How much sugar in honey?

What's the sugar content of honey?

Honey contains about 82g of sugars per 100g, and 17g of sugars per tbsp. It has a moderate glycemic index, as it consists mainly of fructose and glucose. A tbsp of honey won’t spike blood sugar as much. Even people with diabetes could consume reasonable amounts.

Is sugar bad for health?

Sugar consumption has dramatically increased in last decades. It’s present in most processed and packaged foods, as well as many beverages.

Excessive sugar intake may cause serious health issues. In fact, it has been linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory diseases, and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, excess sugar consumption may lead to fat accumulation in the liver, decreased insulin sensitivity, and increased uric acid and cholesterol levels.[1]

How much sugar can we eat a day?

The upper recommended daily intake of sugar is up to 5% of total calories. Therefore, people who follow a 2,000 calorie diet shouldn’t consume more than 25g of sugar a day. This is extremely difficult to meet, though. Especially, if someone regularly consumes sodas, sweets, and processed products.[2,3]

Moreover, cutting down sugar is pretty difficult because sugar interferes with the reward system of the brain, affecting eating behavior. In other words, sugar causes overeating. Also, excess sugar causes weight gain because it prevents leptin production. This hormone helps regulate energy balance by inhibiting hunger.[4]

How much sugar in a tbsp of honey?

Almost all calories of honey come from sugars. In fact, honey consists of 17% water and 82% sugars. It contains negligible amounts of protein, dietary fiber, or fat.

Honey contains about 82g of sugars per 100g. Actually, a tbsp of honey contains approximately 17g of sugars and 64 calories.[5]

Honey consists mainly from two types of sugars. It consists of fructose and glucose. Glucose is immediately available to muscle tissue. Hence, it can spike blood sugar.

In contrast, the liver has to metabolize fructose. This process takes time, though. So, honey has a lower Glycemic Index than table sugar.

Furthermore, fructose content of honey depends on honey variety. It varies from 21 to 43%. Also, the fructose/glucose ratio varies from 0.4 to 1.6, or even higher. It depends on the floral source and climate circumstances. The higher the percentage of fructose, the less impact has honey on blood sugar.[6]

How much honey should I eat a day?

Consuming high amounts of fructose could have negative effects on your health, though. For instance, excessive amounts of fructose could lead to fat accumulation in the liver, elevated triglycerides, increased LDL-cholesterol, hypertension, and insulin resistance.[7]

As a rule of thumb, 1-2 tbsp of honey a day could be beneficial. This amount of honey could help you lose weight and decrease waist circumference.

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Can people with diabetes eat honey?

Even people with diabetes could consume a small amount of honey a day. Actually, honey may be a suitable sweetener for patients with type 2 diabetes.

It doesn’t rise plasma glucose as much as dextrose. Dextrose is a type of sugar, which is commonly found in refined flours, baking products, and processed foods. People with diabetes should avoid these foods.

In fact, reasonable amounts of honey may reduce cholesterol and homocysteine levels![8,9]

Its high antioxidant content makes honey an ideal sweetener, which could be beneficial for many diseases. Moderate honey consumption may improve metabolic disorders associated with diabetes. It could help reduce hepatic transaminases (for better liver function), triglycerides, and HbA1c levels (average blood glucose levels for the last 2-3 months), while it may increase HDL-cholesterol.

Honey is particularly rich in antioxidants. It can increase serum antioxidant capacity by 7%.[10]

Certainly, people with diabetes should consult their physician before consuming honey. There isn’t an ideal dose. The ideal amount of honey is different for each person. It depends on many factors, such as the level of diabetes.