Eating Honey In Diabetes? Are you serious!!

Honey inside honeycomb

Honey, by far is one of the most tasty and commonly known sweetner as per our understanding. 

Honey is a sweet, thick consistency food substance made by honey bees and some related insects. 

Raw honey has been associated with numerous antioxidants and health benefits when eaten in the right quantity. But, WHAT'S RAW?? We'll talk about this in the later part of the article.

Some people add honey to their beverages such as tea or coffee for adding that differential taste and aroma that the honey contains.

Today, we're gonna look at a very distinctive yet commonly searched topic and that is, eating honey in diabetes.

Honey and Diabetes from first glance seems completely repelling to each other as honey in general perspective raises blood sugar immensely, and this situation can be extremely dangerous for a diabetic. Therefore, the two are not safe together. 

BUT!! How real is this perception??

In order to find an answer to this and more queries, let's look at this topic in a detailed manner. Let's learn about multiple aspects associated with eating honey in diabetes.

What honey actually contains

When we talk about the composition of honey, there are primarily two things that it contains - Water and Sugar.

Now this sugar is further divided into two parts - Fructose and glucose.

In general, honey contains about 40 percent fructose and 30 percent glucose.

Keeping aside the chemical composition, a general definition of Fructose is, that it's a type of sugar that primarily occurs in many fruits and vegetables like beets, potatoes and many more. Like other sugars, fructose provides four (4) calories per gram. Whereas, glucose is sourced by breaking down larger sugar molecules.

As per some experiments carried out on different diabetics, it was found that natural sugars present in honey might not cause similar effect as refined sugar. But, a clear cut conclusion cannot be drawn just on the basis of some experiments. 

Therefore, more concrete studies are still required to confirm the effects of eating honey in diabetes.

Is honey high in sugar?

A single tablespoon serving of honey contains about 21 grams of sugar, which is about 64 calories.

In addition to that, Honey has a lower GI value than sugar, which means that it does not raise blood sugar levels too quickly. 

We'll, this might not seem much for a normal individual, but for a diabetic this can perhaps be very very much. 

Therefore, eating honey in diabetes will work in a good way only if we eat that in very strict moderation and as per the guidance of a qualified professional doctor. 

But from a general perspective, honey does have many health benefits in comparison to refined sugar, and should definitely not be treated equally with refined sugar when it comes to consumption.

How honey is different from other sweeteners

Raw honey being a natural sweetner has bunch of nutrients in comparison to other artificial sweeteners. Therefore, it's pretty health to consume honey in diabetes, if eaten in moderation.

If you extract honey from the honeycombs and pour it over a mesh or cloth to separate the honey from impurities like beeswax. The strained honey achieved after this process is RAW HONEY.

Very simply, raw honey is the extract achieved directly from honeycombs, without any artificial mixing.

Does honey raise blood sugar?

With the definition of raw honey being clear, it is to be noted that as per some sources it was found that honey has a lower glycemic index (GI) than refined sugar. 

Glycemic index is an index that measures how quickly a carbohydrates food can raise blood sugar.

Glycemic index of honey

Honey has a GI score of 58, and sugar has a GI value of 60. 

That means honey (like all carbohydrates) raises blood sugar quickly, but not quite as fast as sugar. Therefore, eating honey in diabetes can be a safer option than refined sugar. 

But as said before, this consumption should be very strictly moderate and after consultation with a professional doctor.

How a diabetic body responds to high sugar foods

When a normal individual, normal being a non-diabetic eats some sugary food, the body secretes insulin to control the amount of sugar in blood.

When we eat excess sugar, extra insulin is secreted in the bloodstream that is potent of affecting the arteries all over your body. Not just that, excess sugar can also stress the heart and perhaps can damage it over time. This can lead to heart disease, like strokes, heart attack and heart failure.

In diabetics, body fails to produce sufficient amount of insulin to control blood sugar levels, therefore the blood sugar goes up and the side effects of that such as increased thirst, frequent urination, dry mouth etc. starts reflecting.

When we eat honey in diabetes, the chances are there that we may fall into the high blood sugar zone if we don't take the quantity in consideration.

Therefore, the right quantity and right time is of utmost important for avoiding bad effects of consuming honey in diabetes. 

How much honey is safe for diabetics?

When it comes to the quantity of honey that can be safely consumed by diabetics, it is to be noted that there's is no definitive answer. 

The amount of consumption may differ from person to person on the basis of their current blood sugar levels, levels of activity, diet and on many more factors. Therefore, a best thing to follow would be to consult with a qualified doctor and they will let you know on the basis of your body type, the exact quantity of honey you can consume as a diabetic.

Are there any risks involved?

The risks involved with eating honey in diabetes are same as eating any other sugary food in diabetes. Keeping aside the other health benefits of honey, it should be clearly noted more or less it functions the same way as sugar works in blood. Not taking care of the right quantity of consumption can result in hyperglycemia.

Hyperglycemia is a situation where the blood sugar levels spikes and goes above the normal blood sugar levels. This situation can be fatal and can push the body into a diabetic coma, if not treated timely.

Diabetic coma is a situation where YOU'RE ALIVE!! But, the body can't awaken or respond properly to sights, sounds or other types of stimulation. 


Honey is much healthier option when compared to  general refined sugar, and it is packed with multiple antioxidants and minerals. In addition to that, honey has also been associated with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Raw honey is best when it comes to consumption as it is free from any mixing and is achieved directly from honeycombs.

Eating honey in diabetes can be a healthy option only if we eat that in moderation and after consultation with a doctor. Honey and sugar both raise blood sugar more or less equally and behave in the same way in the body of diabetics. Therefore it's best to avoid them completely, if possible.

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