Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Does Honey Raise the Glucose Level in the Blood?



Simply put, yes, consuming honey will cause your blood glucose levels to rise. Honey contains carbohydrates, and all carbohydrate-containing foods increase your blood glucose levels. Honey is highly concentrated in carbohydrates, meaning, consuming just a small amount of honey will cause a significant increase in your blood glucose levels.
Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates, unlike proteins and fats, affect your blood glucose levels. Carbohydrates exist in an array of foods including fruits, non-starchy vegetables, starchy vegetables, bread, pasta, rice, breakfast cereal, lentils, beans, nuts and peanut butter, tofu, soy products and milk. Carbohydrates are also found in any food that contains flour -- such as baked goods -- and any food that contains added sugars, such as desserts and candy.


Blood Glucose

After you eat a carbohydrate-containing food such as honey, your body begins to digest it. During the digestion process, the carbohydrates in honey are broken down into sugar molecules. The sugar molecules pass through the lining of your stomach and get absorbed into your bloodstream. This causes your blood sugar levels to rise. When your blood sugar levels rise, your pancreas secretes insulin, a hormone that helps transfer the sugar molecules from your bloodstream to various cells throughout your body.
Sugar
Carbohydrates come in three types: sugar, starch and fiber. Honey is classified as a sugar carbohydrate. Honey -- along with sugars such as granulated sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, maple syrup and high-fructose corn syrup -- is considered a fast-acting carbohydrate. This means that honey will cause your blood sugar levels to rise more quickly than complex carbohydrates -- such as whole grains -- will.

Considerations

Carbohydrates -- and the sugar they contain -- provide energy to your cells so that they can perform their functions properly. A healthy diet includes a lot of nutrient-rich carbohydrates such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. Honey, and other sugars, do not provide much nutritional value, so use them sparingly. In order to help ensure that your blood glucose levels remain healthy and do not get too high, limit your daily consumption of added sugars to about 6 tsp. if you are a woman and about 9 tsp. if you are a man.

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