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Sunday, June 08, 2008 Elizabeth swann, Community Member, asks

Q: can I take manuka honey as I am type 2 diabetic

Can I take manuka honey as I have type 2 diabetes and am worried about the sugar content of the honey?  Please reply.  Thanks

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Answers (2)
Robin, Community Member
8/ 4/08 2:04pm

There has been some recent research showing that natural honey is better for Diabetics than sugar (sucrose). Do a Google search for "honey health benefits" or "honey and diabetes". Read only articles which come from reputable research or medical organisations. 


Honey contains both sucrose and fructose - plus (in natural honey) some other beneficial substances. These substances vary from honey-to-honey and season-to-season depending on what flowers the bees were visiting at the time. Some Australian and New Zealand natural honey varieties (including Maunuka Bush and Karri Tree) have excellent therapeutic qualities. Honey from Australia and New Zealand is produced from forests which have probably the cleanest water and air - with no insecticidal or herbicide contamination.


Bulk honey is usually produced by mixing many different types of honey from different areas and it therefore always tastes and looks similar. It is often treated with heat and chemicals  - to protect against any contaminating organisms. It may also have water added.  As a result, its beneficial properties are much reduced.


Honey has natural anti-bacterial qualities and it is used on wounds which are difficult to heal (such as those suffered by diabetics). Medicinal honey dressings and creams are available through pharmacies - or from the various honey suppliers e.g. Manuka.


As a diabetic, you could try a small amount e.g. a small teapoon of natural (un-processed) honey in black, green or ginger tea, or on your wholegrain cereal, or in a glass of warm water, or with 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon of ground ginger or cinnamon. Check your blood-sugar levels before, immediatly after, and two-hours after. The effects of sugar (of any sort) on your blood-sugar levels are influenced by what other food you eat at the same time e.g. plain rolled-oats (porridge) or a slice of whole-grain bread will help even out your sugar levels.


Cinnamon, ginger, tea (without milk), and honey all have health benefits. Cinnamon in particular has had a lot of research showing benefits for diabetics.


My sister (who has Type 2 Diabetes) says her sugar levels are more even since she started taking the natural honey and cinnamon each day. Remember though - each person is different and you must learn what suits you.


You should keep a diary which includes what you eat and drink, how you feel (tired, teary, shaky, fuzzy etc), what exercise you are doing - along with the times and your blood-sugar levels. From this diary, you should be able to work out what helps and what hinders you blood-sugar control.


P.S.   I have no connection with the honey industry.


Angeline Ong, Community Member
7/18/10 2:05am


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By Elizabeth swann, Community Member— Last Modified: 12/06/13, First Published: 06/08/08