If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, your body can’t produce enough insulin (type 1) or can’t use it properly (type 2). In either case, sugar tends to stay in your bloodstream, resulting in high blood glucose readings.
Keeping sugar and carbohydrate intake to a minimum is the best way to keep insulin and blood sugar levels in check. With that in mind, people with diabetes spend ample time seeking alternative ways to sweeten their foods without causing blood sugar spikes. Discover how honey affects your blood sugar levels to determine if it’s an adequate substitute for you.
It’s Still Sugar
Although honey contains extra vitamins and minerals that you don’t get from regular table sugar, it’s still a source of simple sugars. However, honey does have a slightly lower glycemic index, meaning it doesn’t cause as much of a spike in your glucose levels. In short, honey may be a healthier option because of its nutritional value, but consuming large amounts still causes a rise in blood sugar. However, because honey is sweeter than traditional sugar, you’ll be inclined to use less of it, which can reduce overall sugar intake.
Honey and Insulin
Insulin is a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels by opening cells to let glucose from the bloodstream inside. When your body doesn’t produce enough insulin or use it properly, you may have high glucose readings or excess insulin in your blood.
However, consuming honey in small amounts may increase insulin production for people with type 1 diabetes, and it may also increase insulin sensitivity for people with type 2 diabetes. Although more research is necessary, the current known connection between insulin and honey looks promising.
One of the most significant contributors to diabetes is inflammation, and reducing inflammation can stabilize blood sugar levels. Consuming honey isn’t all that different from consuming regular table sugar, but honey does harbor anti-inflammatory properties. With that in mind, swapping other sugars for honey might be worthwhile. Replace other carbs and sugars in your diet with honey or consider adding some recipes that use raw honey to your meal rotation.
Understanding how honey affects your blood sugar levels can help you make smart decisions for your health, whether or not you have diabetes. The added vitamins, minerals, and healthful properties make honey a healthier option overall, but the effects on blood glucose levels aren’t much different than those of traditional table sugar.