Who doesn’t love a slice (or three) of watermelon on a hot summer’s day? Not only is this delectable melon refreshing and delicious, but it is also full of nutritional goodness. But is it a food that is appropriate for the ketogenic diet? In order to qualify for the keto diet, a fruit has to be more than healthy and delicious. It must also be a low carb fruit. Many fruits have a sugar content that is simply too high to be compatible with the keto diet. So how does the watermelon rate on the keto diet low carb fruits stakes?
Is it Keto?
In order to qualify as a keto diet friendly fruit, the grams of carbs that a fruit contains must be extremely low. When you are on the keto diet, your goal is to consume 20 – 50 grams or fewer of carb intake daily. Often people get tripped up by eating the odd fruit that they know is very healthy for them but that also, unknown to them, includes too many carbs. Pretty soon they are over the 50 grams daily limit.
The nutrients in 2/3 cup (100 grams) of raw watermelon are
- Calories: 30
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 0.6 grams
- Carbs: 7.6 grams
- Sugar: 6.2 grams
- Fiber: 0.4 grams
- Fat: 0.2 grams
This fruit is relatively low in calories.
7.6 grams per 100 gram serving is not outrageous, but it is still a little high for the keto diet. You really want to keep your grams of carbs down to around 3 per 100 grams, which is about what you get with blackberries. Avocados are also very low in carbs. As a point of comparison, there are around 20 grams of carbs in banana. Carbs in fruits are lower in berries than they are in melons, making them a better ketogenic diet choice.
The problem with eating watermelon on keto for many of us is, once we start we find it hard to stop. As a result, the carb count can quickly skyrocket. If you were to eat just a 300 gram serving of it then you would have met your entire keto diet daily carb intake for the day. So, if you really want to have this fruit while you are on the keto diet, just be sure that the serving you eat is not too much or else it will spike your insulin levels and kick you out of ketosis.
Here are 9 benefits of our favorite summer fruit:
Watermelon contains many free-radical fighting antioxidants. Two of the most important are Vitamin C and Lycopene. Free radicals are molecules that are missing an electron. This causes them to attempt to steal that electron from other molecules, causing all sorts of internal chaos. Antioxidants are able to counter the damaging effects of free radicals by providing them with the extra electron that they need. This neutralizes the free radical, rendering it harmless.
The consumption of watermelon precipitates the conversion of one amino acid, L-citrulline into another amino acid, L-arginine. This amino acid has been shown to help in regulating glucose metabolism and insulin sensitivity. That makes this fruit a potential diabetes fighter.
Watermelon makes a very effective post-workout recovery food. That is because it contains L-citrulline. This amino acid helps to increase the rate of lactic acid removal from your muscles. This helps you to recover from your workout faster. There is also a whole lot of water in this fruit, which helps in your post-workout recovery.
The heart health benefits of the watermelon is largely thanks to Lycopene. This compound is responsible for the reddish color of the flesh of the melon. There is, in fact, more lycopene in this fruit than there are in tomatoes. Lycopene has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels and, therefore, lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease.
The watermelon contains compounds that help to reduce the severity and frequency of asthma attacks. A main one is Vitamin C, with research showing that low levels of Vitamin C are linked to an increased incidence of asthma attacks. Higher levels of Vitamin C are correlated to a decreased frequency of asthma attacks.
The watermelon is a beneficial food for those who are looking to lose weight (apart from those who are going down the keto path to weight loss). It has a dessert-like texture in the mouth. It can also be sliced and served up just like a slice of cake. In addition, it contains a lot of water and fiber. Both of these are fantastic for fat loss.
The watermelon is a rich source of potassium. This mineral helps to regulate neural functioning. It does this by facilitating the passage of electrical impulses and messages. One cup of watermelon contains 170 mg of potassium.
Chronic inflammation can lead to a whole host of debilitating illnesses, including diabetes, heart disease and fibromyalgia. Two amino acids that are found in watermelon, l-arginine, and l-citrulline, are powerful anti-inflammatory fighters, making eating this delight a very refreshing way to fight inflammation.
The pH scale runs between 0 and 14, with every food we eat falling somewhere between those two extremes. Foods that are 7 or under on the scale are considered to be acidic with those over 7 being alkaline. The human body regulates itself at 7.4 on the pH scale. However, the vast majority of foods that we eat are acidic, which puts us out of balance. Watermelon is an alkaline food, which means that it helps to neutralize the acidic foods that we tend to over eat. In this way, it helps to maintain our ideal pH balance.
Watermelon is a delicious, nutritious fruit that contains lots of water, fiber and, unfortunately quite a few carbs. It is, therefore not one of the ideal fruits low in carbs that you can eat frequently on the keto diet. Better ketogenic diet fruits, which contain healthy fats and fewer carbs, include blackberries, avocados and raspberries. They will allow you to enjoy all of the health-giving benefits of fruits without compromising your ketogenic diet.