Watermelon is considered a keto-friendly fruit until it is consumed in a limited amount. This fruit is relatively low in carbs and able to maintain daily carbs intake on a standard ketogenic diet. This delicious watery keto fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients.
Watermelon is also known as pepo. Some people call this red juicy fruit citron melon. It is a rich source of both macronutrients and micronutrients which aid in several health functions.
Is Watermelon Low Net Carb?
Watermelon is a moderately low carb fruit. A 100 gram serving of watermelon contains 7.55 grams of carbs and 0.4 grams of fiber.
After deduction of dietary fiber, the net carbs of watermelon downs to 7.1 grams. This is a moderately low net carb which helps to add watermelon to the keto fruit list.
How Many Watermelons Can You Eat on Keto?
One single watermelon weighs 4.5 kg which contains 341 grams of carbs. This huge amount of carbs can instantly kick you out of ketosis.
That’s why you should consume only a portion of watermelon on keto. As the keto diet limits, daily net carbs limit to 30 grams you should eat no more than 75 grams of watermelon.
This portion limits the 5 grams net carbs from side dishes on keto. You will get only 5.3 grams of net carbs from this serving size which is under the permissible range.
Will Watermelon Kick You Out of Ketosis?
No, a controlled intake of watermelon will help you to stay in ketosis. However, more than 100 grams of watermelon may be dangerous for your keto diet plan.
This high consumption will increase your net carbs intake and can easily kick you out of ketosis.
Is Watermelon Good for Keto Diet?
Limited consumption of watermelon is beneficial for the keto diet. It helps to maintain the ketosis level along with aiding in health benefits.
With 90 percent of the water component, watermelon helps to keep our body hydrated for a long time.
The nutrient rich profile of watermelon is absolutely great for the keto diet. Let’s check why watermelon is good for the keto diet.
Rich Source of Lycopene
Watermelon is a good source of lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid with bright red color which acts as an antioxidant.
This active antioxidant reduces the risk of cancer development by preventing metastasis of the tumor.
The lycopene component of watermelon also performs inhibition of DNA mutation, reduction of oxidative stress, and aids in the anti-proliferative effects against cancerous cells (1).
Packed With Vitamin A
The daily requirement(RDA) of vitamin A is 3000 IU for adult men and 2333 IU for adult women (2). On the other hand, a 100-gram slice of watermelon contains 569 IU of vitamin A.
This high vitamin A concentration is equal to 19 percent of adult men RDA and 24 percent of adult women RDA. Because of this high amount of vitamin A watermelon is able to provide several health benefits.
The major benefits acquired from vitamin A consumption are (3):
- Improvement of vision
- Aiding in cellular differentiation
- Promoting epithelial barrier function activity
- Boosting immunity
High in Potassium
- Lowering blood pressure
- Risk reduction of cardiovascular disease mortality
- Reduction of renal diseases
- Kidney stone prevention
- Controlling diabetes
Antidiabetic Property & Weight Reduction
The high nutrient profile of watermelon aids in diabetes risk reduction. The low GI profile of watermelon makes it one of the best fruits for diabetics.
Furthermore, regular the magnesium component of watermelon can aid in diabetes control. According to studies intake of magnesium is inversely associated with insulin resistance (5).
On the other hand, watermelon is well fitted in a carb restricted diet. Studies have shown that a low carb diet promotes weight loss, prevention of type 2 diabetes, and improvement of glycemic control function (6).
Vitamin C Benefits of Watermelon
- Free radical damage protection
- Innate and adaptive immunity boost
- Reduction of tissue damage
- Wrinkle reduction
- Protection from dark spots and sunburn
- Hydration of skin
- UV damage protection
- Skin healing
Excellent Source of Calcium
- Healing of skin wound
- Formation of the skin barrier
- Reduction of hypertension in pregnancy
- Strengthening of bone and fracture prevention in osteoporosis
Benefits Over Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Watermelon is a great source of vitamin C, E, beta-carotene, zinc, and copper. All of these are perfect for reducing the risk of AMD (age-related macular degeneration) (13).
High in Magnesium
Watermelon is high in magnesium. This dietary magnesium is able to provide protection against (14)
- High blood pressure
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Cardiovascular diseases(CVD)
- Insulin resistance
Potential Risks of Watermelon
Watermelon is a high source of sugar. Excess intake of sugars may not be beneficial for your health. According to studies a high intake of sugar promotes cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type 2 diabetes (15).
Moreover, a high density of fructose is present in watermelon. According to the above-mentioned study, high consumption of fructose cause the following adverse health problems.
- Promoting liver lipid accumulation
- Causing dyslipidemia
- Decreasing insulin sensitivity
- Increased uric acid levels
It’s because fiber increases stool bulk and softens it. In absence of adequate dietary fiber constipation can arise.
Watermelon Nutrient Profile
Watermelon contains several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The major nutrients of 100 gram serving of watermelon provide (16):
- Calories: 30
- Fat: 0.15 g
- Fiber: 0.4 g
- Carbs: 7.55 g
- Protein: 0.61 g
How to Store Watermelon
Normally uncut watermelons can last around 5-6 days at normal room temperature. However, it depends upon the ripe percentage of watermelon.
Fully ripped watermelon can remain fresh for 1-2 days. Storing watermelon in the refrigerator can increase the lifespan by another 2-3 days.
But cut pieces of the watermelon should always be stored in the freezer. To store the cut pieces wrap them with paper before placing them in the freezer.
How to Eat Watermelon
Watermelons are eaten raw. After removing the hard outer skin watermelons are consumed. Both pieces and juices of this delicious fruit are consumed widely.
Some famous watermelon dishes are
- Watermelon, avocado smoothie
- Low carb watermelon, almond mix
- Watermelon, strawberry, cherry fruit salad
What Other Keto Friendly Fruits Can Be Eaten
Although the majority of fruits are high in carbs, keto friendly fruits contain low to moderate amounts of carbs. Adequate intake of these ketogenic fruits will help you to stay in ketosis.
People who maintain the intake of keto fruits can easily observe the symptoms of ketosis like
Some other low carb fruits can be consumed instead of watermelon. These are:
- Avocado: Contains 1.8 g net carbs against per serving of 100 grams (17).
- Lemon: Contains 6.52 grams of net carbs against 100 gram serving (18).
- Star Fruit: Provides 3.9 grams of net carbs per serving of 100 grams (19).
- Peach: A 100 gram serving provides 8 grams of net carbs (20).
- Strawberries:5.7 grams of net carbs per serving of 100 grams (21).
- Blackberries: Contains 4.3 grams of net carbs against a serving size of 100 grams (22).
- Tomatoes: Green tomato contains 4 grams of net carbs against 100 grams of serving(23).
Keto fruits are low in carbs and watermelon is one among them. This low carb fruit is full of nutrients that provide several health benefits.
Although watermelon is a diabetic0friendly fruit it is a great source of sugar. That means, excess intake of this ketogenic fruit may cause type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
However, a controlled intake of watermelon is not risky for both keto and health issues.