Mar 12, 2012

(EDIT) Can A Diabetic Eat Honey? Yes, They Can, And They Should!

(Edited March 21, 2012. Since this post originally appeared, there has been some concern about the validity of the content. I have written a second post that gives some things to read that have been written by medical researchers on the positive uses of honey for diabetes. You may want to check it out.)

Johnny Mason, March 12, 2012:

Many doctors will be quick to dismiss honey as a viable sweet option for diabetics. Hold on a sec, Doc! Yes, honey is sweet, but it’s not the same thing as sugar. Unfortunately, most physicians actually have very little training in nutrition. If you’ve been told that it’s a no-no, ask your doctor if fruits are permitted. He or she will probably give the thumbs up. If so, let them know that a tablespoon of raw honey contains about the same amount of carbs as a cup of raw apple. Raw honey is actually kind of a cool mystery in how it breaks down in the body. It is directly converted to liver glycogen and doesn’t raise blood sugar levels like sucrose or high fructose corn syrup does even though it contains the same simple sugars. This fact alone should be reason enough to recommend it over synthetic sweeteners such as Aspartame.

When consumed regularly over weeks or months, raw honey will actually LOWER and help balance a person’s blood sugar and HbA1c (glycosylated or glycated hemoglobin) levels. Research has shown that human consumption of raw honey will result in lower blood sugar levels by as much as 60 to 100 mg/dl at 60 and 90 minutes following consumption compared to a similar amount of sucrose. Due to this, there should be no big surprise that HbA1c levels will be lowered by as much as 2-4%. This factor alone should trigger huge variances in the treatment guidelines recommended by most docs, which means fewer drugs. Actually the worse a person’s glucose intolerance is, the greater the positive impact and control on blood sugar levels from ingesting raw honey.

Diabetics are often recommended to increase their intake of vitamins such as B1, B6, B12, C, E and Biotin. Guess what? A good unfiltered summer honey already has all of these! The same people are also often times told that they should lose weight. Did you know that using a small amount of honey (since it’s 3 times sweeter than sugar), can cause you to eat less calories and therefore lose weight? Hard diabetics also are known to have open sores. Honey (sometimes mixed with propolis) applied topically to open wounds works better, faster and with less side effects than most prescriptions.

So, how much honey is sufficient? Generally, you should shoot for 3-5 tablespoons a day. At least 1-2 tablespoons in the morning and 1-2 right before bed (helps improve sleep). You can also have 1-2 tablespoons during the day with a snack or before and after a workout. Just figure out what works for you and get it in.

It must be stressed that a diabetic ONLY uses pure, raw, unadulterated honey and should probably tell their physician that they are consuming it. Just be sure that you are NOT using any of that supermarket stuff that is often combined with fillers such as corn syrup that will do more harm than good.