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Can diabetics have honey?

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litlebit_bulldog 

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Yes.. Honey is a natural sugar that the body processes easier than refined sugar (the type found in cookies, syrup and candy).
 
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Im not convinced by the natural sugar argument- i never heard that before. Maybe it depends if your are a type one or type two diabetic but really im sure honey is not the best idea for a diabetic- so i would say no!
 

Polyanwood 

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Daibetics need to carefully manage their blood sugar levels. Honey has a very high gylcaemic index and generally intake of such foods needs to be balanced by diabetics. It doesn't matter what kind of sugar it is. If you were a diabetic and had low blood sugar, say after you had gone for a long run, you could use honey to quickly bring up your blood sugar. Diabetics can eat whatever they want, so long as they keep their blood sugar within the safe range.
 

Finman 

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It is better to follow doctor's advices what each should do.
It is wrong if beekeepers give advices in that difficult affair.
 

Jonathan 

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I have been a diabetic on insulin for 35 years and couldn't have put it better than Polyanwood. Absolutely spot on. Diabetics can eat whatever they want dependant on their blood sugar at the time.
Having said that I think many people get confused with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. Those on insulin are able to adjust insulin doses to take account of what they are about to eat thus smoothing out possible increases or decreases in blood sugar whereas those on diet or tablets cannot. They can still take honey or chocolate or whatever but just need to be a little more careful.
 

djollir 

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Yes.. Honey is a natural sugar that the body processes easier than refined sugar (the type found in cookies, syrup and candy).
Not quite correct regarding the " Honey is a natural sugar that the body processes easier than refined sugar " statement.

Honey comprises fructose and glucose as the main sugars. Refined sugar (sucrose) is a compound comprising fructose and glucose in a naturally bonded state. It is totally natural by any definition even though white sugar is refined.

Our body breaks up ingested sucrose into its component parts of glucose and fructose. Glucose is the juice that we need for cell growth and energy. Too much of this juice is converted to fat. Glyceamic index is 100 - benchmark for the highest state upon which all other carbohydrates are compared.

Honey, sucrose, glucose, fructose are as suitable for diabetics (type 1 or type 2) AS LONG AS it is within their prescribed limits iro insulin and blood sugar levels as discussed with their doctors and dietitians.

It would be totally wrong to suggest that honey is fine for diabetics because of its saccaride makeup - natural or otherwise. It is just as good or bad as golden syrup, glucose/corn syrup, fructose etc.

Generally sugars that end with the suffix "ol", for example, sorbitol, maltitol, xylitol, are known as polyols. These sweeten things and as carbohydrates are not digestible. Downside is that in moderate amounts they cause "the runs". Dietitians also advise against these polyols for diabetics despite their non digestable characteristic...I'm staring to go off on a tangent now so I'll shut up!!
 

mikethebee 

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Hi I always eat the honey when working with it but by heck don?t I know it next day, the misses gets out me way, the kids volunteer to work, the dog goes missing, the blokes at work go out all day on the bees.
I try to keep away from everybody so I post on BBKA, I cant help it! I give them some tongue and get into trouble then the head starts to pound with stabbing pains in the neck me veins bulge muscles tighten in me gut then the cramp starts doctor said it was stress posting on the BBKA forum have to go to bed.
The police came one day to ask about abundant car in the lane nothing to do with me but they were daft enough to ring the door bell when I was sleeping and ask stupid questions I was frog marched down town. Best sleep I had for ages worm quiet undisturbed 4 hours.
ALL THE BEST
 

victor meldrew 

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Cant remember the chemical involved, but unlike processed sugar which gives an almost instant rise in blood sugar levels followed quicky by a dive in blood sugar levels . Honey requires the body to produce this chemical in order for the simple sugars to pass through the blood/membrane barrier , this slows down the transfer and avoids shock to the pancreas ,also it helps maintain more even blood sugar levels .
John .
 

JCBrum 

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Honey and Diabetics

It is very necessary to have a good understanding of your own physiology as far as the insulin reaction to blood sugar levels is concerned if you are diabetic.

It is also crucial to understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetics.

The critical problem is an impaired response to carbohydrates (like sugars).

In many type 1 diabetics the response is impaired because they make no insulin naturally, which means that if they ingest carbohydrate it become converted to blood glucose (energy) but without insulin to convert it, the levels rise to a toxic degree and they feel ill.

Type 2s may well make some insulin but they are resistant to it, and so it doesn't work efficiently to reduce blood glucose levels after carbohydrate consumption.

It is not just sugars which cause problems with diabetics but many other carbohydrates (of which honey is one) give a rapid glycemic response.

Some say Weetabix or baked potatoes are as bad as pure sugar, and there are many similar foods which can give diabetics a problem. Honey is just one of the candidates.

Professor Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney is a world authority on the glycemic response to food substances. link - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jennie_Brand-Miller

With sugar as 100 (honey is about the same) here is a list of other foods with a high glycemic index. (source - http://www.weightlossresources.co.uk/DIET/gi_diet/glycaemic_index_tables.htm )

Mashed potato 70
White bread 70
Watermelon 72
Swede 72
Bagel 72
Branflakes 74
Cheerios 74
French fries 75
Coco Pops 77
Jelly beans 80
Rice cakes 82
Rice Krispies 82
Cornflakes 84
Jacket potato 85
Puffed wheat 89
Baguette 95
Parsnips, boiled 97
White rice, steamed 98

It is necessary to understand that the quantity of a food which is consumed can be as relevant as the glycemic index. For example a bowl of rice with a meal could be much more dangerous than a spoonful of honey.

In my own experience (type 2) these matters are not well understood by GPs and their staff, although attention is being paid to the development of clinical diabetic centres.

These links may be useful for those who wish to know more.

http://www.diabetes.org.uk/

http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm

Regards, JCBrum.

p.s. personally, I use the precaution of a mile's brisk walk for every spoonful of honey consumed. (it uses up the blood glucose which is produced). But do take advice from an Endocrinal Medical Professional.

p.p.s. If you receive an email purporting to be from the Department of Health, telling you not to eat tinned processed pork because of swine flu', ignore it, It's just spam.
:)
 
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Jonathan 

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Cant remember the chemical involved, but unlike processed sugar which gives an almost instant rise in blood sugar levels followed quicky by a dive in blood sugar levels . Honey requires the body to produce this chemical in order for the simple sugars to pass through the blood/membrane barrier , this slows down the transfer and avoids shock to the pancreas ,also it helps maintain more even blood sugar levels .
John .
Not sure I agree with that. If my blood sugar is low I eat a few spoons of honey and it goes up pretty damn quick which I reckon is down to it already being part digested. Shock to the pancreas - not sure about that either. As a Type 1 diabetic I can tell you if you eat too much of anything at the wrong time with carbohydrate a type 1 diabetics sugar level is likely to rise rapidly - nothing to do with shock to the pancreas - as it doesn't produce insulin it doesn't care.
On the flip side of this type 1 diabetics can eat pretty much what they want if insulin and exercise is controlled correctly.
Believe me a spoon of honey now and again really ain't going to make too much difference to overall control. Have a spoon before you walk the dog and you levels won't rise at all depending on how far you walk of course.
 

JCBrum 

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I find there isn't much difference between sugar, honey, cooked rice, and beer, as far as blood glucose responce is concerned, ...... except the quantities that consumed.

I don't take sugar, so don't get much problem with it unless it's heavily disguised in something else, .... but, ... a curry with rice and a couple of pints of lager can be quite dangerous for a diabetic who is unprepared.

Personally I reckon the above meal is worse than eating a whole jar of honey in one go.

JC.
 

Jonathan 

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I find there isn't much difference between sugar, honey, cooked rice, and beer, as far as blood glucose responce is concerned, ...... except the quantities that consumed.

I don't take sugar, so don't get much problem with it unless it's heavily disguised in something else, .... but, ... a curry with rice and a couple of pints of lager can be quite dangerous for a diabetic who is unprepared.

Personally I reckon the above meal is worse than eating a whole jar of honey in one go.

JC.
I know what you are saying JC but as you said in a previous post

"It is also crucial to understand the difference between type 1 and type 2 diabetics"

As a Type 1 of 36 years standing I find it easy to adjust insulin levels to cope with more or less carbohydrate in meals so the meal you mention which is obviously slower releasing than the the honey you mention would not cause me too many problems. With Type 2 diabetes I think adjustments are more difficult to make.Eating a whole jar of honey can never be preferable as it releases into the bloodstream far too quickly. A few spoons no problem but a whole jar of honey no way.
 

JCBrum 

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I agree Jonathan. No-one thinking clearly would eat a whole jar of honey.

What I was trying to illustrate from the point of view of a type 2 diabetic who does not use insulin, is that the curry,rice, and beer, can have a greater blood glucose impact than a jar of honey. I'm sure that many don't realize that honey and sugar are merely two of the many carbohydrates.

For myself there isn't much difference between sugar, honey, and weetabix, so I need to be careful with the quantities.

You type 1's don't know how lucky you are, being able to adjust your response with insulin, but at least I'm always 'high' and don't have the risk of accidental hypo-glycaemia.

I'm sure there are many new type 2 diabetics who think they can't have honey, but happily eat rice, baked potatoes, breakfast cereals, and bread, without giving them much thought.

JC.
 

Baggyone 

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Much more should be done on educating diabetics (type 1 & 2) about diet. My wifes a retinal screener and sees daily what it can do to people if the sugar levels are not maintained sensibly.
 

JCBrum 

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Much more should be done on educating diabetics (type 1 & 2) about diet. My wifes a retinal screener and sees daily what it can do to people if the sugar levels are not maintained sensibly.
When I was 21 I had appendicitis for my birthday. A bit of deft surgery cured it. In those days you recovered for a week on a "men only" long ward with rows of beds down both sides.

There was a dining table in the middle of the ward where we used to take our meals.

The chap at the end of the table was called "the chairman", - because he had both legs amputated.

He had been diabetic for several years, which had caused blindness as well as loss of blood-flow and terminal nerve damage in his legs leading to gangrene.

If your lucky the heart-attack gets you first.

LLoyds Chemists and many others, as well as GP Surgeries provide a simple, quick, cheap, blood glucose test.

With our modern diet, imo, everyone over 40 yrs old should have this checked annually. I was undiagnosed for 13 years, and didn't know there was anything wrong till I collapsed one day with hyper-glycaemia. It took me two years to recover, but I still have a seriously impaired glucose response.

Get your blood glucose level checked asap.

JC.
 

planbee 

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Hear! Hear!

I felt bad just after my return from South Africa in 2007; I'd been nibbled by the Mozzie's there, but there was no Malaria south of the Limpopo River, and I'd spent a month in Durban, well down to the South .

Kept sleeping in the afternoons, and eventually went to see doc.

I now am a type 2 diabetic, following his diagnosis.

Went back to work a three month contract in a college in SA at the end of 2007, armed with the knowledge that my diet, plus some tablets, were the key.

All stable now, and got both my younger brothers to get themselves checked as well.

Tell your siblings, too!

John
 

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