Is Watermelon Good for You?
Maybe you read somewhere that watermelon is loaded with sugar, and since sugar is bad, you should eat less watermelon. Or maybe you assume that because watermelon tastes so sweet and delicious, there's no way that watermelon is healthy. With so many different health myths and misconceptions floating around about this beloved summertime fruit, it's really no wonder that you might be confused about watermelon nutrition. If you've ever wondered if watermelon is good for you or not, I'm here to reassure you that watermelon really isn't bad for your health. After all, it's a fruit. But if you're still not convinced, let's get into the facts, starting with the elephant in the room: the sugar content of watermelon.
Sorry to disappoint the watermelon truthers out there, but watermelon has a relatively low sugar content. A cup of diced watermelon has only 9.42 grams of sugar, according to data from the US Department of Agriculture. A cup of raw grapes has nearly 2.5 times that, and no one thinks that grapes are unhealthy because they're sweet. The confusion about watermelon's sugar content comes because it ranks high on the glycemic index, meaning it can have an impact on your blood sugar levels. But that doesn't mean it's high in sugar or that it's bad for you (unless you need to be aware of your blood sugar levels).
Watermelon is also relatively low-calorie, with only 46 calories per cup. That's fewer calories than seven raw almonds or a single strawberry. Part of the reason watermelon is so low in calories is because it's mostly water. About 92 percent, according to the experts at the Watermelon Board, and that means it's great for hydration. But that high water content doesn't mean watermelon is lacking in nutrients. If anything, ounce for ounce, watermelon punches above its weight when it comes to health benefits. As Roni Caryn Rabin writes in the New York Times, watermelon is packed with nutrients, including vitamins A and C, B vitamins, and potassium. It also has more lycopene, a powerful antioxidant, than a tomato.
So stop worrying about watermelon nutrition and eat the damn fruit.