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Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Which is Healthier & 3 Key Differences

sliced cantaloupe melon path isolated

Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Which is Healthier & 3 Key Differences

Summer is a time for relaxation and fun; but for some, healthy eating is also key. What better way to enjoy a day in the sun than with some refreshing fruit, like muskmelon or cantaloupe? What's the difference between the two, to begin with?

Muskmelon and cantaloupe look extremely similar– in fact, you may be eating a cantaloupe when you think you're eating a muskmelon! Fortunately, both provide some essential nutrients that we all need in our diets. But how do you tell them apart, and what are the differences between them?

Read on to learn the top three differences between muskmelon and cantaloupe.

1. Cantaloupe is a type of muskmelon

Plate of Slices of Juicy Fresh Ripe Cantaloupe Melon on the Garden Table
A family enjoys cantaloupe at a picnic.


Cantaloupe is a type of muskmelon and is known for its orange flesh and very sweet taste. In other words, all cantaloupes are muskmelons, but not all muskmelons are cantaloupes.

According to Medicine Net, muskmelon belongs to the gourd family and may be referred to as honeydew, Santa Claus melon, Persian melon, and cantaloupe.

But while there are only two types of cantaloupe (Cucumis melo reticulatus and Cucumis melo cantalupensis) there are a number of different kinds of muskmelons.

2. One has a higher water content

Yellow melon or cantaloupe melon with seeds isolated on white background, US Muskmelon on white background With clipping path.
A muskmelon's exterior and interior.

©MERCURY studio/Shutterstock.com

According to Balcony Garden Web, most varieties of muskmelons have a higher water content than just cantaloupe. This is why cantaloupe is considered juicy and sweet.

But no matter how sweet, both are incredibly high in fiber and provide vitamins A and C. The latter is good for preventing disease and improving immune function. Vitamin A, meanwhile, often contributes to good vision and strong skin cell turnover.

Cantaloupe has more Vitamin A and C than honeydew. However, both muskmelons and cantaloupe are considered similar when it comes to nutrition, as both are extremely healthy.

3. Muskmelons have many different varieties

Ripe cantaloupe melon on white background
Image: MRS.Siwaporn, Shutterstock


Honeydew is one variety of muskmelon, while cantaloupe is another. So how do you know the difference at a grocery store? According to The Daily Meal, if you see a muskmelon in the store, it could be a different kind of melon than cantaloupe, but very similar. In fact, the outlet compared what is labeled muskmelon as a similar display to Honeycrisp apples– it's all about the most popular kind shown on display.

Another tip for those picking out melons and muskmelons is to make sure they are ripe but still firm. Also, avoid melons that have cracks or bruises in them.

Muskmelon vs. Cantaloupe: Final Thoughts

Infographic comparing muskmelon and cantaloupe.
All muskmelons are high in fiber and vitamins A and C.

So, now you know! A cantaloupe falls under the category of muskmelon. Next time you're at the grocery store deciding between the two, you may come in a bit more equipped. Deciding which muskmelon to choose comes down to personal preference. They are all high in fiber and vitamins A and C. If you are looking for a muskmelon with a very sweet taste, then cantaloupe is the one for you. Here are a few things to remember about muskmelons and cantaloupes:

  • There are many different varieties of muskmelons, and cantaloup is one of those varieties.
  • Muskmelons have a high water content and taste sweet.
  • Muskmelons are extremally healthy.

Try this delicious fruit salad recipe:

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Delicious fruit salad with yogurt on grey table

Creamy Fruit Salad with Cantaloupe

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  • Author: Moms Who Think


Units Scale
  • 1 cup strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup cantaloupe, chunked
  • 6 strawberries, whole
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped
  • 20 grapes, seedless green
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, chunks
  • 1/2 cup Mandarin orange sections
  • 1 1/2 cups whipped topping
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, shredded & toasted


1. In a 2-quart bowl combine fruits except whole berries; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 2 hours.

To serve:

2. Spoon two tablespoons of whipped topping into each of the six parfait or sundae glasses. Then, top each portion with 1/4 cup of the fruit mixture.

3. Top each portion of fruit with one tablespoon of whipped topping, then an equal amount of the remaining fruit mixture.

4. Spoon one tablespoon of whipped topping onto each portion of fruit, sprinkle with one teaspoon of coconut, and garnish with one berry.

5. Serve in parfait glasses; it makes for an eye-catching presentation.

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