Can honey prevent diabetes?

Can honey prevent diabetes?

Yes, you don’t hear wrong: honey can lower blood sugar despite its sugar content by around 80%. In addition to lowering blood sugar, honey can boost immunity and slow down the aging process. Recently, researchers have shown that honey has a wide range of unexpected benefits. For example, diabetics who consume honey in moderation could significantly reduce their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes complications. Eating honey can also help fight obesity and lower blood pressure to prevent diabetes. Although honey has been used in traditional medicine for a long time, it has only recently come to the attention of scientists who have begun to explain its benefits. The health benefits of honey are covered in detail in the following article, which may shed some light on your perspective on this.

Can diabetic patients eat honey?

There is a long-standing misconception that diabetics cannot use honey in their diet due to the high amount of carbohydrates in its chemical composition. Can diabetics eat honey or not?

Researchers from the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine in Romania found that, compared to the consumption of dextrose and sucrose, honey caused people with diabetes to have lower blood sugar and higher insulin. According to the study, honey benefits people with diabetes. Additionally, the antioxidant properties of honey are crucial in the management of diabetes.

According to a 2008 study published in The Scientific World Journal, these beneficial effects may be linked to the high fructose content of honey. The high amount of fructose in honey stimulates glucokinase in liver cells, which plays an important role in promoting glucose uptake and storage in the liver. Therefore, the fructose in honey is very important in lowering blood sugar.

Mamdouh Abdulrhman, a professor of pediatrics at Ain Shams University in Egypt, has long studied the effects of honey on health. One of his studies (pdf) reported that diabetic patients taking honey might experience an increase in blood sugar in the first few weeks, but consuming small amounts of honey over a long period of time may benefit health. The study also showed that honey can lower blood pressure and improve cardiovascular function when consumed by diabetics over a long period of time.

Honey may prevent heart disease complications in diabetics

Diabetic patients are known to be prone to heart disease. In general, diabetic patients have complications such as hypertension and lipid metabolism in addition to hyperglycemia, which can easily lead to atherosclerotic heart disease. In November 2022, researchers from the Temerty School of Medicine at the University of Toronto, Canada, found that eating honey in moderation can effectively reduce the risk of heart disease. The study found that honey was able to reduce key indicators of the development of heart disease, including total cholesterol and triglycerides. The researchers explained that honey is a complex composition of common and rare sugars, proteins, organic acids and other biologically active compounds that may benefit health.

Honey can improve obesity and prevent diabetes

Obese patients are more likely to develop diabetes than healthy people. Obesity is the strongest risk factor for diabetes because obese patients often have higher overt insulin resistance and because research demonstrates a clear association between obesity and insulin resistance. .

Studies such as the one in the Scientific World Journal have reported that not only does honey not contribute to obesity, but it can also help reduce it. This study included 55 overweight and obese participants in a 30-day trial. The participants were divided into two groups, with one group consuming 70 grams of sucrose per day and the other 70 grams of raw honey. Scientists found that consuming honey led to a slight decrease in body weight (1.3%) and body fat (1.1%). Honey has also been found to lower total cholesterol (3%), LDL cholesterol (5.8%, a “bad” cholesterol), triacylglycerol (11%), fasting blood sugar (4.2%) and increased HDL cholesterol (3.3%, a “good” cholesterol). » cholesterol) in the subjects. The researchers concluded that the consumption of natural honey did not increase the body weight of these subjects.

The study concluded that obesity control could be attributed to fructose, which is a major component of honey, as well as the many other proteins, organic acids, vitamins, minerals and phenolic compounds found in honey. These substances present in honey cause a decrease in lipogenic activity, thereby reducing the accumulation of lipids in fat cells. In addition, the phenylalanine present in honey increases the levels of YY peptide, a substance that reduces appetite. Therefore, honey is ideal for obese or overweight people whose high body weight and calorie intake can be controlled by it. Additionally, honey contains several bioactive compounds, including phenolic acids and flavonoids, which have a positive effect on obesity and weight management.

Honey is best when consumed in moderation

Companies often promote their products in a way that amplifies their benefits; therefore, people should not consume excessive amounts of honey. Consuming 3 to 4 tablespoons a day is enough. According to the World Health Organization, the calories provided by simple sugars should not exceed 10% of total body needs. Honey contains about 60 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, the 180 to 300 calories provided by honey per day are sufficient. To absorb the maximum benefits of honey, consume it an hour before lunch. Drinking 30 minutes before bedtime helps relax nerves and fall asleep. Some people have allergic reactions to certain enzymes or honey pollen, resulting in atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. People with allergies should take a small amount of honey to test their sensitivity.

Diabetes is a chronic disease, and according to the researchers of the Romanian study, determining the optimal dose of honey for human intake is vital. People with diabetes should not drink honey indiscriminately. People should have their blood sugar levels tested and ensure they are normal before consuming honey on a regular basis. More than 80% of honey is made up of sugar. Because honey is high in monosaccharides and fructose, it is a fast-acting, high-glycemic food. Eating honey will not cause high blood sugar in the average person. But drinking a lot of honey water or consuming a lot of honey will cause a sudden rise in blood sugar in a diabetic patient, almost like drinking sugar water. Therefore, people with diabetes are recommended to be careful about the amount of honey they use and not to consume large amounts of it at once. A sudden rise in blood glucose may be difficult to control in this population, and acute complications of hyperglycemia may occur.

Although honey can be used as a potential hypoglycemic agent that can reduce the complications of diabetes, long-term studies in diabetics are needed. What is certain is that honey can be a good sugar substitute to meet the sugar needs of people with diabetes.

How to consume honey

Honey is an all-natural food that can be eaten on its own. A popular method of consuming honey is to make honey water, prepared by combining an appropriate amount of honey with lukewarm boiled water. Honey should not be infused with water hotter than 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), which is hot enough to produce steam but not bubbles and to dip your finger briefly without burning yourself. Heating honey above 140 degrees F will cause many active health-promoting ingredients to lose their potency and reduce the nutritional content of honey.

Honey can also be added to other foods for consumption. Honey can be used instead of syrup for pancakes and waffles. Honey can also be spread on toast or bread, or added to coffee or tea to enhance the taste. Mixing honey with yogurt, cereal, porridge or oatmeal also tastes great. Adding honey to warm milk before bed can also improve sleep.

How to make sure honey is genuine

With the booming honey market, some shady sellers have started producing “fake honey”, and there are many ways to counterfeit it. So what are the ways to identify authentic honey?

  1. Heating method: Real pure honey will not generate bubbles when heated and will immediately take on a caramel color. Low-purity or fake honey, on the other hand, will not turn caramel when heated and will instead produce bubbles.
  2. Ignition method: Dip a cotton ball in a little honey, then light it with a lighter. If the honey burns easily, it means it is not mixed with water and is of high purity. If it crackles when lit, it means the honey may be adulterated with water.

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