Need an easy side dish for summer that won’t heat up the kitchen? How about one your kids will love? This salad features plump blueberries and juicy watermelon with bright hints of citrus and mint. If you can chop and zest a lemon, you can make this salad.
Disagreement reigns over whether or not watermelon is a “good” food for people with diabetes to enjoy. To understand the confusion, let’s review the difference between glycemic index and glycemic load.
Glycemic index (GI) is a measure of a food’s carbohydrate quality. GI ranks foods on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how quickly their carbohydrates are absorbed and metabolized in the body or, in other words, how much they impact blood glucose. Foods are considered to be “low GI” if their value is 55 or less.
Glycemic load (GL) takes into account both GI and portion size. Foods are considered to be “low GL” if their value is 10 or less.
Watermelon is low in calories: one cup has approximately 46 calories and 12g carbohydrates. Its GI is considered to be high at 72. However, watermelon’s GL is only 4, which is low. How can this be? Because the GI assumes a portion size equal to 50g of carbohydrates. In watermelon’s case, this would be a serving size of more than 4 cups! This demonstrates the problem of only considering GI when trying to determine whether a food is “good” or “bad” to eat.
I’m not giving up watermelon. How about you?
If you are curious about the GI and GL of more than 100 other foods, check out Harvard’s list.
- 1 pound watermelon, cut into small chunks (about half of a small melon)
- 1 cup blueberries
- Kosher salt
- zest from ½ lemon
- fresh mint, chopped (optional)
- Place watermelon and blueberries in a large bowl. Lightly sprinkle with salt. Mix gently enough that you won't nick the blueberries.
- Garnish with lemon zest and mint, if desired.