Organic Milk Or Cream
Those who take their coffee with milk or cream can tell you how well it cuts the bitterness with just a little bit. Next time you’re looking for a sweetener, use an organic milk or cream. If you want to be even healthier, try using unsweetened Soy or Almond milk. Plus, consider the calcium youâll get as an added bonus!
Creative Ways To Use Honey
Regardless of the type of honey you choose, here are four of my favorite ways to incorporate small amounts into my diet:
1. Swap sugar for honey. Honey is actually 25% sweeter than table sugar, meaning you can use less in recipes. For example, if what you’re making calls for one cup of sugar, a good rule of thumb is to go with a ¾-cup of honey.
2. Pair it with your favorite drinks. Honey is the perfect companion to many beverages. A drizzle of honey in tea, coffee, smoothies or cocktails is a simple way to sweeten your drink without using table sugar.
3. Make hot honey. Warm up some honey on the stovetop over low-medium heat for a few minutes and add your choice of spice, such as red pepper flakes or chili powder. Let the flavors combine for a minute or so, then remove from the heat and stir. Once cooled, you can put it in a jar and use it as you wish. I love making hot honey to drizzle on top of pizza for a sweet and spicy kick. It also goes well on charcuterie boards, as an alternative to sugary jellies or jams.
4. Make cough drops. This simple recipe pairs ginger tea, lemon and honey to make a delicious, homemade cough drop.
Lauren Armstrong is a dietitian and nutrition coach. She was also a nutritionist for The Women, Infant and Children program. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Western Michigan University and has written for several publications, including Livestrong and HealthDay.
Honey Vs Sugar: Effects On Blood Sugar And Insulin
The impact of honey consumption on blood sugar levels tends to be slightly better than regular sugar.
One small experimental study on healthy subjects found that although 75g of honey did raise blood sugar and insulin levels in the first two hours, 75g of pure glucose raised them both significantly more .
Similarly in type 2 diabetic subjects, honey also had a much smaller impact on blood sugar levels than pure glucose.
The same researchers also looked at how honey compares with sucrose , which is more applicable to real life diets. Sucrose is made up of glucose + fructose, just like honey.
The initial blood sugar spike measured at 30 minutes was greater from honey than from glucose. However, blood sugar levels in the honey group then dropped lower than sucrose, and remained lower for the next two hours .
Honey was also seen to cause a greater rise in insulin than from sucrose. Given that insulin removes sugar out of the blood, this may explain why blood sugar levels dropped lower in the honey group from 60 minutes onwards.
For type 1 diabetics, the impact of honey on blood sugar levels was also far less than pure glucose or regular table sugar .
Summary: Honey spikes blood sugar levels immediately after consumption. However, after 60 minutes levels drop back down considerably quicker than they do after consuming regular sugar. This appears to hold true for healthy individuals and diabetics.
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Can I Cook With Honey Instead Of Sugar Then
Honey is more acidic and 20 percent water. It burns faster and is also sweeter than sugar. So, we pulled together some tips from our friend the Internet to help you be able to use honey instead.
Various chefs have offered this advice in particular if you are using honey in baking recipes:
Following the above swaps can enable you to swap out the sugar for honey to get more of the health benefits that honey offers.
Raw Honey Promotes Good Sleep
This is a bit of a process, but try to follow along: raw honey causes a tiny spike in insulin, which triggers the release of tryptophan tryptophan converts to serotonin which ultimately convert to melatonin. Melatonin is the natural hormone that helps you sleep.
Besides the fact that sleep is amazing and essential for all humans, it is of particular importance for diabetics. Poor sleep habits increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease, so why not get a little extra support in that department the next time youre chowing down something sweet?
In addition to these five reasons, the sixth reason would be that it is just super delicious. The key to all of this, though, is that it needs to be raw. Be sure that you search for unpasteurized honey the next time you head down the sweetener aisle at your grocery store!
Mercola. URL Link. Accessed March 13, 2017.
Livestrong. URL Link. Accessed March 13, 2017.
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Improved Measurements Of Diabetes
A review published in 2017 also explored the connection between honey and blood glucose in people with diabetes.
The authors found that honey had the following effects:
- Honey decreased fasting serum glucose, which a doctor measures after a person has fasted for at least 8 hours.
- It increased levels of fasting C-peptide, which helps the pancreas know how much insulin to secrete and plays a crucial role in keeping blood sugar levels stable in a healthy range.
- It increased 2-hour postprandial C-peptide levels, which indicate the amount of peptide after a person eats.
Alternative Sugars You Should Actually Avoid
Artificial SweetenersArtificial and low-calorie sweeteners, such as aspartame, sucralose, saccharin, and neotame are considered the worst of the worst in the realm of alternative sweeteners. While the actual science is still out on the safety of aspartame and saccharin, theres plenty of anecdotal evidence that shows this stuff just isnt that good for you.
Many people report headaches, stomach aches and a general ill feeling after eating artificial sweeteners. And some studies have shown that chemical sweeteners can actually change the bacterial makeup of your microbiome, throwing your entire gut health out of whack.
The FDA does a pretty terrible job of regulating this industry, so its pretty hard to know if what youre eating is safe. Sucralose is the worst offender. Others like Nutrisweet, Truvia and a number of brands from the stevia plant claim to be better, but theres little data to support any claims.
High-Fructose Corn Syrup
This one almost goes without saying. High-fructose corn syrup, which is made through a chemical process thats anything but natural, is one of the worst offenders for insulin spikes, as it doesnt have to be digested by your body. This stuff simply filters right into your bloodstream and goes wild.
The problem is that your body cant digest most sugar alcohols, so they travel to the large intestine where they are metabolized by gut bacteria.
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Is Maple Syrup The Better Choice
Added sugars, whether found in nature or refined, are still sugars. Your body treats them as such. Even though maple syrup primarily consists of sucrose, along with trace amounts of fructose and glucose, all sugar eventually converts to glucose in the intestine before traveling into the blood. And while maple syrup may have a lower glycemic index than table sugar, it still raises your blood sugar albeit more slowly.
The bottom line is this: Natural doesnt always mean its good for you. Yes, pure maple syrup is less processed than other added sugars. Yes, it has more antioxidants and minerals than table sugar. So, should you add maple syrup to your diet because of this? No. But, if youre going to use sugar in a recipe, you might as well substitute in maple syrup since its slightly better for you than refined sugar.
The reality is maple syrup is still high in sugar. It would be very unhealthy to eat several tablespoons of maple syrup per day to add calcium or potassium to your diet.
The more appropriate way is to add whole foods to your diet, not more sugar.
Its important to remember whether you use table sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup, the AHA recommends men should limit their sugar intake to nine teaspoons of sugar per day and women should limit their sugar intake to six teaspoons .
If you have any questions about your sugar intake or lowering your blood sugar levels, contact an INTEGRIS Health primary care physician to learn more about healthier habits.
Is Honey Or Maple Syrup Better For Diabetics
While honey and maple syrup may be safer natural alternatives for people with diabetes, both still break down in the body and increase blood sugar. Whole fruits are ideal for adding sweetness to foods, as they provide sugars alongside fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients that can benefit health.
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More Problems For The Liver
Since the liver must metabolize refined fructose, issues relating to liver function may occur with high sugar intake. These include:
- nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Dental caries or cavities develop faster and in more teeth with a high sugar diet.
This is true for everyone. Sugar should be avoided to reduce the risk of cavities.
Honey And Hypoglycemia In Diabetes
Hypoglycemia is a condition with low fasting blood sugar. People with diabetes who have mild hypoglycemia, or blood sugar between 54 and 70 mg/dl, may be asked to immediately consume 15 grams of carbohydrates, such as sugar.
It is important to remember that honey may be slower to digest than sugar because of a potentially lower GI. That means it is not appropriate as a treatment for hypoglycemia. Other good options, beside sugar, are fruit juice, hard candies, and jelly beans.
When thinking about honey versus sugar when you have diabetes, honey may be a better everyday choice for sweetening foods. Lark for Diabetes can help you follow a healthy diet for lowering blood sugar, along with taking other steps to lower risk for diabetes.
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How Does Honey Help You Stay Healthy
Honey is one of the most appreciated and valued natural products introduced to humankind since ancient times. Honey is used not only as a nutritional product but also as an alternative treatment for clinical conditions ranging from wound healing to other treatments. The honey has been reported to exert antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory& antiproliferative.
It is to be noted that it is not sugar but the high level of carbohydrates consumed through sugar or other food items that turn out to be cause of worry in people with diabetics. Therefore, to keep their blood sugar levels in control, diabetic people are advised to go low on sugary stuff and limit their consumption of food items that are high on carbohydrates. Also, it is recommended that if you are a diabetic, your carbohydrate intake should range somewhere between 45gms-60gms per meal per day. Anything more than that can be a cause of discomfort.
If sugar and carbohydrates are the main enemies of health of a diabetic person, is honey for diabetic patient a good option, is the question we try to answer through this article.
Listed below are few recipes that will not only help keep your sugar levels in-check but also alleviate your mood if you find it hard to fight away those sweet cravings.
Is Maple Syrup Better Than Sugar
Sugar is everywhere. Its in your morning coffee drinks, its on your kitchen counter, its in your fruits and vegetables and its especially notable in the snacks, sweets and treats you consume.
Its hard to avoid sugar, which is why almost eight in 10 adults are trying to reduce the amount of it in their diets, according to the American Health Association . It also explains why people are always in search of sugar substitutes or natural sweeteners such as maple syrup. But, does natural mean better for you and is maple syrup superior to table sugar? We sought out the answer to those questions by diving into more detail about how sugar affects your body and analyzing the potential health benefits maple syrup has over other options.
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But First Some Science
To understand the difference between bad sugars and better sugars, first its important to note the difference between fructose, glucose, and sucrose.
Better sugarsincluding maple syrup, coconut sugar, and date syrupscore low on the glycemic index and have lower amounts of fructose. Sucrose and glucose are what cause insulin levels to spike, whereas fructose does not.
Fructose is whats found in fruit . However, too much fructose can be challenging for the liver to metabolize. The recommended quantity of fructose per day should not exceed 50 grams. Over this quantity, the metabolism of fructose in the liver starts to produce free radicals.
All of the best sugars score lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, which means they wont cause your insulin levels to spike.
In essence, what youre looking for in a better sugar is both a low glycemic index, a fructose content that is not too high, and additional nutrients that cane sugar does not offer.
Whether youre looking for sugar substitutes for baking, cooking or to sweeten your morning coffee, heres a list of the best natural sweeteners you can use and why.
Honey Versus Sugars In Human Clinical Trials
Human diet must have all types of nutrients required in the metabolic transformations and life support. Water, proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and bioactive compounds are needed by the human body, and all of these compounds are taken from the diet. Maintaining a healthy life, equilibrate diet, and intake of each and every one of these nutrients is the key factor of health in general. Different diseases have as a starting point unbalances in metabolism, because of lack or excess of one or more nutrients.
Diabetes, as stated before, represents the high level of blood sugars due to low or no insulin production in the body. Experimental studies on animals suggest the beneficial effects of honey as a diet supplement and encouraging results on control of diabetes mellitus and additional complications are presented in medical studies the experiments and reports on humans are rather sparse.
The published studies present favourable effects of honey in both healthy and diabetic subjects . Since oxidative stress is implicated and mainly responsible for diabetes development, the antioxidant effects of honey are very important in this disease management .
Sugar is a refined product, obtained from different natural sources, but follows a technological process, leading to an almost pure substancesucrosehighly used in modern life in the food industry.
presents comparatively the chemical composition of refined sugar and honey.
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Polyols And Diabetic Foods
Polyols are usually used in products marketed asdiabetic or suitable for diabeticsand, as these products can be as high in fat and calories as standard products, Diabetes UK and the European Commission Regulations dont recommend them. Consuming large amounts of polyols can have a laxative effect, causing bloating, flatulence and diarrhoea.
Maple Syrup Nutrition Facts
Now that you know the basics of sugar, we can dive deeper into natural sweeteners and how they stack up against one another.
A tablespoon of sugar has 12.6 grams of sugar, 48.9 calories and 12.6 grams of carbohydrates, according to the USDA. It also has a glycemic index of 65. A tablespoon of maple syrup has 52 calories, 12.1 grams of sugar and 13.4 grams of carbohydrates. It has a glycemic index of 54.
By comparison, a tablespoon of pure honey has 63 calories, 17.2 grams of sugar and 17.3 grams of carbohydrates. It has a glycemic index of 58. A tablespoon of agave syrup has 14.1 grams of sugar, 64.2 calories and 15.8 grams of carbohydrates. It has a glycemic index of 19.
As you can see, maple syrup is lower on the glycemic index than table sugar, meaning it doesnt spike blood sugar as quickly. However, its not as low as agave, which is considered a low glycemic index sweetener. What health benefits does maple syrup have?
The next time you use sugar, look at the label and youll be hard pressed to find anything of value calories, carbohydrates and added sugars are the only nutrition facts with a number other than 0.
As empty as sugar is for your body, maple syrup contains some small added value. Maple syrup comes from tree sap and, because trees contain minerals, the syrup has antioxidants and a prebiotic called oligosaccharides that assists with gut health.
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So Can Diabetics Eat Honey
We have established that pure honey is better for diabetics when compared to sugar. But the answer to the question can diabetics eat honey is not all that simple.
Cautious consumption of natural unprocessed honey, when factored into your total caloric requirement, will not raise your blood sugar levels. It also has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which highly benefit diabetics.
However, its crucial to understand that the main sweetener in honey is fructose, and its important to limit daily fructose intake under 50gm to keep both blood sugar levels and lipid profile stable. Its also important to know that one tablespoon of honey contains 64 calories, 8.1 grams of fructose and 17gm of carbohydrates. We recommend that you keep a closer eye on your carb intake, instead of sugar intake, and make sure that these carbs you ingest via pure honey are counted towards your diabetic LCHF diet. The good news because honey is sweeter than sugar, you need very little of it to add the desired sweetness.