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Is Watermelon a Good Diet Food?

by
author image Jessica Bruso
Based in Massachusetts, Jessica Bruso has been writing since 2008. She holds a master of science degree in food policy and applied nutrition and a bachelor of arts degree in international relations, both from Tufts University.
Is Watermelon a Good Diet Food?
Fresh watermelon slices. Photo Credit Salima Senyavskaya/iStock/Getty Images

Good diet foods are those that help fill you up, but do not contain a lot of calories. Watermelon definitely fits this bill because not only is it satisfying with very few calories, but it also contains vitamins and minerals that can help keep you healthy. With over 50 types from which you can choose, watermelons are available throughout the year and make a great snack or dessert.

Watermelon Nutrition

A 1-cup serving of watermelon contains only 50 calories, along with 1 g of protein and 1 g of fiber. This fat-free food also provides you with 25 percent of your recommended vitamin C for the day, 10 percent of your vitamin A and vitamin B-6, 8 percent of your thiamine, 4 percent of your magnesium and 2 percent of your niacin and riboflavin. Watermelon is also a good source of potassium, the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acids arginine and citrulline.

Benefits for Dieters

Foods that are low in energy density are best for people who are trying to lose weight. Low-energy density foods tend to contain very little fat and a lot of fiber or water, and this describes watermelon perfectly since it is 92 percent water. The weight and volume of watermelon will fill you up on relatively few calories.

Use

Replace higher-calorie snacks or desserts with watermelon or fruit salad. Try snacking on watermelon, turning it into a refreshing beverage or making it into a fruit sorbet. You can also make watermelon salsa as a side for your main dish. Just don't add a lot of sugar to your watermelon, since this increases the energy density and the calories.

Considerations

Just because watermelon is a good diet food doesn't mean you should try to eat only watermelon. You need to consume a balanced diet, including protein, fat and carbohydrates. Just choose foods with lower energy density when possible, and try to fill up mainly on fruits and vegetables rather than high fat alternatives. Try filling half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, one-fourth of your plate with a lean protein and the other fourth of your plate with a grain or starch. Have a glass of milk to drink and a piece of watermelon or another fruit for dessert.

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