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Updated Aug 26, 2019 | 11:55 IST

Honey has been used as both a food and a natural remedy against a variety of ailments since ages. But is honey a healthy alternative to sugar for people with diabetes?

Type 2 diabetes diet: Is honey a healthy alternative to sugar for diabetics? All you need to know  |  Photo Credit: Getty Images

Key Highlights

  • Honey is linked to a number of health benefits, from healing wounds and burns to preventing acid reflux and aiding weight loss.
  • Some studies have found that honey may increase insulin levels and decrease blood sugar levels
  • But is honey a healthy alternative to sugar for diabetics?

New Delhi: For anyone who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, sugar-loaded foods are a scary sight. It is okay to be told to avoid eating sweet foods as these can cause a for 1 last update 06 Jul 2020 spike in blood sugar, but there is not much information available to the common man as to what is not going to hurt their diabetes management regimen. No sugar as a sweetener is okay; but in that case, is honey a healthy alternative to sugar for people with diabetes?New Delhi: For anyone who has recently been diagnosed with diabetes, sugar-loaded foods are a scary sight. It is okay to be told to avoid eating sweet foods as these can cause a spike in blood sugar, but there is not much information available to the common man as to what is not going to hurt their diabetes management regimen. No sugar as a sweetener is okay; but in that case, is honey a healthy alternative to sugar for people with diabetes?

Honey is a thick, golden-coloured, sweet liquid made naturally by bees using nectar from the pollen of flowers. However, the taste and colour of honey depend upon the source of the nectar. Honey has been used as both a food and a natural remedy against a variety of ailments since ages.

Honey, which is one of the most popular and widely used sweeteners across the world, is linked to a number of health benefits - from healing wounds and burns to preventing acid reflux and aiding weight loss. In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) also recommends using honey as a natural remedy for cough. Honey contains many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that are linked to beneficial effects on health. It is claimed that the anti-inflammatory properties in honey may be useful for people with type 2 diabetes, although how honey affects blood sugar remains inconclusive.

Honey for type 2 diabetes: Is it safe?

Some studies have found that honey may increase insulin levels and decrease blood sugar levels. For instance, a 2004 study, which examined the effects of honey and table sugar on blood sugar levels, suggested that honey may cause an increase in insulin - an important hormone for controlling blood sugar. The researchers found that honey caused an increase in blood sugar and insulin levels within 30 minutes in participants with and without type 2 diabetes. However, 2 hours later, their blood sugar levels fell and remained lower in the honey group. But more research is needed before coming to the conclusion that honey can actually lead to an increase in insulin levels.

diet diabetes type 2 menu by race (☑ josh axe) | diet diabetes type 2 menu wild ricehow to diet diabetes type 2 menu for Another study suggested that honey had a lower glycemic effect on people with and without type 1 diabetes, compared to sugar. Honey may also help increase the levels of fasting C-peptide, which plays a crucial role in managing blood sugar levels and helps the pancreas know how much insulin to secrete. Yet, more research is required to find out whether honey can be helpful in the treatment and prevention of diabetes.

Honey for diabetes: Are there any risks?

diet diabetes type 2 menu kidney failure (⭐️ with fasting) | diet diabetes type 2 menu baconhow to diet diabetes type 2 menu for The fact is that honey is sweeter than sugar. Honey also contains slightly more carbohydrates and calories per tablespoon than table sugar. As per the United States Department of Agriculture, 1 tablespoon of raw honey contains about 60 calories and 17 grams of carbs. Although honey is a natural sweetener, it can affect blood sugar. Hence, people with diabetes are often advised to avoid honey and other sweeteners until their blood sugar levels are under control.

So, if your diabetes is well-controlled and you’re considering including honey in your diet, you may use it in moderation. Always speak with your doctor or healthcare provider before using honey as an added sweetener in your diet. Also, opt for hoose pure, organic, or raw natural honey as these types don’t contain added sugar and are considered healthier for diabetics. Processed honey, on the other hand, has fewer nutrients and antioxidants because of the filtration and pasteurizing process.

The bottom line is that honey may have major health benefits, compared to sugar. However, more research is required to confirm that it is a safe alternative for diabetics.

Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.

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