a lower-fat choice, compared to ice cream, but its not a low-sugar option.
Here’s why: When the fat content is lowered in foods, more sugar is often added to balance the taste.
The only way to know for sure is to read the label, or go online for the information. The taste test is not reliable when it comes to frozen yogurt and sugar content. And often the toppings, added because we think it’s not as sweet, contribute further added sugars.
Low- and no-added sugar options are available for frozen yogurt, using low-calories sweeteners and always clearly labeled.
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.
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Benefits Of Watermelon For Men
Watermelon contains lycopene, a disease-fighting antioxidant. Did you know that 1 cup of watermelon contains almost THREE times the amount of lycopene of 1 small tomato?
- 1 small grapefruit 2.2mg
- 1 cup of 1-inch papaya 2.7 mg
A diet high in lycopene may slightly reduce the risk of prostate cancer and might also slightly reduce the risk of prostate cancer returning .
How Much Watermelon Should You Eat
Even though watermelon is high on the glycemic index scale, it doesnt have to result in a spike in your blood sugar. Stick to 1 cup or 1-2 wedges of watermelon at your meal or snack. By limiting the amount you eat at any one time, you can decrease watermelons impact on your blood sugar. And remember, as a source of carbohydrate, it is important to balance your intake of watermelon with your other carbohydrate sources at meals and snacks to ensure you dont eat too many overall carbs that can elevated blood sugar levels.
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How Does Watermelon Affect Blood Sugar
We know that watermelon has 9g of sugar and 11g of carbohydrate per cup, but what does that mean for your blood sugar? When we look at the relationship between watermelon and blood glucose levels we need to consider its glycemic index and glycemic load.
The glycemic index helps to rank food by how quickly it will cause a rise in blood sugar. This rise is then compared to the rise you would receive from a similar weight of plain glucose. The rankings range from 0 to 100 . Watermelon comes in relatively high, with a GI of 80.
Does this mean that watermelon will cause a huge spike in your blood sugar levels? Not necessarily. A big downfall to the GI is that it uses grams of carbohydrate in a food to find its ranking, not necessarily the amount of food in a typical portion. To make the GI work for the real world, Glycemic Load was created.
About 1 cup of watermelon, a typical portion, has a GL of 5 which is low on the GL scale. Why this discrepancy between GI and GL? It comes back to the abundance of water in watermelon! You would have to eat several cups of watermelon to cause a spike in blood glucose thats close to that of table sugar.
Tips For Selecting And Storing Watermelon: Check The Weight And Look At The Rind
Shopping for a watermelon can be challenging because you cant really see the inside of the fruit until you go home and cut it open. But as a rule of thumb, a watermelon should be heavy if one seems lighter than the rest, this could mean it has lost its water content and is spoiled. Depending on its size, a mini-watermelon may weigh as little as 2.5 pounds , while a larger variety can weigh 44 lb or more.
The rind offers other clues to a watermelons overall edibility. First, the watermelon shouldnt have any dents or bruises. No matter what its size, it should also be symmetrically shaped. A healthy watermelon will have a yellow spot on the bottom this is part of the normal ripening process from when the melon grew on the ground.
A whole, uncut watermelon should be left at room temperature until ready to use. Once cut, place any leftover chunks in an airtight container and store in the fridge.
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Is The Sugar In Fruit The Same As Added Sugar
Superficially, it could make sense if you were to look at certain fruits nutrition labels, they may boast over 20 grams of sugar.
But this sugar isnt the same as the kind thats used in candy bars and ice cream. Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition, and New York City-based celebrity dietitian and fitness expert, weighs in: Its key to look at added sugars differently than sugar in fruit.
In fruit, were getting so much more nutrition , she adds. Fruit also comes with free-radical-fighting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, water, and fiber. This total package is what makes eating fruit so good for you.
Uh Whats The Glycemic Index
To know how each food affects your blood sugar, its good to know where it ranks in terms of the glycemic index and glycemic load .
The GI scale ranks foods based on how quickly they raise blood sugar. Foods that dont cause blood sugar spikes rank 55 and under. Foods that quickly raise blood sugar are ranked 70 and higher.
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Other Benefits And Cancer Prevention
“Watermelons help with overall hydration, and that is a great thing,” said Lemond. “They say we can get 20-30 percent of our fluid needs through our diet alone, and foods like these certainly help.” Additionally, their juice is full of good electrolytes. This can even help prevent heat stroke.
The watermelon also contains fiber, which encourages a healthy digestive tract and helps keep you regular.
Vitamin A is also great for your skin, and just a cup of watermelon contains nearly one-quarter of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin A helps keep skin and hair moisturized, and it also encourages healthy growth of new collagen and elastin cells, according to the Cleveland Clinic . Vitamin C is also beneficial in this regard, as it promotes healthy collagen growth.
Like other fruits and vegetables, watermelons may be helpful in reducing the risk of cancer through their antioxidant properties. Lycopene in particular has been linked to reducing prostate cancer cell proliferation, according to the National Cancer Institute .
Watermelon-loving athletes are in luck: drinking watermelon juice before an intense workout helps reduce next-day muscle soreness and heart rate, according to a 2013 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry . This can be attributed to watermelon’s amino acids citrulline and arginine, which help improve circulation.
How To Have Watermelon When Youre Diabetic: Dos And Donts
So, we now know that diabetics can and should consume fruits like watermelon. Here are some dos and donts to help you do it right.
- Do have small consistent amounts through the day rather than one large portion of carbs and sugar at one go.
- Do ensure it is spaced a few hours after your last carb intake. This will minimize spikes in blood glucose levels.
- Dont give up on fruit. You can have up to two servings of fruit per day. One of these could be watermelon.
- Do count your carbs and plan your meals. Watermelon can be a nutritious fruit choice for diabetics, as long as you take the carbohydrates it contains into consideration when planning meals.
- Dont stick to watermelon alone. Instead, also consider grapefruit which has a GI of 25 and GL of 3 or pears which have a GI of 38 and GL of 4.12
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Sugary Foods Are Not Healthy
Foods with a high sugar content are not healthy, because sugar is highly processed and not as natural as other types of carbohydrates. Sugary foods include candies, cookies, pastries, soft drinks, cakes, brownies, ice cream, and juices. Some of these foods are full of artificial ingredients. These ingredients can be harmful to your health and can cause different types of health problems, like tooth decay and obesity. Watermelon is a sweet fruit, which contains a lot of sugar. In fact, it has twice the sugar content of a regular orange! And that sugar content is mostly fructose. When fructose enters your body, it turns into fat in your liver.
Do You Need To Remove Seeds From A Watermelon
Its perfectly safe to eat watermelon seeds, according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board. They dont cause any harm and wont cause anything to grow in your stomach. Some people prefer to spit the seeds out while eating, while others simply eat the flesh and seeds together without the hassle. If you dont want to deal with the seeds at all, look for seedless varieties.
Nutritionally speaking, the only difference between watermelons with seeds and watermelons without seeds lies in the way theyre produced. Seedless watermelons are created with different numbers of female and male flower chromosomes, which make the end product sterile. Therefore, the seedless watermelon, true to its name, cant produce any seeds. Contrary to popular belief, seedless watermelon is not genetically modified. Youll still gain the same nutritional benefits found inside the seedless watermelon flesh as you would with a regular seeded watermelon.
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