Do you think you can’t eat honey because you have type 2 diabetes? And your doctor did tell you to avoid all sweets! It is true honey is a sweet… but this is true also: one tablespoon of honey contains approximately the same amount of carbohydrate as a quartered amount of a raw apple.
Research also shows that consuming honey produces a much lower blood sugar response than the equivalent amount of sugar or other glucose enriched starches.
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Of all the natural sweeteners with clear nutritional value, honey has the least effect on blood sugar levels. Different diabetics, however, react to honey in different ways and different kinds of honey can have different effects on your blood sugar levels.
What is Honey? Honey is a mixture of glucose and fructose. The fructose in honey makes it very sweet, and the glucose in honey makes it a great source of quick energy. Because honey also contains wax, antioxidants, and water bound inside crystals that have to be broken down in the stomach, it’s not high on the glycemic index. Raw honey has a glycemic index of about 30, while heat-treated, processed honey has a glycemic index of about 75.
Amazing Raw Honey: Raw honey has about the same effect on blood sugar levels as leafy greens… as usual, as long as you don’t eat too much! A tablespoon per meal is enough. And the antioxidant content of honey is so potent that American cosmetic surgeons literally use honey as an antiseptic dressing… because it’s a better germ-fighter than other chemical treatments.
Processed Honey: Processed honey, on the other hand, has had its antioxidants broken down by the heat used during pasteurization, and is broken down into sugar in your digestive tract about as quickly as ice cream is broken down. Most diabetics, Type 1 or Type 2, don’t have room for processed honey in their diets.
Lower Blood Sugar Levels: Research studies (on humans, not rats), indicate that the consumption of raw honey can result in lower blood sugar levels between 60 to 100 mg/dL (3.3 to 5.5 mmol/L) when tested 90 minutes after eating a similar amount of sucrose or sugar. This then means the HbA1c percentage would be lower by approximately 2 to 4%.
Keep It Down: The key to using honey in your diet in order to control your blood sugar levels is never to use too much. Even foods that are digested slowly still require insulin. As long as you don’t eat too much, and you still have insulin production capacity in your pancreas, your body benefits from the energy and antioxidant content of raw, natural honey.
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