Benefits of Honey for Diabetics

Diabetes is an ailment in which the body cannot secrete insulin that balances the blood glucose levels. It can be hereditary or due to an external cause, such as a change in lifestyle. You can control diabetes by managing your diet and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. People with diabetes must be cautious of what they eat and the calories involved. People who have diabetes experience fluctuations in blood pressure and other heart conditions. Therefore, they must strictly avoid fried, oily, and high cholesterol diets. One should also avoid sugary foods that may increase blood sugar levels. Is honey good for diabetics?

What is honey?

Honey is a sweet nectar produced by honey bees. Honey comes from the nectar that is produced in flowers and then collected by the bees; bees store the nectar in their stomach and carry it to the beehive, where they make honey by repeated ingestion and regurgitation. In this process, the excess water is removed from the honey, following which the bees store it in the honeycombs as a source of energy during winter season. It contains vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients such as iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C.

Does honey affect blood sugar?

Honey contains natural sugar. People with diabetes should eat regulated amounts of honey since it may increase the sugar levels in the blood. Excess consumption of natural sugars can be unhealthy for people with diabetes. However, honey is better than refined sugar or other sweet products.

Can honey prevent diabetes?

Several studies are under research to establish the relationship between honey and diabetes prevention. Honey is better than sugar for people with type 1 diabetes. Moreover, it had a lower glycaemic index and increased levels of C-peptide in the blood. More research is required to determine whether people with diabetes can consume honey.

Risks involved

If you add honey to your diet, you need to know about the possible risks involved. Raw honey is unfiltered, directly extracted from the beehives, and cleaned for impurities. The processed honey undergoes a filtration process, and it is exposed to excess heat to destroy yeast and increase its shelf life. The honey that is processed contains preservatives. Raw honey can benefit health, while processed one can be unhealthy as it contains added sugar. One must opt for raw, organic, or pure honey and consume it in regulated amounts. Always check for the ingredients while buying honey from the stores, as the processed honey may contain sugar syrups. Pregnant women should not consume raw honey since it is not pasteurised.

Is jaggery good for diabetes?

As per studies, jaggery has a high glycemic index. It is generally not advisable for people with diabetes to consume jaggery as it has high sugar content and can spike blood sugar levels. 

Benefits of honey for diabetic people 

  • There are several benefits of consuming honey instead of sugar.
  • Honey is known to improve insulin levels in the blood, which is necessary to control blood sugar.
  • Honey is a source of antioxidants and is beneficial for health. 
  • It has anti-inflammatory properties that can remove any complications related to diabetes. 
  • One should eat a healthy diet rich in antioxidants as it helps to increase sugar metabolism. 
  • It is a natural sweetener, and it is good to have in your diet when consumed in a regulated amount.
  • Studies have suggested that honey may help in weight loss and has useful effects on body lipids in people with diabetes.
  • Honey has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties and is better than sugar. Consuming foods with high sugar content can result in excessive weight gain, obesity, fatty liver disease, and elevated triglycerides. However, as per research, honey has a lower glycaemic index than granulated sugar but has more calories. 

Conclusion

Honey increases insulin levels and helps in controlling blood sugar. Thus diabetic people can benefit from honey as it also has antioxidant and antiinflammatory properties. It is important to inculcate good and healthy habits such as a balanced diet, physical exercise and workout, and good sleep. Diet is crucial as it can help manage the diabetic ailment over the long run. It is important to monitor the calories, carbohydrates, fats, and sugars in people with diabetes to avoid the spike in blood glucose levels. Honey can be replaced with sugar in many foods due to its health benefits and low glycemic index; however, it should be eaten in moderation. Raw honey should be preferred over processed honey as processed honey has artificial sugars.

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