Much has been said about Diabetes’ contribution of Global social and economic burden. It is one of the most common conditions not just in India but across the globe. According to the WHO, in the year 2014, 422 million people were diagnosed with diabetes across the world. The WHO also said that the prevalence of diabetes is steadily increasing in the past 3 decades and is growing most rapidly in low and middle income countries. The World Health Organisation defines diabetes as a chronic, metabolic disease characterised by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. Studies have also claimed that diabetes may have an impact on your weight and in worse cases even lead to death.
Lack of awareness about diabetes and its complications, delayed diagnosis, often make it worse for proper diabetes management. A diabetic needs to be extra cautious about their diet and lifestyle. You maybe aware how a diabetic is asked to steer clear of sugary and junk food as it could topple the blood sugar levels. But, there are still many foods, which are often hard to tell whether they are in the “safe” category after all. Take for instance, dry fruits are often considered to be a storehouse of health and nutritional benefits, however, they are not recommended for diabetics. This is because dry fruits are concentrated form of fresh fruits, which means they are high on sugar and range quite high on glycemic index.
A similar kind of confusion persists around the case of honey. Nutritionist cannot stop gushing about how it makes for a healthier swap for refined sugar. But, is it any good news for a diabetic? Is it safe for diabetics to have honey? Let’s find out.
According to experts there’s no added advantage of substituting honey for sugar for diabetics.
Both of them could affect your blood sugar level. Because honey is sweeter than granulated sugar, so you might use a smaller amount of honey and the intake significantly decreases. Since it does not go through the refinement process as sugar, it is a tad healthier pick, too. But, it is still not recommended for diabetics.
Consultant Nutritionist Dr. Rupali Datta says, “it is a strict no-no for diabetics to have honey. Honey shares almost a same nutritive profile as sugar. Of course, it is slightly more dense in minerals, which makes it a better alternative for fitness enthusiast, but that still does not qualify honey as a safe bet for diabetics.”
“Having high blood sugar is already bad, but having fluctuations is worse. Fluctuating blood sugar levels are more detrimental to the health of a diabetic patient. If your sugar levels are stable in the morning and think of taking honey only to see your blood sugar levels shooting to a 400,” she adds.
According to Dr. Rupali, one must consult their doctors or nutritionists and let them decide, how much of honey is safe or is it safe at all, before consuming.
The same goes for other “natural sweeteners” like honey, agave nectar and maple syrup.
Even though these natural sweeteners aren’t highly processed, they contain at least as many carbs as white sugar.
Macrobiotic Nutritionist and Health Practitioner Shilpa Arora agrees, ” Adding spoonfuls of honey to your tea and coffee is certainly not recommended for diabetics. However, if you do want to have honey, many nutritionists advise raw organic honey mixed with lemon in moderation”
It is always better to consult the experts and not make decisions for yourself. Take ample care of your diet and what you take.