To find out if eating watermelon is acceptable for those who follow a ketogenic diet, let us first discuss the nutrition facts of this watermelon.
A 100-gram serving of watermelon can provide the following:
0.61 grams of protein
0.15 grams of healthy fats
8 grams of total carbohydrates
0.4 grams of dietary fiber
7 grams of net carbs
Looking at these values, we can say that watermelon has a moderate carb count.
This means that those who are on a ketogenic diet should monitor their carb intake whenever they consume watermelon.
Aside from these, watermelon is also rich in important nutrients. Some of these will be discussed in the next sections.
1) Vitamin C
According to a medically-reviewed study in the USA, per cup of diced watermelon contains 21% of vitamin C.
This vitamin is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and promotes healthy tissues, blood vessels, and bones.
Vitamin C is also known to effectively help in healing wounds.
2) Vitamin A
Watermelon also can provide around 17% of vitamin
A. Many of us know that this vitamin is essential for keeping the skin and eyes healthy.
In a medically-reviewed article from Pakistan, diced watermelon contains lycopene that can protect both the immune system and cardiovascular health of overweight and obese adults.
This compound can reduce the risk of certain health conditions such as heart disease and cancer.
According to a medically-reviewed article from Pakistan, aside from lycopene, watermelon contains beta-carotene, a compound that can support eye health.
Watermelon Glycemic Index
For those who are following a ketogenic diet, it is important to learn the glycemic index of this watermelon.
Staying on keto requires you to reduce your sugar intake, and since this watermelon is kind of sweet and sugary, knowing its GI may answer your question regarding its compatibility with the keto lifestyle.
The glycemic index identifies how fast a certain food can increase your blood sugar after 2 hours of consuming it. For this watermelon, its glycemic index ranges from 72-80.
This means that watermelon may increase blood sugar and cause insulin spikes.
Can I Eat Watermelon on a Keto Diet?
Knowing all these nutrition facts and values, let us move on to answering the question, can we consider this fruit keto-friendly?
First, we have to understand that a low-carbohydrate lifestyle is different from a ketogenic lifestyle. You can click here to learn more about the differences between these two.
When it comes to watermelons, there is no doubt that this is one of the best options you can consider, especially on a hot day. It can be paired with many keto recipes and keto snacks as well.
However, when we take a look at the carb count, one cup of watermelon can give around 11 grams of net carbs.
To understand more, these net carbs are almost half of the required daily carbs for a strict keto dieter. Additionally, with its high glycemic index, watermelon can kick you out of ketosis in no time.
Having said these, watermelon may not fit the keto diet. But, if you are just on a low-carbohydrate or dirty keto diet, you can still consume this fruit with careful planning.
You can reach out to a registered dietitian or healthcare professional for a better and safer keto diet meal plan.
Fruit Alternatives Compatible with a Ketogenic Diet
If watermelon may not be for keto dieters, considering other low-carb fruits that provide the same, and maybe, better benefits are also advised.
Some of the keto-friendly fruits you can try instead of watermelon include the following:
Avocados – Provide around 8.53 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Tomatoes – Provide around 3.89 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Blackberries – Provide around 9.61 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Strawberries – Provide around 7.68 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Peaches – Provide around 10 grams of carbs per 100-gram serving
Although many fruits are low in carbs, it is still essential to monitor your carb intake whenever you consume any of them. Monitoring your carb intake helps in maintaining ketosis.
One of the alternatives mentioned above is tomato.
You can read more about if this food is ketogenic-friendly here.
Some keto dieters also consider dragon fruit. ¼ cup of dragon fruit can give around nine grams of carbs.
Although dragon fruit is a healthy option as it contains amino acids, this one can easily kick you out of ketosis.
Thus, this should also be considered off-limits.
Risks of Ketogenic Diet
The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet type where dieters are required to only consume less than 50 grams of carbs per day.
Take note that a keto diet also comes with some risks. According to a medically-reviewed article from Australia, one of these risks include keto flu.
This condition is a group of symptoms that appear two to seven days after you start your keto lifestyle.
Some of the symptoms of keto flu include headaches, foggy brain, fatigue, irritability, nausea, sleep disturbances, and constipation.
Indeed, watermelon is nutritious and it can help you achieve a healthy diet. Like most fruits, watermelon can provide many health benefits.
Watermelon is also rich in vitamins, nutrients, and healthy fats.
This fruit can promote healthy digestion, boost immunity, and support cardiovascular health.
But, for keto dieters who want to achieve weight loss, eating watermelon may become off-limits. Fortunately, there are other fruits and keto diet pills that keto dieters can consider.
For better and more careful planning, ketogenic dieters can consider help from nutritionists, dietitians, or healthcare professionals to successfully achieve ketosis.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can I eat many watermelons for hydration?
Like most fruits, watermelon has high water content and this can be used to hydrate yourself. To learn more about other electrolyte replenishers, you can click here.
Can watermelon kick you out of ketosis?
Yes, eating too many watermelons can kick you out of ketosis. Thus, you should take watermelon in moderation.
What can I eat instead of watermelon?
Instead of watermelon, you can try avocados, tomatoes, and berries.
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