From beauty to health, the world is obsessed with honey. So what’s the buzz over this magical ingredient all about and… is it safe for diabetics?
As the harmful health effects of too much refined sugar have become more well-known, there’s been a rise in the popularity of natural sweeteners like maple syrup, agave and honey.
Also referred to as “liquid gold”, honey has been used for thousands of years in food, beauty products and health remedies, with manuka honey in particular touted for its healing properties.
So is this bee by-product worth the buzz, and is it a suitable sugar substitute for people with diabetes?
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Well first, it’s important to know where honey comes from.
Honey is the thick, sweet, golden syrup that bees produce from the nectar of flowering plants. The bees deposit the liquid nectar into the honeycomb cells, and as they fan it with their wings, the moisture evaporates, resulting in a much thicker consistency ready to be extracted.
Any variations in colour and flavour aren’t to do with heat or ageing, but the unique flower species from which the nectar was extracted.
That said, it is also important to make sure that you are buying the right kind of honey and that you are careful when using it.
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Tips on choosing and using honey:
• Manuka honey is much dearer than regular honey, so make sure it has a UMF rating. If it’s for medicinal purposes, choose a minimum of UMF 10.
• If you’re going for a regular honey, check the ingredients to make sure there aren’t any extra sugars, syrups or additives.
• It’s safe for most adults to eat or apply honey to the skin, but seek medical attention for more severe wounds.
• Honey should not be fed to infants due to the risk of botulism poisoning, and those who are highly allergic to pollen should also exercise caution.
Now that you know all that, here are some of the incredible health benefits of honey as well as easy ways to incorporate it into your diet: