Watermelon sugar. Is watermelon good for you?
There is sugar in watermelon that’s why it is sweet. Some watermelons have more sugar than others. That is why some are sweeter than others.
People eat the flesh of ripe watermelons or make watermelon juice using a fruit juicer like this very good one I found on Amazon. My 9-year-old son likes the healthy watermelon and vegetable smoothies I make daily using this blender.
Sucrose, fructose, and glucose are the main sugars found in watermelon.
Invertases, sucrose synthases, and sucrose phosphate are enzymes that determine the proportions of the three sugars in watermelon. Some types of watermelon have a high percentage of sucrose, while others have high levels of glucose and fructose.
On average, 100 grams of watermelon contain 6 grams of sugar. According to the National Health Services UK (NHS) an adult should not have more than 90 grams of sugar in a day.
However, watermelon has got so many health benefits including:
- Watermelon helps you hydrate’
- Watermelon contains nutrients and beneficial plant compounds, for example, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B1, B5, B6, lycopene, carotenoids, and cucurbitacin E.
- Watermelon may help prevent cancer,
- Watermelon may improve heart health,
- Watermelon may lower inflammation and oxidative stress,
- Watermelon may help prevent macular degeneration,
- Watermelon may help relieve muscle soreness,
- Watermelon is good for your skin and hair,
- Watermelon can improve digestion.
Sucrose is a type of sugar called a disaccharide because it is composed of two monosaccharides, glucose and fructose. Thus, one molecule of sucrose has glucose and fructose molecules in it. Sucrose is naturally produced in plants, for example, sugarcane and sugar beet.
People are now demonizing sucrose because recent studies on the relationship between sucrose consumption and tooth decay have proved that the amount and frequency of sucrose intake are directly proportional to the risk of plaque and tooth decay.
Streptococcus mutans bacteria convert sucrose into a sticky, extracellular dextan-based polysaccharide which allows the bacteria to stick to teeth and form plaque. Plaque is sticky substances on teeth which support bacterial growth and tooth decay.
Fructose is also known as fruit sugar. It is a common sugar in fruits. In addition to this, it is a simple monosaccharide sugar. Sometimes it binds to glucose to form sucrose.
Fructose, glucose, and galactose are the dietary sugars that are directly absorbed into blood during digestion. Before your body uses fructose, it needs to be converted into glucose by your liver.
Eating or drinking too much fructose can lead to the following problems:
- Fructose may increase VLDL cholesterol resulting in too much fat accumulation around your organs, for example, your liver and your heart, and this may lead to heart disease.
- Fructose increases the concentration of uric acid in your blood and this may lead to gout and high blood pressure.
- Fructose causes non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
- Fructose causes insulin resistance resulting in obesity and type 2 diabetes.
- Fructose may promote overeating.
- Fructose may cause leptin resistance.
There is also glucose in the watermelon. Glucose is a simple monosaccharide sugar. Sometimes it is bonded to fructose to form sucrose. Glucose is the source of your body’s energy. You get glucose from pasta, whole grain bread, legumes, fruits, plants, and vegetables. It is important to keep your blood glucose levels within the recommended limits to avoid insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Although watermelons contain glucose, fructose, and sucrose, the total sugar levels per 100 grams are low. If you eat moderate amounts of watermelon or drink moderate quantities of watermelon juices and smoothies, the health benefits you get from it outweigh the detrimental effects of the sugars in it. However, if you are suffering from diabetes, you should consult your doctor before eating watermelon or drinking watermelon juice or smoothies.
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