Honey is Helpful for Healthy Individuals and Those with Type 2 Diabetes
Diabetes is a deficiency of the pancreas, whereby insulin is not produced sufficiently or utilized properly. It’s basically a disorder of metabolism, primarily that of carbohydrates. The ingested sugars and starches cannot be deployed, and hence are eliminated in the urine. Symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst or hunger, weight loss, fatigue, numbness, and infections. There are 2 types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the body doesn't produce any insulin. People with type 2 diabetes either don't produce enough insulin or their cells resist the insulin. They tend to be overweight, because the high insulin levels, unable to channel glucose into muscle cells, convert glucose into fat and cholesterol instead. This results not only in obesity, but also very often heart disease, poor blood circulation in the legs and eye diseases. Type 1 diabetes is treated with insulin injections, which help glucose get into the body cells and maintain blood glucose control, whereas type 2 diabetics commonly use glucose-lowering drugs. Most diabetics are type 2, who are usually in their 40s.
Clinical studies have shown that pure honey is a healthier choice in diabetic diet than table sugar and other non-nutritive sweeteners such as Splenda, saccharin, aspartame. Honey requires lower levels of insulin compared to regular white sugar and does not raise blood sugar levels as rapidly as table sugar, that is, it has a lower Glycemic Index than sugar. Although honey contains a significant amount of sugar, it consists largely of two simple individual units of sugar - glucose and fructose, which are absorbed at different rates into the body.
With appropriate control, many diabetics and pre-diabetes (people with blood glucose levels higher than normal person but not high enough to be considered diabetic) are still able to safely enjoy natural honey. However, they should first consult their doctor or dietician before incorporating honey into their meal planning and find out how much honey can be consumed on a daily basis. Each diabetic is different and has to learn how his or her body reacts to different foods containing carbohydrates. Bear in mind that the total amount of starches or carbohydrates in a food is the key consideration, not the amount of sugar. Honey is a carb food as well, just like rice, potatoes, thus just keep in mind that 1 tablespoon of honey has approximately 17 grams of carbohydrate, and taking that into account when counting your total daily intake of carbohydrates, diabetics can work it out just like any other sweetener or carbohydrates. One way of determining if honey is right for you is to test your blood sugar levels before you eat it and again two hours later. Also, when purchasing commercial honey for diabetic patients, be sure that it is pure and not adulterated by glucose, starch, cane sugar, and even malt, which is to better to be avoided in a diabetic diet.