For all you bee lovers that have to watch your sugar levels, here is some advice on how honey affects diabetes.
Whilst honey is essentially sugar, diabetics can of course eat honey but like all ways, we suggest in moderation.
What is diabetes
Diabetes is a disease characterized by too high blood glucose, or blood sugar levels. A person’s glucose, or blood sugar, level refers to how much sugar is in their bloodstream.
Whilst people with diabetes should consume sweeteners as infrequently as possible because frequent blood sugar spikes can cause diabetes to progress more rapidly, diabetics do often substitute honey for sugar.
The difference between honey and sugar
Honey is composed primarily of water and the two sugars fructose and glucose, being between 30% to 35% glucose and about 40% fructose.
Whereas sugar, traditional white (table) sugar, or sucrose, is made up of 50% glucose and 50% fructose. White sugar contains 13 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, with no vitamins and minerals.
Because honey is a carbohydrate, it is expected that honey is going to impact blood sugar levels when consumed. Yet when compared to other sugars, the impact is less.
The impact of honey
There have been various studies that have shown that honey stimulates a greater insulin response than other sugars. Therefore, some people have speculated that honey is actually good for people with diabetes—and may even prevent diabetes.There are however definitely some nutritional benefits to having honey over sugar such as anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antibacterial qualities.
What we suggest
The best thing to do is to make sure that the honey you are eating does not contain any added sugars. You can avoid this by buying organic honey that is locally sourced and avoid supermarket honey as this usually contains added sugars.
We also suggest that if your diabetes is not well managed, it might be best to limit your consumption of honey.
Keep in mind the overall carbohydrate content of a meal when eating honey, as to not overdo it and cause hyperglycaemia (when your sugar levels go too high). Be sure to balance any meal or snack containing honey with other nutritious foods lower in carbohydrates.