Is Honey Good for Diabetics?

 

Raw and pure honey is a source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes and sugars. In Ayurveda honey is named as madhu. It is the best medicine for alleviating kapha dosha. It also aids weight loss.

In Ayurveda, there are certain rules for consumption of honey in healthy way:

  • Honey should never be heated/cooked/baked.
  • It should not be taken if you are residing in hot climate or working in hot environment.
  • Honey and ghee should not be taken in equal quantity.
  • When the beverages are lukewarm you can add honey and consume.

Various clinical trials have been done for consumption of honey in diabetics and the results of this study demonstrate that 8-week consumption of honey can provide beneficial effects on body weight and blood lipids of diabetic patients, it also helped to increase serum levels of insulin. However, since an increase in the hemoglobin A(1C) levels was observed, cautious consumption of pure honey by diabetic patients is recommended.

The fructose in honey, and not entirely the glucose, is what makes honey sweet.  As fructose does not require insulin to access the cell, you can take up to 20 gm for instant energy.

Generally, there’s no advantage to substitute adulterated honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan.  Nowadays, honey which is available in the market are adulterated with sugar syrup or jaggery syrup. Both adulterated honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level. If you can get really pure honey and you prefer the taste of honey, you can use daily instead of refined sugar. But only in moderate quantity. As honey is sweeter than sugar you can use ½ tsp of honey instead of 1 tsp of sugar. Be sure to count the calories of fructose, which is a carbohydrate in honey as part of your diabetes eating plan.

But adulterated honey actually has slightly more carbohydrates and more calories per teaspoon than the granulated sugar, so any calories and carbohydrates you save will be less. Your blood sugar is affected by the carbohydrate content in your diet and not the source of carbohydrates.

Ayurvedic texts suggest that honey more than 1 year old can be taken by patients suffering from diabetes.1-2 teaspoons of honey can be taken daily along with amalaki churna or nisha amalaki churna or triphala churna.

Additional Reading:

Effect of Honey in Diabetes Mellitus

Effects of natural honey consumption in diabetic patients

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