Flip Cookbook

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Sugar Free Sunday & Honey In Our Blood

Welcome to one of the sweetest weekly virtual potluck get-together ever! We host Sugar Free Sunday every week to exchange incredible sugar free recipes to inspire everyone to start the week right!

I’ve recently met a few people who have challenged my honey consumption. The argument that is given is that honey, much like refined sugar, spikes your blood sugar levels. This in turn, as we’ve discussed, causes a spike in insulin production by our liver, which in turn could lead to serious health issues like diabetes.

Being scientific and always looking to improve myself, I decided to do some research. Here is what I found:

According to American Diabetes Association:

Raw, unprocessed honey is packed with antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, carbohydrates and phytonutrients. However, processed honey is stripped of these nutrients and no better than white table sugar, so be sure to read labels when shopping for honey. Some types of honey, such as red clover honey or orange blossom honey, have a lower glycemic index. That is, they dissolve more slowly into the bloodstream and have less effect on blood sugar levels.

According to the Mayo Clinc:

Generally, there’s no advantage to substituting honey for sugar in a diabetes eating plan. Both honey and sugar will affect your blood sugar level

The glycemic index (GI) of honey is roughly 55 while that of table sugar is about 68. Generally a GI of 55 or lower is considered to be low and 70 and above is considered high. In that regard it seems honey is better. However Potatoe chips have a GI of 54 — so I’m not entirely sure if 55 should be considered low at all. Source: Nutrition Data. There are other studies that quote the GI of honey as high as 74!

However according to this Australian Government study, raw honey’s GI can be as low as 31 — which is really low.

So I suppose if you’re turning away from table sugar because of the spikes it causes in your insulin levels, then honey may not be a safe bet. It’s important to consider the variety and also to stick with raw honey instead of processed honey.

How do you participate in the virtual potluck?

  • Link your recipe post (NOT your homepage) if it does not use refined sugar. Your blog does not have to be entirely sugar free, just the dish you’re sharing!
  • Please link back to this get-together somewhere in your post’s text. It’s a great way to invite your readers to the fun!
  • Sign up for free to our new venture Velvet Aroma. It’s a visual way to read the blogs you love and really bring their recipes into your kitchen.
  • See all the details on our Sugar Free Sunday page.

We’re so excited to see what you’re cooking….. Sugar Free!

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11 Responses to Sugar Free Sunday & Honey In Our Blood

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  3. Vicky says:

    Hi! I don’t feel the spikes from honey in the way sugar affected me. Today I shared my grain free, dairy free and egg free gingerbread recipe, it can be cut into whatever shape you wish. Since it’s Bonfire Night tomorrow in the UK, I have made gingerbread men.

    Thank you for hosting!

    • Raj says:

      While I was researching this article, I looked through all the honey in my home (yes — I have about 10 bottles). All of them are raw honey. I think I just picked them by luck instead of by any actual observation.

      Do you eat primarily raw honey? Maybe that’s what makes the difference in the spikes you experience?

      • Vicky says:

        It doesn’t say raw honey on it but I presume it is. I noticed when I was in Canada that there was pasteurised honey and everything else was raw. We don’t have specifically labelled pasteurised honey over here so I guess it’s all raw.

  4. I agree about the honey. I read that unless you buy local honey, most manufactured honey in the stores is from China and is mostly syrup! Thanks for hosting.

    • Raj says:

      Yes — the corn syrup replacement is quite a crazy thing. I’ve been trying to buy local honey as much as possible. Luckily my stores are generally well stocked.

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  6. I don’t completely shun truly natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup, but I don’t use them in excess either. Rather, I use them more like a seasoning, in small amounts to give flavor.

    Today I shared my recipe for Coconut-Date Chocolate Bonbons, sweetened only with dates. Dates are extremely sweet naturally, but also are unprocessed with their fiber, vitamins, and minerals intact.


    • Raj says:

      I too eat natural sweeteners — specifically honey. Which is why really I was called out! 😛 Aside from the GI, I still think there are SO MANY benefits to local honey (especially raw) that outweigh refined white sugars. I don’t need to watch my blood sugar levels the way diabetics do.

      I do think I’m going to cut back on my use of honey and to actively seek out raw honey.

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