How safe is honey for diabetics? Honey for diabetics: Does honey spike sugar levels? Doc answers


Sugar is seen as the biggest enemy of diabetics. For the same reason, they turn to alternatives like honey, jaggery to sweeten their tea or desserts. But are they really healthy? In this article, we try to find out if honey is a good addition to a diabetic’s diet.
Diabetes is a metabolic disorder. And one of the most important aspects of diabetes management is dietary restrictions and physical activity. Dr Priyamvada Tyagi, Consultant – Endocrinology, Max Hospital, Patparganj explains, “Our food predominantly comprises 3 major macronutrients- carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Carbohydrate restriction is one of the most important steps in dietary management of diabetes. Often people hear that switching to honey over white sugar is a good idea for people with diabetes. So let’s fact-check this claim.”

Is honey really healthy for diabetics?
Honey has more fructose than glucose in its composition as compared to white sugar which is equal parts both types of sugars. The carbohydrate content of honey is higher than white sugar for the same amount of 1 tablespoon. The advantage with honey is that it has a lower glycemic peak than white sugar and since you may use less amount to achieve the same level of sweetness your blood sugar will increase a little bit less. There is data to suggest that use in small amounts may improve cholesterol levels. Since it is rich in antioxidants, it may be of help in people with diabetes. However further extensive research is needed before doctors can make this recommendation to switch to honey over white sugar. So consumption in small amounts with careful monitoring of blood sugar levels is the key, shares Dr Priyamvada.

In short, it is important for people to monitor what they eat and how much they eat. Until we have a conclusive report on honey, it’s best to limit it to small quantities.

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