Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Is Watermelon Good For Us?

I hope everyone had a healthy and happy Memorial Day. The fruit salad I posted yesterday was a delicious combination of watermelon cut with a star shaped cookie cutter, sliced strawberries, and blueberries. Here is some additional information on watermelon I was unable to post yesterday...

The quintessential summer melon synonymous with bbq’s, picnics, and outdoor celebrations. Undoubtedly a favorite by many, and also avoided by some who believe watermelon is merely water and sugar. Is watermelon healthy to eat, or is it a fattening food we should be avoiding?

Just like tomatoes, watermelon is high in lycopene, a carotenoid pigment important for cardiovascular health. Lycopene is an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of cancer as well. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron.

92% of watermelon is water making it a low calorie food to enjoy. 1 cup of watermelon has only 40 calories.

What about Glycemic Index?

Glycmic index is a measure of the effect sugar in food has on your blood glucose levels. High glycemic foods raise blood sugar quickly and increase the secretion of insulin. Eating high glycemic foods often can lead to too much insulin in your blood and weight gain. Lower glycemic foods have a less drastic effect on blood glucose levels.

Watermelon has a glycemic index of 72 making it a high glycemic food, but this number does not take serving size into consideration. If we eat 1 cup of watermelon we are actually consuming a low glycemic food. 2 cups of watermelon make it a medium glycemic food. 3 cups or more place it in the high glycemic category. The goal isn’t to eliminate all high glycemic foods, but rather consume them in moderating. At only 120 calories in 3 cups, watermelon it still a good low calorie and filling option whether you follow glycemic index ratings or not.

Watermelon is a nutrient dense low calorie food high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Everything in moderation is key but watermelon along with many other fruits and vegetables can be part of a healthy well balanced diet for everyone.

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