Is Honey Good for Diabetics? Your Questions Answered

Diabetics need to carefully watch their sugar intake, especially white sugar, to avoid blood glucose spikes. As a result, many of them are interested in exploring other sweetener alternatives, such as raw honey, to see if they are better for their health. Read on to learn about the link between sugar and diabetes and to discover whether or not honey is good for diabetics.

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The Link Between Diabetics and Sugar

Diabetes is a group of diseases that occurs when your body has elevated blood sugar levels (a.k.a. blood glucose). When you eat food, your body breaks it down into glucose and releases it into your bloodstream. In non-diabetics, those temporarily elevated glucose levels trigger their bodies to release insulin. The insulin allows your body’s cells to take the glucose and use it for energy.

spoon dripping honey into jar

However, in diabetics, this insulin response system does not work perfectly. Either their body does not make enough insulin, or their body’s cells stop responding to insulin as they should. In both cases, too much blood sugar stays in their bloodstream. This can lead to serious health problems over time, including vision loss and kidney disease.

Diabetes is a chronic condition, and diabetics must carefully watch their diet so they do not accidentally cause severe blood sugar spikes or dips. The more quickly a food can be converted into glucose, and the greater the amount of glucose it produces, the more of a blood sugar spike it will cause.

White sugar, also known as sucrose, is one of the ingredients diabetics are frequently warned to stay away from. Foods containing high amounts of sugar — such as desserts, chocolate and pastries — are converted into glucose very quickly, which can cause a sudden spike in blood sugar levels that their bodies may not be able to cope with due to the insulin issues. As a result, many diabetics look for alternatives to sugar, including honey.

Do not reach for the honey jar just yet, though. In the next section, we will explore whether or not honey is good for diabetics.

Honey vs. Sugar for Diabetics

Honey is a carbohydrate, so it will be broken down and converted into glucose in the body when eaten. However, the chemical structure of honey is different compared to that of white sugar. Honey contains about 30-35 percent glucose and about 40 percent fructose, as opposed to white sugar, which is 50 percent glucose and 50 percent fructose with no added vitamins or minerals. As a result, honey does not have quite the same effect on the body that white sugar does.

There have been some limited studies done on how honey affects blood sugar levels. One study indicated that honey may have a lower glycemic effect than glucose. Some other studies have found that honey may stimulate a greater insulin response than other types of sugar. More research is needed in this area to determine the exact link between honey, blood sugar and insulin.

pair of brightland honey jars

That being said, honey can be enjoyed in moderation by diabetics. Honey is sweeter than white sugar, so you can get the same taste with less product. It also contains beneficial vitamins and minerals that white sugar does not. (Learn more about “Is honey good for you?”) As a result, honey can be enjoyed in moderation by diabetics in conjunction with a healthy diet and a regular exercise routine.

Ready to add to your honey collection? Check out The Couplet honey set from Brightland, featuring two delicious raw honey flavors that will complement any dish or beverage. Whether you are drinking tea or creating the perfect cheeseboard, you will want these honeys on hand in your pantry.

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