I think desserts are the main thing the diabetics long for. Some even rely on new easy-to-use insulin formulas and are hell-bent to eat desserts. As for honey, it would not be wrong to say that it is the most natural and beneficial sweet. Yet, what about diabetic patients? Can a diabetic consume honey? Is it harmful? In this article, I’m going to give information about the effects of honey consumption on diabetic patients.
In general, up to 80 percent of honey is carbohydrates and the rest is a hive product made of water. 55-85 percent of carbohydrate content is glucose and fructose (fruit sugar). In this respect, it can be considered dangerous for diabetics. However, their effects on blood sugar are much lower than those of sugary foods. For example, if the glycemic index of glucose is 100 (mg/dL), the glycemic index of citrus honey is around 45, chestnut honey is 55, and pine honey is around 58. Of course, these features are only for real honey. The reason for this is the polyphenolic compounds found in the real honey and the pollen collected by the bees from the flowers. As you know, polyphenol compounds are the main source of the healing power of honey with antioxidant effects.
To be more illustrative in this regard, I would like to mention the results of a clinical study with honey in diabetic patients. Ninety-seven type-2 diabetes patients are divided into three groups. After measuring fasting blood sugar, one group is given 75 grams of natural honey, the other group is given 30 grams of natural honey. The third group is given 75 grams of glucose as the control group. Then one hour later and two hours later the blood glucose values are measured.
In the evaluations, it was observed that blood sugar values increased in the first hour and decreased in the second hour. In contrast, the glucose group continued to rise in the second hour and doubled. In the second hour, the majority (68 percent) of patients in the group who received low amounts of honey (30 grams) had an increase in the average blood sugar level of around 30 (mg/dL), and even three percent of patients reported a blood sugar lowering effect. On the other hand, 53 percent of the patients in the group given glucose experienced a glucose rise between 100 – 200, the blood glucose levels of13 percent of the group was found to be higher than 200.
Keyword: Natural Honey
The reason for the lower glycemic index of honey is not yet known. There are several recommendations. Among these, the bee’s pharyngeal glands contain insulin-like active components, so that sugar can enter the cell, due to the polyphenol components of honey and the strong antioxidant properties of the pancreas, oxidative damage is reduced, as stimulation of the enzyme glucokinase increased.
The above-mentioned clinical findings seem to be possible for type-2 diabetics to enjoy honey by eating small amounts of real honey without occasional exaggeration. The keyword is natural honey made by bees roaming in nature that is reliable and analyzed. Another suggestion for diabetics is to swallow one bean on an empty stomach every morning when they get out of bed. The suppressing alpha-glycosidase enzyme in dry beans helps prevent the conversion of carbohydrates to glucose. Baked beans do not have this feature.
Is It Dangerous to Eat Honey for Diabetic Patients?
Diabetes is a metabolic disease. It concerns protein and fat metabolism, especially carbohydrates. In this disease, blood sugar is constantly high because the glucose transported through the blood cannot enter the cells. The primary cause is the disorder in the secretion of insulin hormone secreted from the pancreas. Our hormones, insulin, and glucagon are two hormones that work as antagonists to regulate blood sugar. Another reason is that in very fat people, because of the excess of fat tissue, sugar is prevented from entering the cell and being used as energy. Therefore, diabetes occurs again.
People with diabetes should avoid sugar and glucose-containing foods as much as possible. To give an example; pastries, cakes, sweets, etc. are very sweet foods. However, this does not mean that they will be deprived of food. In some patients, a slice of sweet sugar can upset the balance. However in others, it may not have much effect. You should see a doctor analyze this condition. It is necessary to adjust this dose according to the doctor.
In recent years, there has been a debate about the use of honey in diabetes to differ from normal sugar consumption. However, only after the process in the digestive system, the sugar is mixed into the blood, while honey enters the blood very quickly without digestion. In addition, if we also consider that the honeys sold in the market are not natural, it is very dangerous for diabetics. In order to say that diabetics can eat honey, it is necessary to know what level of disease they have. Some patients are allowed by the doctor to consume sugary foods at certain times, including 1 spoonful of organic honey per day.
Every person should consume certain amounts of carbohydrate, fat, and protein. It should not be considered that the patient with diabetes is always poorly fed by carbohydrates. At least 50% of the human diet should be formed with carbohydrates. Otherwise, damage to many organs in the body occurs, and the body will be deprived of energy. In this regard, diabetics should necessarily balance their diet by doing sports and eating healthy foods.
Honey Consumption in Diabetes Patients
Honey is a wonderful nutrient in which many healing properties are hidden. Collected from thousands of flowers, the nectar is converted into honey by adding enzymes in the bee’s stomach. This aspect is unique. It has an alluring high, appetizing visuality from a distance. It has a great charm with its unique perfect flavor. In the consumption of such food, diabetics should push their will to the limit. They should prefer health in honey vs health. Diabetics may consume honey several times a day in a way that they do not exceed one or two teaspoons infrequently. It is known in the honey literature that such controlled consumption does not pose a risk.
Exceeding the amount can lead to a sugar coma. Honey is a nutrient that mixes directly with the blood. As it does not enter the blood through absorption in the intestines like other foods, it will quickly increase the patient’s blood sugar rate. This is a situation that diabetics find even more inconvenient, which is not recommended by medical professionals. Therefore, metered and controlled consumption is a sine qua non. The common opinion among the people that “real honey does not raise sugar” is absolutely wrong. Honey is a food that diabetics should consume carefully.
There is a truth that we all know. No matter which food we consume more than necessary, we may encounter negative effects. Honey is also in this category. Therefore, honey should be consumed in moderation. It is useful, not to exaggerate saying that it is a healing store. Since heavy workers and athletes spend a lot of energy, they can consume a lot of honey in accordance with the recommendations of a dietitian or a nutritionist. Under normal circumstances, no damage to the consumption of honey was detected. Every healthy person can consume honey without worries, except for those who are allergic to honey and other bee products. It is necessary to be careful in the consumption of chestnut honey as well as mad honey, ie andromedotoxine, though. Because the sale and production of mad honey are prohibited, it is quite difficult to find and consume. Chestnut honey should be used according to the amount to be specified after consulting the seller or specialist. Never eat more than a tablespoon of chestnut honey before breakfast.
Does Honey Cause Diabetes?
Honey is not among the causes of diabetes. Honey is a sweet product made from flower nectar combined with an enzyme secreted by honey bees. There are two types of diabetes – Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, insulin-producing cells in your pancreas are destroyed by your immune system. The amount of honey in your diet – anything in your lifestyle – can lead to Type 1 diabetes. Honey does not directly cause Type 2 diabetes, it can also occur if you are overweight. The calories you take may be more than the calories you need and that may lead to Type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is a complex disease and honey consumption may increase the likelihood of this condition. Honey is not completely prohibited in a diabetes diet plan. Honey has a high concentration of sugar. A small amount of honey is allowed on a diabetic diet, however, you must follow the total carbohydrates in your diabetic diet plan whether it exceeds your daily goal. Avoid consuming more than the recommended amount of honey to prevent a steep rise in your blood sugar level. Diabetes is a presumed disease caused by long-term hyperglycemia.
Honey itself will not trigger diabetes. First of all, it will have no effect on Type 1 diabetes, because it is a genetic abnormality caused by an autoimmune disease. It has nothing to do with eating honey or not. On the other hand, type 2 diabetes can be caused by excessive sugar consumption, lack of exercise, and some other things. And there are some genetic components that are not well understood. Honey itself does not cause type 1 or type 2 diabetes. There is no evidence to support this. Glucose and/or fructose, only two of the four sugar molecules that can be absorbed into the bloodstream, will have the same effect (or ineffectiveness) as other sugars if the levels have an effect on Type 2 diabetes.
There are some small and potentially insignificant studies indicating that honey can be a better sweetener for sucrose than glycemic index, probably because the ratio of fructose to glucose is higher in honey. However, I was not convinced of the work done from this date. Therefore, it is the same question of whether honey can cause diabetes and it can be asked about any sugar. If you need to avoid sugar, honey should also be avoided.
Is Honey Good for Diabetes?
According to Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology Specialists, honey is not a simple water-sugar mixture. It has a strong antioxidant as well as nutritional value. New research is revealing new benefits of honey day by day. In an article published in the Journal of Biological Sciences, honey is said to be more tolerable than other sweeteners and regulates blood sugar and prevent harmful effects of diabetes on the liver.
In the January 2014 issue of the Journal of Diabetes Metab Disord, when honey was added to the drugs used in the treatment of diabetes, promising results were obtained, but this should be supported by other studies. Studies on many people and animals have shown that honey corrects impaired cardiovascular health and lipid levels in diabetes, and also normalizes many blood levels.
In the US, 76 percent of the honey sold in supermarkets is not defined as honey by the American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) because it does not contain pollen. In countries, which ranks high in the world honey production, counterfeiting of honey is widely performed and despite the audits made on this subject, counterfeit honeys that are sold illegally are found in the market. Diabetic patients should pay attention to fake honey and should add honey to their diet under the control of the doctor.
So what does honey do for diabetics?
- It fights bacteria and prevents them from breeding;
- Removes toxins and wastes from cells;
- It has anti-viral and antipyretic properties;
- Normalizes the nervous system;
- Cleans blood vessels and strengthens walls;
- Stabilizes the activity of the digestive system, cardiovascular system, liver, and kidneys;
- Activates metabolism;
- Helps fight hypertension;
- Heals skin wounds and stretch marks;
- Intervenes in inflammatory processes;
- Increases hemoglobin;
- Toning the whole body.
More Information About Diabetes
Diabetes is one of the leading diseases of the era and plays a leading role in the formation of many deadly diseases and is a very common type of disease all over the world. Diabetes Mellitus, the full name of the disease, means sugary urine in Greek. Fasting blood glucose level in healthy individuals is in the range of 70-100 mg / dL. Blood sugar levels above this range usually indicate diabetes. The cause of the disease is insufficient or absent insulin hormone production for any reason, or body tissues become insensitive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes, which occurs in many individuals over the age of 35-40 years. In type 2 diabetes, also known as insulin resistance, insensitivity to this hormone develops due to insufficient production of insulin hormone receptors in the pancreas despite the production of insulin in the pancreas. In this case, the blood sugar cannot be transported to the tissues by insulin and the blood glucose level rises above normal. This condition is manifested by dry mouth, weight loss, drinking too much water and eating too much food.
It is of utmost importance that the principles of treatment are strictly followed in Type 2 diabetes, which is the primary cause of many different diseases. Since long-term high blood sugar causes permanent damage to the whole body, especially the cardiovascular system, kidneys and eyes, individuals diagnosed with diabetes should receive immediate diabetes treatment and fully comply with the nutrition program approved by the dietician.
Diabetes Mellitus, commonly referred to as diabetes, is the increase in blood glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, resulting in the presence of sugar in the urine which should not normally contain sugar. Diabetes with different derivatives is among the most common diseases in the world. According to the statistical data provided by the International Diabetes Federation, one in every 11 adults has diabetes, and one person dies every 6 seconds due to diabetes-related problems.
What Are the Symptoms of Diabetes?
Diabetes is manifested by three basic symptoms in individuals. These include eating more than normal and feeling unsatisfied, frequent urination, a feeling of dryness and sweetness in the mouth, and the consequent desire to drink excess water. Other symptoms of diabetes may be listed as follows:
- Feeling weakness and fatigue
- Fast and involuntary weight loss
- Blurred vision
- Discomfort in the form of numbness and tingling in the feet
- Late healing of wounds
- Skin dryness and itching
- Acetone-like odor formation in the mouth
What Are the Causes of Diabetes?
As a result of many studies conducted on the causes of diabetes, it was concluded that genetic and environmental causes play a role in diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, mainly Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. Although high genetic factors play a role in the causes of type 1 diabetes, viruses that damage the pancreatic organ that produce insulin hormone, which is involved in the regulation of blood sugar, and malfunctions in the functioning of the body defense system are among the factors causing the disease. In addition, the causes of Type 2 diabetes, the more common type of diabetes, can be listed as follows:
- Obesity (overweight)
- History of diabetes in parents
- Advanced age
- Still lifestyle
- The occurrence of gestational diabetes during pregnancy and birth of a higher birth weight baby than normal
What Are the Types of Diabetes?
The types of diabetes are listed as follows:
- Type 1 Diabetes (Insulin-dependent diabetes): A type of diabetes that usually occurs in childhood, caused by insufficient or absent insulin production in the pancreas and where external insulin intake is mandatory.
- Type 2 Diabetes: A type of diabetes that occurs when cells become insensitive to the insulin hormone that regulates blood sugar.
- Latent Autoimmune Diabetes in Adults (LADA): Type 1 diabetes-like insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus caused by autoimmune (self-injury due to impaired immune system functioning)
- Maturity Onset Diabetes (MODY): Type 2 diabetes-like type of diabetes at an early age
- Gestational Diabetes: Type of diabetes during pregnancy
Apart from the above-mentioned types of diabetes, the so-called pre-diabetic diabetes mellitus is a period in which blood sugar tends to be slightly elevated before it is high enough to diagnose diabetes before the occurrence of Type 2 diabetes. It can be prevented with the right treatment and diet. The two most common types of diabetes are Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.
How Is Diabetes Diagnosed?
The two most important tests used in the diagnosis of diabetes are the Fasting Blood Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT), also known as fasting blood glucose measurement and sugar loading test. Fasting blood sugar levels vary between 70-100 mg / Dl in healthy individuals. Fasting blood sugar above 126 mg / Dl is sufficient for the diagnosis of diabetes. If this value is between 100-126 mg / Dl, OGTT is applied to the individual to investigate the satiety blood sugar. The blood glucose level above 200 mg / Dl as a result of the measurement of blood sugar 2 hours after the start of the meal is the indicator of the diabetes disease and the range of 140-199 mg / Dl is indicative of the pre-diabetes period called latent sugar. In addition, the HbA1C test, which reflects blood sugar for the last 3 months, is higher than 7%, indicating a diagnosis of diabetes.
What Are the Treatment Methods for Diabetes?
Diabetes treatment methods vary according to the type of disease. In type 1 diabetes, medical therapy along with insulin therapy should be applied meticulously. The patient’s diet is planned by the dietician according to the insulin dose and plan recommended by the doctor. With the application of carbohydrate counting, in which the insulin dose can be adjusted according to the amount of carbohydrate contained in the food, the life of individuals with Type 1 diabetes can be facilitated. In people with type 2 diabetes, treatment includes the use of oral antidiabetic drugs to increase the sensitivity of the cells to insulin hormone or to directly increase insulin hormone release, as well as to maintain nutrition.
In the case of not considering the high levels of blood sugar and not following the recommended treatment principles in diabetic patients, high levels of blood sugar cause many health problems, especially neuropathy (nerve damage), nephropathy (kidney damage) and retinopathy (eye retina damage). Therefore, if you are an individual with diabetes, do not neglect to have regular checks.