Carbs in Watermelon

Watermelon Carbs, Calories, Nutrients, Selection, and Storage

Plated wedges of summer farm fresh watermelon.
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Watermelons are moderately high in sugar, but small amounts can be part of a low-carb diet. It is best to measure carefully, however, as a wedge of watermelon could be equal to several servings.

Carbohydrate and Fiber Counts for Watermelon

  • ½ cup diced watermelon: 5.5 grams effective (net) carbohydrate, plus scant fiber and 23 calories
  • 1 wedge watermelon (1/16 average watermelon; about 10 oz): 22 grams effective (net) carbohydrate, plus 1 gram fiber and 86 calories

    Glycemic Index for Watermelon

    One study of watermelon showed that the fruit had an average glycemic index of 72.

    More Information about the Glycemic Index

    Glycemic Load of Watermelon

    • ½ cup of chopped watermelon: 1.5
    • 1 wedge watermelon (1/16 average watermelon; about 10 oz): 6

    More Information about the Glycemic Load

    Health Benefits of Watermelons

    Watermelon is a very good source of vitamin C and vitamin A. It is also an excellent source of lycopene, a phytonutrient which is turning out to be helpful in maintaining cardiovascular health, and possibly bone health.  Other phytonutrients in watermelon include flavonoids, carotenoids, and triterpenoids, which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. A fully ripe red watermelon contains higher levels of these nutrients than less-ripe pink watermelon.

    In recent years, more attention is being paid to the amino acid citrulline, which is thought to have benefits in terms of blood pressure, the cardiovascular system, and possibly erectile dysfunction.

    Citrulline is found in high concentrations in watermelon, although probably not high enough to be of medicinal value.

    Even the watermelon rind contains significant amounts of nutrients, including citrulline, and that part of the fruit has less sugar.  Too bad watermelon pickle is almost always made with lots of sugar!

    Watermelon Selection and Storage

    As always a fruit that is "heavy for its size" means a fresher juicier watermelon.  The outside should be firm and free of nicks or dents. Another thing to do as look for the so-called "ground spot" where the melon was resting on the ground and therefore didn't get light. In a melon that is fully ripe, this spot will be a creamy yellow color.

    An uncut watermelon can be stored at room temperature, but it is better if you can find a cooler place -- ideally between 50 and 60 degrees F. After cutting, it should be refrigerated.

    Low-Carb Recipe with Watermelon:

    More Information About Watermelon at Calorie Count Plus.

    More Carb Profiles:


    Leroux, MarcusFoster-Powell, Kaye, Holt, Susanna and Brand-Miller, Janette. "International table of glycemic index and glycemic load values: 2002." American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Vol. 76, No. 1, 5-56, (2002).

    USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.

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