Diabetes sufferers consume honey, is it safe for health?
Consuming honey for diabetics is gaining in popularity as a substitute for sugar, but this bee product contains natural sugars and carbohydrates. So, can diabetics consume honey? Find out more in the explanation below.
Can Diabetics Consume Honey?
Honey can be a substitute for sweeteners such as white sugar, cane sugar, and powdered sugar. However, people with diabetes should consume it in moderation.
Honey is a natural sugar that contains carbohydrates, so it’s only natural for honey to affect blood sugar in some way. Honey tastes sweeter than granulated sugar, so use it for food in small quantities.
Despite being a natural sweetener, honey has more carbohydrates and calories per teaspoon than regular sugar. In 1 tablespoon of raw honey has about 60 calories and 17 grams of carbohydrates.
In addition, honey also contains many vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and calcium. The content of antioxidants in it is believed to prevent and slow down cell damage.
If you prefer the taste of honey to sugar, be sure to count the carbohydrates in honey as part of your diabetes diet. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor first before consuming honey.
Also Read: 10 Benefits of Raw Honey (Raw Honey) for the Body
Research on Honey and Diabetes
Several studies have found that the benefits of honey for diabetes can increase insulin levels and lower blood sugar levels.
Here are some studies on honey for diabetics, including:
1. Likely to Cause Hypoglycemia
A 2004 study studied the effects of honey and sugar on blood glucose levels. As a result, researchers found that a solution containing 75 grams of honey increased blood sugar and insulin levels in people without type 2 diabetes within 30 minutes.
After 2 hours, blood sugar and insulin levels fell lower in the honey group than in the dextrose (simple sugar) group.
Researchers claim that honey can increase insulin levels. Although blood sugar levels increased in both groups, it fell further in the honey group.
2. Increased Diabetes Measures
A study linked the relationship between honey and blood sugar levels of diabetics. This research found that honey has the following effects:
- Lowering fasting serum glucose, which is measured after a person has fasted for at least 8 hours.
- Increases fasting C-peptide levels, which helps the pancreas know how much insulin is secreted and functions to keep blood sugar levels stable within a healthy range.
- Increases postprandial C-peptide levels.
3. Therapeutic Effects
A 2012 study involving 50 people with type 1 diabetes found that, compared to sucrose, honey was less likely to raise blood sugar levels.
The research team concluded that honey might function in treating pancreatic beta cells to produce insulin.
While research in 2018 revealed that the hypoglycemic effect of honey might make it trusted to treat type 2 diabetes. Even so, this claim still requires further research.
4. Antimicrobial and Anti-inflammatory properties
A study revealed that giving honey to people with type 2 diabetes helped lower blood sugar levels, reduced the risk of complications associated with diabetes and metabolic disease, and helped treat wounds.
Also Read: 16 Characteristics of Genuine Honey and How to Distinguish Them!
Can Honey Prevent Diabetes?
Although honey can increase insulin levels, there are no conclusive studies supporting honey as a diabetes prevention factor.
In a study of 50 people with type 1 diabetes and 30 people without type 1 diabetes, the researchers found that compared to sugar, honey had a lower glycemic effect in all participants.
Honey can also increase levels of C-peptide, a substance that is released into the bloodstream when the body produces insulin. Normal C-peptide levels indicate the body is making enough insulin. However, these claims still require more research to determine whether honey is safe for diabetics or prevents the disease.
How to Choose the Right Honey
Although diabetics may consume limited amounts of honey, it is important to pay attention to the quality of the honey.
Make sure to choose raw and pure honey. Research reveals that consuming raw honey results in a reduction in blood sugar of up to 60-100 mg/dl.
Currently there are many brands and types of honey on the market. So, what types of honey are good for diabetics?
Some of the most popular brands are manuka, buckwheat, neem, and acacia honey.
In addition, black honey is also good for diabetics because it has a low glucose content and high alkaloids. Alkaloids can help lower blood sugar levels.
Basically, all types of honey are beneficial to the body in various ways. Of all types, neem honey, with its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, is usually recommended for people with diabetes.
- Barham, Lana. 2020. Can people with type 2 diabetes eat honey?. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/317662. (Accessed April 7, 2021)
- Choudhary, Tanya. 2017. How Does Honey Help Diabetes?. https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/honey-help-diabetics/. (Accessed April 7, 2021)
- Higuera, Valencia. 2019. Honey and Diabetes: Is It Safe?. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes/honey-and-diabetes. (Accessed April 7, 2021)
- Watson, Stephanie. 2020. Everything You Need to Know About Diabetes. https://www.healthline.com/health/diabetes. (Accessed April 7, 2021)
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