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Cantaloupe & Triglycerides

By Bethany Lalonde

Triglycerides are a type of fat in your bloodstream. Too much triglyceride in your system can lead to clogged arteries and put you at a greater risk for cardiovascular disease and complications. Triglyceride levels rise when you consume too much alcohol, saturated and trans fats and sugar in your everyday diet. Because of this, you should limit the amount of refined white sugar you consume. Cantaloupe -- naturally sweet and also low in fructose, a simple sugar -- works well in a low-sugar diet that does not raise your triglyceride levels.

Fructose Facts

Fructose, a simple sugar that is found naturally in fruit, binds with glucose to create sucrose, which, after being refined, becomes white table sugar. While fructose is an unrefined, naturally occurring sugar, excess sugar consumption will still raise triglyceride levels. As well, Harvard Health Publications reports that an increased intake of fructose parallels a rise in diabetes and obesity, as well as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. While fructose, as part of whole fresh fruit and consumed as part of a balanced diet, may not be detrimental to your overall health, it is still best to limit your intake of processed fruit products, including jams and juices.

Cantaloupe Nutrition

A 1-cup serving of cubed cantaloupe contains 54 calories per serving. It also has no fat or cholesterol and 14 grams of carbohydrate, 12 grams of which are sugar. Of that, 2,992 milligrams of the sugar content are fructose. Cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A, reaching 108 percent of your daily requirement per serving, and is also rich in vitamin C, at 98 percent. A 1-cup serving also contains 6 percent of your dietary fiber requirements and 12 percent of your daily potassium needs. For a 2,000-calorie-per-day diet, the daily recommended consumption of fruit is 2 cups.

Fructose Consumption

The average fructose consumption by adults is 55 grams per day, and for adolescents, it is 73 grams per day. While these numbers are below the recommended amounts detailed by the American Heart Association, they are still significantly higher than before refined sugars and added sugar became a regular part of people's diets. The recommended amounts of fructose consumption are 50 grams per day if your blood triglyceride levels are above 200 milligrams per deciliter. If your triglyceride levels measure below 199 and above 150, limit your fructose intake to 100 grams.

Keep It Healthy

While it might be tempting, avoid adding extra sugar or sweeteners to your cantaloupe. Mixing it in with other fruits such as strawberries, watermelon or bananas will help provide extra nutrients while making an interesting fruit salad. Similarly, avoid canned cantaloupe as it is frequently laced in very sweet, heavy syrup. Fresh cantaloupe can be purchased precut at some grocery stores or as whole melons when in season. You can keep the whole melon in your fridge or cut it up and store it in a container for an easy pack-and-go breakfast or snack.

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