Nothing beats a perfectly ripe watermelon on a hot summer day. It’s mouthwateringly sweet and fun to eat, making it a favorite snack among kids and adults alike.
However, if you’re on the keto diet, then you know that most fruit is off-limits because it contains too much sugar and too many net carbs.
In this article, we’ll discuss the answer to the question everyone wants to know: can you eat watermelon on keto? And if so, how does it fit into a keto diet?
Watermelon Nutrition Facts
The following is a breakdown of the nutritional information in a 100 gram serving of raw watermelon (*):
- 30 calories
- 0.15 grams of fat
- 7.55 grams of carbs
- 7.15 grams of net carbs
- 0.4 grams of fiber
- 0.61 grams of protein
Watermelon is also a good source of several micronutrients, including calcium, vitamin C, various B vitamins, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, magnesium, and iron. It’s also an excellent source of water as it contains 92% water.
How Many Carbs In Watermelon?
Watermelon contains 7.55 grams of carbohydrates per 100 gram serving. It also contains 0.4 grams of fiber, bringing the net carbs down to 7.15 grams per 100 gram serving.
If you’re following a keto diet, then this is nearly one-third of the amount of carbs that you are allowed for the day to stay in ketosis.
If you’re monitoring your blood sugar levels, then keep in mind that it also has a high glycemic index rating of 80. However, a serving of watermelon only has a glycemic load of 5 (*).
Glycemic load refers to how quickly eating a certain food will elevate your blood sugar levels. Typically, foods with higher fiber content have a lower GI, but this is not always true.
In this case, eating watermelon may cause your blood sugar levels to rise quickly. However, keeping your portion sizes down can help work in your favor as the glycemic load is low.
Is Watermelon Keto-Friendly?
Despite being super healthy and full of toxin-flushing antioxidants and vitamins, watermelon does not contain as much fiber as other fruits (like berries). This – coupled with the higher sugar content – means that it has a higher net carb content than other fruits.
So, we’re sorry to inform you that you should avoid eating watermelon if you’re on a strict keto diet because it might kick you out of ketosis.
Remember – a 100 gram serving contains 7 grams of net carbs, which is almost one-third of your daily allowance of carbs. You need to stick to 20 grams of carbs or fewer (less than five percent of your daily calories) to stay in ketosis.
If you’re not a strict keto dieter or you follow an IIFYM (If It Fits Your Macros) diet, then you can enjoy a small serving of raw watermelon – perhaps in a fresh fruit bowl with berries. Be sure to count your macros if you’re trying to stay in ketosis.
Is Watermelon Healthy?
If you’re not on the keto diet, then watermelon is extremely healthy. It’s low in calories and has a high water content, which helps keep you hydrated and flushes toxins via the urinary tract.
Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making it a nutrient-dense food that can help fight nutrition deficiencies and support heart, immune, and brain health.
Specifically, it contains the antioxidants lycopene, ascorbic acid, and citrulline, which may help give this fruit its cancer-fighting and cardiovascular protective properties (*).
Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin A, which is needed for eye health. Vitamin A also acts as an antioxidant to fight inflammation and regulate the immune response.
It contains electrolyte minerals – calcium, magnesium, and potassium – to regulate blood pressure, hydration, and sodium content, and is much better for you than drinking Gatorade.
It can also help you lose weight. According to one study, watermelon consumption significantly decreased body mass index (BMI), body weight, systolic blood pressure, and waist-to-hip ratio (*).
However, keep in mind that the keto diet offers many of these same benefits. So, even though watermelon is super healthy, it’s ideal to stay in ketosis and avoid eating it if weight loss and blood sugar control are among your health goals.
No, watermelon is not a keto-friendly food if you are on a strict keto diet. A 100-gram serving contains 7 grams of net carbs, making watermelon a higher carb food that should be avoided.
However, if you are doing an IIFYM or low-carb diet, then you can eat a small amount of it along with other low-carb fruits. Just be sure to keep your portions down.
This can be hard to do as watermelon is very sweet and easy to eat a lot of. We recommend avoiding watermelon altogether if you are trying to keep your carbs down.
*image by nuclear_lily/depositphotos