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September 17, 2005

Meal Planning, Food and Diet

Question from Gatineau, Quebec, Canada:

I realize that there are different types of natural honey (flower derived), which affects nutrition as related to diabetes. Supposedly, some are more beneficial than others because of their base composition, for example, clover, buckwheat, cactus, etc. Here, in Canada, there are a wide range of types of honey available. So, how does honey compare to sugar on a nutritional level in diabetic glycemic control? How much sugar causes how much rise in blood glucose? How much honey causes how much rise in blood glucose (glycemic index)? And, how do artificial sweeteners fit in all this? I use an Accu-Chek compact meter. I have been keeping a medical diary of my diabetes since my diagnosis in 2000. In my personal experience, I found that nutrition and exercise/weight control are very closely linked. I try to keep the upper hand in control of my diabetes

Answer:

Honey can certainly be worked into a meal plan for diabetes. Count the carbohydrates in the honey and work it into your meal plan. With respect to the glycemic index, this does not translate as well with real world eating situations, when carbohydrates, proteins, and fat are usually eaten together. The glycemic index works better in controlled, clinical situations. One of the better artificial sweeteners to use nowadays is sucralose (Splenda) which is made from sugar but is not metabolized in your body like table sugar would be.

JMS