Even if you have diabetes, you don’t need to say goodbye to your sweet tooth just yet! Honey is a great all-purpose kitchen staple that everyone enjoys.
It can be added to your morning coffee or tea or used as a natural sweetener in various baked goods. However, there is some debate regarding the use of honey as a sweetener for people with diabetes.
People with diabetes have abnormally high blood glucose levels, sometimes called high blood sugar. To manage their condition, people with diabetes need to monitor and adjust their carbohydrates, especially sugar, to check their blood sugar levels.
Although many people with diabetes are advised to avoid sugar, it is essential to note that there are different types of sugar, and people with diabetes may wonder if some, such as honey, are better than others.
Honey can be consumed in moderation and may even help reduce specific problems related to diabetes due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Rich in antioxidants, as well as possessing anti-microbial properties; honey in its rawest form is considered a superfood and can be used to treat various conditions including diabetes.
Research discovered that the combination of cinnamon and honey can help improve type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it provides a more consistent use of glucose by the body due to the antioxidant flavonoids in cinnamon.
These flavonoids act similarly to insulin by moving glucose from the blood to the cells that need it for energy. Unlike many sources of artificial sugar, cinnamon is a pure source of natural sugar that does not cause dramatic blood sugar fluctuations.
Cinnamon Honey – Ways to Use
While it can be difficult to find recipes that call for both honey and cinnamon, you don’t need to cook with them to reap the benefits. There are many easy ways to add honey and cinnamon to your diet. Some of them are described here.
A honey and cinnamon paste
If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to chewing gum, try making honey and cinnamon paste.
Simply mix the cinnamon powder and honey together until a thick paste forms. Not only will this help prevent bad breath and give you an energy boost, but it also offers many health benefits.
Honey and cinnamon tea
A great way to start the day! All you need is cinnamon powder and your favorite honey to start your day off right!
Honey and cinnamon recipes
If you want to try something new, why not combine honey and cinnamon? It’s simple and delicious! You can use honey in place of brown sugar in cinnamon rolls, apple pies, and other baked goods.
For a unique breakfast, try the honey banana toast. Or warm up with a cup of honey and cinnamon milk. You can even use the combination to spice up chicken dishes. With honey and cinnamon, the possibilities are endless!
Other Beneficial Ways To Use Honey For Diabetics
Here are some other ways to consume honey that are best for people with diabetes. These will not only satisfy your sweet needs, but will also help lower your blood sugar levels.
Turmeric, Honey, Basil and Neem
This combination may taste bitter, but its health benefits can help you control your blood sugar.
- Raw honey: 1 teaspoon
- Dried basil powder: 3 tablespoons
- Dried neem powder: 3 tablespoons
- Turmeric powder: 3 tablespoons
- In a bowl, mix the powders.
- Place the mixture in a glass jar and keep it cool and dry (you can store this mixture for up to a week)
- Take a tablespoon of this mixture in the morning, add a teaspoon of honey (for flavor), and consume it on an empty stomach.
- Repeat this method for a month to get the desired results.
Benefits of Eating Honey for Diabetes
Honey is well known for its many health benefits, especially when consumed in its pure, organic form. So, if you have diabetes and consume honey, you reap the following benefits.
Packed with Antioxidants
High-quality, unheated, minimally processed honey contains a variety of bioactive plant chemicals and antioxidants, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids. Darker varieties of honey have been shown to contain higher levels of antioxidants than lighter varieties.
Antioxidants help neutralize reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body, which can damage cells and contribute to conditions such as premature aging, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, according to a to study.
Powerhouse of phytonutrients
Phytonutrients are plant components that help protect the plant from injury. According to a to studythe phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its antioxidant qualities and its antibacterial and antifungal properties.
It helps prevent and treat stomach problems
People sometimes use honey to treat digestive difficulties, including diarrhea. However, honey may have potential as a treatment for the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which is the common cause of stomach ulcers.
It also contains helpful prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria that live in the intestines, which are essential for digestion and overall health.
Soothe a sore throat and cough
Honey is an ancient sore throat treatment that relieves pain and cough. When a cold bug strikes, mix it with hot tea with lemon. According to a research evaluation, honey may be preferable to conventional care for the treatment of upper respiratory tract infections.
It helps regulate blood pressure
High blood pressure and type 2 diabetes can significantly increase your risk of heart attack or stroke. Honey can help lower blood pressure. This is because antioxidants help lower blood pressure. Research also found that eating honey lowers blood pressure.
People with diabetes understand how difficult it is to live without sugar. Therefore, a little honey incorporated into their balanced diet could be beneficial. Compared to white sugar, honey has a lower glycemic effect. Therefore, its consumption in moderation can be beneficial for people with diabetes.
If your diabetes is not well managed, it may be best to limit your intake of honey and other added sugars. Nevertheless, before including honey in your diet, consult your health care provider.
If you’re unsure how to include them in your meals, you can always speak to a HealthifyMe nutritionist.
They will provide you with the best advice adapted to your needs. Additionally, the Pro Nutritionist and CGM can let you know if a particular food, like honey, can help you manage your blood sugar.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q. Is honey safe for diabetics?
A. Yes, honey is safe for people with diabetes. But, as with any sweetener, moderation is key. Honey has many health benefits, including antioxidants, which can lower a person’s glycemic index. As part of a balanced diet, you need to carefully monitor how much you eat.
Q. How much honey can a diabetic consume per day?
A. People with type 2 diabetes can safely consume 5-25 grams of honey daily. However, despite its potential health benefits, people with diabetes should treat honey like any other added sugar.
Q. Does honey raise blood sugar?
A. The glycemic index measures how quickly a carbohydrate raises blood sugar. For example, honey has a GI value of 58, which implies that it raises blood sugar quickly but not as quickly as sugar.
Q. Is honey low on the glycemic index?
A. Honey, as a natural sweetener, has a complex structure, but compared to sugar, it has a lower glycemic index of 58, which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar as quickly.
Q. Can diabetics have honey every day?
A. Yes, people with diabetes can consume honey daily. A daily intake of up to 2 tablespoons of honey has health benefits. Better wound healing, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties are possible.
Q. Does honey raise blood pressure?
A. No, honey can help lower blood pressure. This is due to antioxidants which help lower blood pressure.
Q. Which is healthier, sugar or honey?
A. Honey has a lower GI value than sugar, which means it doesn’t raise blood sugar as quickly. It is also sweeter than sugar. Therefore, you may need less of it, but it contains slightly more calories per teaspoon. So you usually strictly control serving sizes. It also contains more vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, such as calcium, potassium, vitamin C, zinc, phenolic acids and flavonoids, which sugar lacks.
The supporting reference
1. Shambaugh P, Worthington V, Herbert JH. Differential effects of honey, sucrose and fructose on blood sugar. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1990 Jul-Aug;13(6):322-5. PMID: 2394949.
2. Mamdouh Abdulrhman, Mohamed El Hefnawy, Rasha Ali, Iman Abdel Hamid, Ahmad Abou El-Goud, Doaa Refai, Effects of honey, sucrose and glucose on blood glucose and C-peptide in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus 1, Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, Volume 19, Number 1, 2013, Pages 15-19, ISSN 1744-3881
3. Erejuwa OO, Sulaiman SA, Wahab MS. Honey–a new antidiabetic agent. Int J Biol Sci. 2012;8(6):913-34. doi: 10.7150/ijbs.3697. Published online July 7, 2012. PMID: 22811614; PMCID: PMC3399220.
4. Hasanzade F, Toliat M, Emami SA, Emamimoghaadam Z. The effect of cinnamon on glucose in patients with type II diabetes. J Tradit Supplement Med. 2013 Jul;3(3):171-4. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.114900. PMID: 24716174; PMCID: PMC3924990.
5. Cianciosi D, Forbes-Hernández TY, Afrin S, Gasparrini M, Reboredo-Rodriguez P, Manna PP, Zhang J, Bravo Lamas L, Martínez Flórez S, Agudo Toyos P, Quiles JL, Giampieri F, Battino M. Phenolic compounds in Honey and Their Associates Health Benefits: A Review. Molecules. 2018 Sep 11;23(9):2322. doi: 10.3390/molecules23092322. PMID: 30208664; PMCID: PMC6225430.
6. Ahmed S, Sulaiman SA, Baig AA, Ibrahim M, Liaqat S, Fatima S, Jabeen S, Shamim N, Othman NH. Honey as a potential natural antioxidant drug: an overview of its molecular mechanisms of action. Oxyd Med Cell Longev. 2018 Jan 18;2018:8367846. Doi: 10.1155/2018/8367846. PMID: 29492183; PMCID: PMC5822819.
7. Abuelgasim H, Albury C, Lee J. Efficacy of honey for symptomatic relief of upper respiratory tract infections: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ Evid Based Med. 2021 Apr;26(2):57-64. doi: 10.1136/bmjebm-2020-111336. Published online August 18, 2020. PMID: 32817011.
8. Aluko, Esther & Olubobokun, Titilope & Atang, Dara & Nna, Victor. (2014). Ability of honey to reduce blood pressure and heart rate in healthy male subjects. Frontiers in science. 4. 8-11. 10.5923/j.fs.20140401.0.