Many people wonder — is honey good for diabetes? Honey is a commonly used sweetening ingredient used for baking, in drinks, or as a topping. The good news for people who have diabetes is that the consumption of honey is safe. It just needs to be under the right conditions.
Diabetes requires people with the condition to monitor and manage how much sugar and carbs they put into their bodies. So they can still have sweets — in moderation. This includes honey. Not only is honey an OK thing to consume, but it also contains anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce the complications of diabetes.
What Is Diabetes?
If you are reading this, you surely already know quite a bit about diabetes. But if not, here’s a quick description of this condition. It is a disease that is characterized by having too high blood glucose (blood sugar levels). Those who have diabetes must monitor the number of carbohydrates they intake to keep their blood sugar levels under control.
People commonly believe that sugar is something that is off-limits for people with diabetes. But that is not necessarily always the case. Some forms of sugar such as honey are thought to be a substitute for other sugars. Let’s take a look at the risks and benefits of honey for both healthy people and those who are dealing with diabetes.
Honey’s Impact On Blood Sugar
Honey is a natural sugar and a carbohydrate. As such, it is going to have an impact on your blood sugar. However, honey has a lesser impact than table sugar does. Healthline reports on a study comparing the effects of both honey and table sugar on blood sugar levels.
In the study, researchers tested people with type 1 diabetes as well as people who do not have diabetes at all. The results show that in participants with diabetes, honey caused an initial increase in blood sugar 30 minutes after the consumption of honey. But their blood sugar levels late decreased and remained lower for two hours. These results indicate to researchers that honey may cause an increase in insulin. Insulin is an important hormone for controlling blood sugar. Despite these results, more studies and research need to be done on the subject.
Honey And Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are high, your body should release insulin to help glucose be used for energy. This process lowers those levels. For people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, this process doesn’t work as it should. Studies have shown that when you eat honey, there was less of an effect than sucrose and that honey stimulates a better insulin response than other sugars do.
Honey Prevents Diabetes?
Not so fast my friend. Honey may increase insulin levels. Honey may help people with diabetes control their blood sugar levels. And while these are both positive, there is no definitive evidence that indicates honey is a preventative factor for diabetes. But it is possible.
In a different study, researchers identified a potential connection between honey and a lower glycemic index. The study included 50 people with type 1 diabetes and 30 people without type 1 diabetes. Honey showed a lower glycemic effect on all of the participants of the study compared to sugar. In addition, it raised their levels of C-peptide, which is a substance that is released into the bloodstream when the body produces insulin. When your body has a normal level of C-peptide, that means it is making a sufficient amount of insulin.
What Are The Risks For People With Diabetes?
It is important to remember that honey is actually sweeter than sugar and honey consumption should happen in moderation. It is a good idea for people with diabetes to check with their doctor for medical advice before using honey as an added sweetener. And when you do eat honey, you only need a little bit to add that delicious flavor.
If you are diabetic, make sure that your condition is under control before you eat honey because of the effect it can have on blood sugar. This goes for all other sweeteners too. Once you are medically reviewed and approved to add honey to your diet, pure, organic, or raw honey are your best bets.
These are the varieties of honey that are best for people with diabetes because natural honey has no added sugar. And remember two more things. First, raw honey is not pasteurized. This means that it is not good for pregnant women or people with a compromised immune system. Secondly, processed honey from your grocery store likely also contains sugar or syrup. This added sweetener can and likely will affect your blood sugar. So make sure you research the products you buy to make sure that honey is the only ingredient and there are no added sugars.
Health Benefits Of Eating Honey
Honey is safe to add to an overall healthy diet. Plan to eat a diet that is rich in fiber. To do this, you’ll want to have foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods will help properly manage your blood sugar levels. It helps to view your meal as a whole. So, when you eat something with honey, balance that out by including some other nutritious snacks that are lower in carbohydrate content.
There are health benefits for diabetic patients for adding honey to their diet. One benefit is that honey can increase insulin levels and help control blood sugar. Swapping honey for sugar is also beneficial because honey is a good source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory characteristics. Antioxidants are important because they can improve the way your body metabolizes sugar. The anti-inflammatory properties may be able to reduce complications for people with diabetes. Inflammation leads to insulin resistance — when the body does not properly respond to insulin.
Raw honey is a popular natural sweetener. It can provide a positive impact on your glycemic index. (Glycemic index is a number between 0 and 100 that is assigned to food. Pure glucose has a value of 100. These numbers represent the rise in your blood glucose level two hours after eating that specific food.) Just make sure that it is added to your diet and food in moderation. Research is needed on your part. That should include your medical provider.
Now that we’ve answered the question of whether honey is good for people with diabetes — check out our shop and browse our selection and make your order. Or go here to contact us if you have any more questions. We’ve been in business for an entire century, so when it comes to honey — we’ve got you covered!