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June 23, 2023
April 23, 2024
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Cantaloupe, also known as muskmelon or rockmelon, is a summer fruit directly related to watermelon and honeydew melon and is in the same family as cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes, and gourds. 

As the most popular melon in the United States, cantaloupe can be used in fruit salads, smoothies, or topping on yogurt and ice cream. They can also be used in savory dishes like salads and salsas. 

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Glycemic Index Table

Cantaloupes have a medium glycemic index (GI) of 65.¹ This melon is often used as a substitute for watermelon, which has a high glycemic index rating. While the cantaloupe does have a medium glycemic index rating, the fruit is 90% water and contains little carbohydrates, allowing it to have an extremely low glycemic load of 4.

Glycemic Index

65

Serving Size

100g

Carbohydrate* per Serving (g)

8.69g

GL per Serving

4.00

Nutritional Facts

Cantaloupes are a hydrating fruit containing 90% water and packed with vitamins and nutrients. With zero fat and cholesterol, this melon contains significant Vitamins C, A, and potassium. 

The nutritional facts below are based on a 100g serving of raw cantaloupe.²

Calories

34 kcal

Carbs

8.16 g

Protein

0.84 g

Fiber

0.9 g

Cholesterol

0 mg

Vitamins

A (169 µg), B6 (0.07 mg), C (36.7 mg).

Sodium

16 mg

Total Fat

0.19 g

Is Cantaloupe Good for Weight Loss?

While cantaloupes are not the first foods that come to mind when brainstorming weight loss meal ideas, this fruit can be a helpful addition to your meal plan. Cantaloupes are fat-free, low in calories, high in water, and contain fiber, which helps you feel fuller for longer. High-fiber foods can also help control appetite and reduce cravings, supporting weight loss goals.

A study was also done with premenopausal, overweight women who were asked to increase their water intake to more than 1 liter per day for 12 months. They experienced significant weight loss with reduced fat mass and waist circumference. These results were associated with water consumption.⁷ Since cantaloupe is 90% water, this hydrating fruit could help increase water intake for those looking to lose weight.

Cantaloupe is also naturally sweet, making it a healthier dessert alternative when your sweet tooth arises. Choosing cantaloupe over highly processed foods can help satisfy cravings while allowing you to stay true to your wellness goals.

Is Cantaloupe Safe for People Living with Diabetes?

People living with diabetes can certainly eat cantaloupe in moderation.  Although cantaloupes have a low glycemic load, they have a medium glycemic index score. Overeating this fruit could cause a rise in blood sugar levels, so be mindful of portion size.  

People living with diabetes should aim to have balanced meals that include carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. By combining cantaloupe with a source of protein or healthy fats (i.e., nuts or Greek yogurt), people living with diabetes can slow down the absorption of sugar and decrease blood glucose spikes when eating this fruit.

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Allergies

Cantaloupe allergies are uncommon but often found in individuals allergic to ragweed pollen.

Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itchy mouth, lips, throat, lip swelling, sneezing, nausea, and a possible anaphylactic reaction. Speak to your healthcare provider if you believe you experience an allergic reaction to cantaloupe to determine possible next steps.

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FAQs

What is Glycemic Index?

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how quickly a carbohydrate-containing food raises blood sugar levels compared to a reference food, usually glucose. It ranks foods on a scale from 0 to 100, with higher values indicating a faster rise in blood sugar. The glycemic index (GI) scale is typically categorized as follows: Low GI [55 or less], Medium GI [56-69], High GI [70 or higher]. Foods with a high glycemic index digest rapidly and can cause dramatic fluctuations in blood glucose or glucose spikes.

What is Glycemic Load?

Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both the quality (glycemic index) and quantity (carbohydrate content) of carbohydrates in a specific serving of food. It is a measure of how much a particular food will raise blood sugar levels. GL is calculated by multiplying the glycemic index of a food by its carbohydrate content and dividing it by 100. It provides a more accurate representation of the overall impact of a food on blood sugar compared to the glycemic index alone.

Does Cantaloupe Spike Insulin?

No, cantaloupe does not spike insulin. Cantaloupe is a low glycemic index fruit, which means it does not cause a rapid increase in blood sugar levels and therefore does not require a significant release of insulin. In fact, cantaloupe is a good source of fiber and vitamins, making it a healthy addition to a balanced diet.

Is Cantaloupe Low Glycemic?

Yes, cantaloupe is considered a low glycemic fruit with a glycemic index of 65 or lower.

Can People Living with Diabetes Eat Cantaloupe?

Yes, people living with diabetes can eat cantaloupe in moderation as it is a low glycemic index fruit and contains essential nutrients like vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber. However, it is important to monitor blood sugar levels and consume cantaloupe as part of a balanced diet.

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References

  1. Brand-Miller, J., E. Pang, and L. Broomhead, The glycaemic index of foods containing sugars: comparison of foods with naturally-occurring v. added sugars. British Journal of Nutrition, 1995. 73(4): p. 613-23.
  2. USDA FoodData Central. (n.d.). Food Details - Melons, cantaloupe, raw. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746770/nutrients
  3. Perez V, Chang ET. Sodium-to-potassium ratio and blood pressure, hypertension, and related factors. Adv Nutr. 2014 Nov 14;5(6):712-41. doi: 10.3945/an.114.006783. PMID: 25398734; PMCID: PMC4224208.
  4. Musso, G., Saba, F., Cassader, M., & Gambino, R. (2020, November 12). Diabetic Ketoacidosis With SGLT2 Inhibitors. The BMJ. Retrieved April 3, 2023, from https://www.bmj.com/content/371/bmj.m4147.short
  5. Harvard Health Publishing. (2019, July 18). The importance of potassium. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-potassium
  6. Alam MA, Uddin R, Subhan N, Rahman MM, Jain P, Reza HM. Beneficial role of bitter melon supplementation in obesity and related complications in metabolic syndrome. J Lipids. 2015;2015:496169. doi: 10.1155/2015/496169. Epub 2015 Jan 12. PMID: 25650336; PMCID: PMC4306384.
  7. Stookey, J.D., Constant, F., Popkin, B.M. and Gardner, C.D. (2008), Drinking Water Is Associated With Weight Loss in Overweight Dieting Women Independent of Diet and Activity. Obesity, 16: 2481-2488. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2008.409

About the author

It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout.

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About the author

Brittany Barry is a national board-certified health coach and NASM-certified personal trainer based in South Carolina.

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Please note: The Signos team is committed to sharing insightful and actionable health articles that are backed by scientific research, supported by expert reviews, and vetted by experienced health editors. The Signos blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. If you have or suspect you have a medical problem, promptly contact your professional healthcare provider. Read more about our editorial process and content philosophy here.

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