Is honey better than sugar for diabetics?

Honeycomb sliceRecent news tells us that honey sales are up. And up. And up. And the driving force for that is the perceived health benefit of honey over sugar.

The problem is that essentially honey IS sugar – with over half the contents of your honey jar being fructose. Whilst that means that it is a slightly lower GI value, and therefore spikes blood sugar marginally less, it is nonetheless still an unnecessary sugar-load in your diet. On top of that it carries more calories than jam. So, sorry to say, it’s hardly a truly ‘healthy’ alternative for spreading on your toast or sweetening your tea.

Also, I’m sorry to say, that the corporate food manufacturers are jumping onto the band wagon – well now that sugar is falling from grace they have to get you addicted to their products with something! In a really cynical move, it is reported, that the makers of Sugar Puffs are going to change the name of the product to Honey Monster Puffs. The stuff in the box is exactly the same as it ever was, so that’s a dead giveaway that sugar and honey are essentially one and the same.

Added sugar, including honey, really has no nutritional benefit. The NHS controversially claims that added sugar can safely make up 10 per cent of a daily calorie intake – which is the equivalent of 50g or 12½ tsp a day for women, and 70g or 17½ tsp a day for men. Thankfully this was exposed by cardiologist Dr. Aseem Malhotra earlier this year. Dr. Malhotra is also science director of Action On Sugar, a body campaigning to reduce levels of sugar in our foods, who said the World Health Organisation recommends limiting all added sugars (including honey) to just six teaspoons a day. That’s not saying that 6 teaspoons is a good idea – it’s the absolute upper limit!

I completely agree with Dr. Malhotra that contrary to what the food industry, and, it seems, the NHS, wants you to believe, the body doesn’t need any carbohydrate from added sugar.

So that’s no nutrient value, more calories, it WILL still spike your blood sugar – clearly NOT the healthy alternative for anyone with diabetes. The news today reports it could even be worse than sugar!

And it’s not just honey we need to look out for in food products. There are over 50 different names for sugars that enable them to be effectively “hidden” in your food. Here’s the list – and see honey is included:

1. Barley malt
2. Barbados sugar
3. Beet sugar
4. Brown sugar
5. Buttered syrup
6. Cane juice
7. Cane sugar
8. Caramel
9. Corn syrup
10. Corn syrup solids
11. Confectioner’s sugar
12. Carob syrup
13. Castor sugar
14. Date sugar
15. Dehydrated cane juice
16. Demerara sugar
17. Dextran
18. Dextrose
19. Diastatic malt
20. Diatase
21. Ethyl maltol
22. Free Flowing Brown Sugars
23. Fructose
24. Fruit juice
25. Fruit juice concentrate
26. Galactose
27. Glucose
28. Glucose solids
29. Golden sugar
30. Golden syrup
31. Grape sugar
32. HFCS (High Frustose Corn Syrup… Very Bad!)
33. Honey
34. Icing sugar
35. Invert sugar
36. Lactose
37. Malt
38. Maltodextrin
39. Maltose
40. Malt syrup
41. Mannitol
42. Maple syrup
43. Molasses
44. Muscovado
45. Panocha
46. Powdered Sugar
47. Raw sugar
48. Refiner’s syrup
49. Rice syrup
50. Sorbitol
51. Sorghum syrup
52. Sucrose
53. Sugar (granulated)
54. Treacle
55. Turbinado sugar
56. Yellow sugar

Shop safely!

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