Watermelon is a delicious and refreshing summertime staple.
In addition to promoting hydration thanks to its high water content, it’s a good source of several nutrients, including vitamins C and A (1).
What’s more, watermelon contains several antioxidants, such as lycopene, which may be linked to improved heart health and a lower risk of certain cancers (2Trusted Source).
You may wonder whether watermelon can fit into the ketogenic, or keto diet, an eating pattern that involves limiting your carb intake and eating a high amount of healthy fats instead.
Given that the keto diet is highly restrictive and requires strict adherence to maximize results, many fruits are considered off-limits, causing some to find it somewhat challenging to follow.
This article determines whether watermelon can be enjoyed as part of a healthy keto diet.
Carb content of watermelon
Because most fruits are high in carbs, those following the ketogenic diet can only enjoy them in small amounts.
However, compared with other types of fruit, watermelon is relatively low in carbs.
In fact, 1 cup (152 grams) of diced watermelon contains about 11.5 grams of carbs and 0.5 grams of fiber, which means that it has about 11 grams of net carbs (1).
Net carbs is a term used to describe the number of carbs in a portion of food that is absorbed by the body. They’re calculated by subtracting the grams of fiber from the grams of total carbs.
Whether watermelon can fit into a ketogenic diet depends on what else you’re eating during the day.
On a 2,000-calorie diet, you may be restricting your carb intake to just 100 calories, or 25 grams, per day.
Therefore, a single serving of watermelon could take up nearly half of your daily carb allotment.
Though you can definitely fit watermelon into a keto diet, it may take careful planning and require you to reduce your portion sizes to keep your carb count in check.
Watermelon can fit into a ketogenic diet, but it may require careful planning and decreased portion sizes to stick within your daily carb allotment.
Other keto-friendly fruits
Restricting your carb intake doesn’t mean that you need to cut fruit out of your diet altogether.
In fact, several fruits can easily fit into a well-planned ketogenic diet.
For instance, avocados are low in carbs but high in heart-healthy fats and fiber, as well as a number of other important vitamins and minerals (2).
Lemons and limes are also much lower in carbs than other types of fruit (3, 4).
Plus, certain types of berries can be enjoyed in moderation.
For example, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries contain moderate carb contents but are high in fiber, making them lower in net carbs (5, 6, 7).
In addition to watermelon, several other types of low carb fruits can be enjoyed in moderation on a ketogenic diet.
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The bottom line
The ketogenic diet requires you to significantly cut back on carbs, which often means eliminating higher carb foods like fruit from your diet.
Fortunately, compared with other fruits, watermelon is relatively low in carbs and can be enjoyed as part of a ketogenic diet.
However, it may require careful planning, and you may need to decrease your portion sizes to help fit it in.
It’s recommended to work with a registered dietitian to ensure that your intake of important nutrients, such as fiber, are fulfilled daily, as well as to help incorporate the right amount and types of carbs on a keto diet.