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Honey Or Sugar: Which Is Better For Diabetics?


Updated May 15, 2014

Hopefully the bees won't be out to get me on this one, because when it comes to honey or sugar (and diabetes), there isn't a "better" option. Both will affect your blood sugar level about equally.

It is a common misconception that honey is healthier than sugar. After all, it's more "natural" than the commonly used, heavily refined white sugar and has a long history of use in home remedies. But honey actually contains several simple sugars: fructose, glucose, sucrose and others.

Pound for pound, the nutrients in honey and white sugar are about the same. Note, however, that a teaspoon of honey weighs more than a teaspoon of white sugar, so honey has slightly more calories when measured with household measures. To be exact, a teaspoon of white sugar has 15 calories and a teaspoon of honey has 21 calories.

Honey is sweeter than white sugar, so if you care for the taste of honey as a sweetener, you may be able to get by with using less to sweeten foods. However, since honey has slightly more carbohydrates and calories per teaspoon, the bloodsugar savings you'll get by making this switch are going to be small.

Here's the take-home: Honey isn't healthier for diabetics than sugar, so you should use the one you like the taste of better, but both should be used in moderation. You need to be sure to count these extra carbohydrates in your eating plan, because whether they come from sugar or honey, they will affect your bloodsugar about equally. If you're seeking something with sweetening power and fewer carbs and calories, check out this article on alternative sweeteners: Sugar Replacements

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