Honey and Diabetes: Friends or Foes

by Garreth Myers

Unravel the Bitter Truth of Sugar: The sweetness of sugar has always been associated with love, beauty happiness and joy. Singers, play writers, literature scholars and philosophers have ascribed sugar and honey with qualities most desirable and virtuous. But sweet as sugar may be, its place in the world of nutrition is as ... the villain! While a little sugar may do no harm, too much sugar can really be your undoing.

Scientific research and studies show that sugar contains high amounts of calories and is the prime cause of obesity in people. Obesity further leads to problems like heart and kidney disease and also diabetes. Today sugar is found in almost everything that we consume – be it health drinks, formula milk, soft drinks, as also junk food. Health conditions like diabetes have therefore become very common. In the past few years there has been a lot of debate over the use of natural sugar products like honey and its benefits in treating different health conditions. While some would prefer the use of honey over processed sugar for diabetic patients, there are certain facts that you need to take in to account.

Honey – Can I Trust You? Diabetes refers to a condition where the blood sugar levels in the body rise dramatically. It is therefore essential that we lower blood sugar levels to keep diabetes in check. According to the American Diabetic Association, when it comes to sweetness and calories, honey is considered to be sweeter and contains more calories as compared to processed sugar. For this reason, most would not consider honey the top pick when it comes to diabetes. Honey is renowned for its nutritional value however, as honey is rich in vitamins and minerals and its rich anti oxidant properties. For this reason there are many natural health care enthusiasts who will recommend honey even for diabetics as a substitute to sugar.

Honey is also rich in glucose and fructose that are essential for the body and therefore qualifies as a healthy substitute for sugar. While the debate continues, Dr. David Baer, from the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center states, “Experimental evidence suggests that consumption of honey compared to other sweeteners may improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity.” Honey is indeed the sweetener of choice for diabetics.

It does pay to be cautious however, because honey may not offer the healthy solution it appears to. According to dietician Toby Smithson, RD, CDE, a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association there is a tendency to over consume honey on the premise that it is safe for diabetes and this may actually be what makes it all the more of a threat. The carbohydrate and caloric content in a tablespoon of honey is a lot higher than in granulated white or brown sugar.

What’s the Final Verdict? Remember that there is no absolute solution in such cases as each one’s condition will vary in comparison to the other. It is therefore important to look at various options when it comes to choosing sweeteners for diabetics.

Yogurt is a Healthy Option: When afflicted with diabetes it is essential that you pay careful attention to your carbohydrate and calorie intake. As compared to honey, the carbohydrate and calorie level is lower in yogurt. It thus helps to keep these levels in check while also providing the body with the essential nutrition.

Cherry up and Berry Diabetes:
According to the ADA, cherries and berries are rich in vitamins and anti oxidants and low in carbs and calories and therefore can be indulged in even if you do suffer from diabetes.

While honey may be nutritious when consumed in moderation and can offer a great deal of health benefits, its influence on your health will be determined solely by the manner of consumption.

Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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