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.
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.
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
A (169 µg), B6 (0.07 mg), C (36.7 mg).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, cantaloupe is considered a low glycemic fruit with a glycemic index of 65 or lower.
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.